U19S: MANN DENIED AS LIMERICK HELD IN TRAMORE
Ross Mann was denied by the woodwork and then a superb save as Limerick were forced to settle for a point in their Elite Southern Division opener which finished scoreless against Waterford United at Graun Park, Tramore on Sunday afternoon.
Waterford started the brighter but Limerick soon came into the game and Seán McSweeney’s 25-yard free-kick was denied by an excellent stop from Matt Connor.
Ross Fitzpatrick then hit the crossbar for the hosts, who survived a loud penalty appeal right on half-time after McSweeney’s strike appeared to be blocked by an arm.
After Waterford had calls for a spot-kick of their own turned down, Mann’s chip hit the underside of the bar with 20 minutes remaining and then the Kilcornan native was brilliantly denied by Connor who got down smartly to save.
Superblues ‘keeper Tommy Holland produced an equally important stop to thwart substitute Daryl Power, and late on Limerick could have snatched all three points but sub Killian Hayes directed his shot wide.
In what proved to be an even first half, Waterford had the first effort of the afternoon inside three minutes when Fitzpatrick headed narrowly wide.
Ethan Boyle then dragged his shot across goal, before Limerick – who were hit with the blow of losing Eoin Whelan through a suspected broken jaw on ten minutes – gradually grew into the game.
Waterford ‘keeper Connor collected a free-kick before Holland saved a set-piece at the other end. From that, Limerick broke well and Mann’s through-ball found Mark Hoban just offside.
On 34 minutes, Limerick went close. McSweeney was fouled 25-yards from goal after a surging forward run and the youngster stood up to hit a free-kick which was superbly pushed away by Connor.
Shortly after, a quick free-kick from the hosts gave Fitzpatrick an opening but agonisingly for Waterford his header from an Aaron O’Connor delivery came back off the bar.
Five minutes before the break, substitute Clyde O’Connell did well down the left but his cross was cut out, as Limerick continued on the up.
On half-time, Limerick felt they should have had a penalty when McSweeney’s shot was blocked by a Waterford hand, but the referee failed to award a spot-kick.
Early in the second half, Fitzpatrick fired narrowly wide for the hosts as he almost took advantage of a poor goal-kick, and then Boyle struck an effort just over the bar.
On 56 minutes, following the introduction of Oisin Kelly for James Duggan, Ross Fitzgerald saw a shot saved comfortably by Connor.
Midway through the half, Fitzpatrick shot off target for the home side, who then had a penalty appeal of their own waved away.
Then it was Limerick’s turn to strike the woodwork as Mann saw his 20-yard chip hit the underside of the bar and come out.
The 18-year-old then found himself in on goal but he was denied by a brilliant Connor save as the ‘keeper got down low to his left. From the resulting corner, Conor Maguire hit the side-netting.
On 77 minutes, Holland produced a fine stop at the other end to deny Power, and then Mann flicked an effort just wide for Limerick.
Limerick then lost two players through concussion, with Hoban forced off, quickly followed by O’Connell. Manager Tommy Barrett was unable to replace the latter as he had already used all five subs.
Late on, both sides could have nicked a winner, firstly Boyle going close and then Hayes should have netted for the Superblues after latching onto Mann’s through-ball but he fired just wide.
Then, in the last chance of the game, Mikie Rowe’s cross picked out Power but he directed his effort off target from a promising position, as the sides – following lengthy injury-time – settled for a point apiece on the opening day.
Waterford United: Matt Connor, Maurice Shanahan, Aidan Tuohy, Daniel Pender, Shane Mackey, Samuel Ogayemi, Jamie Conway, Ethan Boyle, Mikie Rowe, Aaron O’Connor, Ross Fitzpatrick. Subs: Daryl Power, Conor O’Reilly.
Limerick: Tommy Holland, Stephen Nolan, Killian Brouder, Conor Maguire, Eoin Whelan (Clyde O’Connell 10), Val Feeney ©, Mark Hoban (Shane Lowth 80), Ross Fitzgerald (Killian Hayes 65), Ross Mann, Seán McSweeney (Declan Cusack 75), James Duggan (Oisin Kelly 55). Unused Subs: Evan Cusack, Liam McCartan.
Report Date: Sunday 31 August 2014