Limerick FC succumbed to a 1-0 defeat in Richmond Park on Friday night thanks to a second half bullet header from Ian Bermingham. Subsequently, the Saints leafrogged their opponents who drop to eight in the table.
There was a frenetic start to the game with both sides surrendering possession easliy. Both St.Pats full backs Ian Bermingham and Simon Madden were advancing high up the field and as a result Limerick were forced to sit deeper than they would have preferred.
Limerick’s counter attacking approach should have paid dividends as Cian Coleman intercepted a Ryan Brennan pass before feeding captain Shane Duggan who couldnt fashion a shooting opportunity following an impressive run.
Midway through the first half, former St. Pats player Billy Dennehy blasted a free-kick straight at Barry Murphy. Conan Byrne replied with a free-kick of his own which was well blocked by a solid Limerick wall.
The best chance of the game fell to the Saints as creative midfielder James Donna’s effort from the edge of the box was pushed away by Brendan Clarke.
Limerick started brightly in the second period as Shaun Kelly pounced on a poor clearance before forcing a corner. Darren Dennehy connected with a Will Fitzgerald corner but placed his stooped header over the crossbar.
Approaching the hour mark, the Inchicore outfit took the lead as Conan Byrne delivered a superb cross which was powerfully headed home by Lee Desmond.
Ryan Brennan was having a growing influence on the game for Liam Buckley’s men and his ferocious strike whistled past the crossbar.
The Saints should have doubled their lead as a low cross from Jake Keegan was rocketed over the bar at the back post by James Doona who was unmarked.
With ten minutes remaining, Limerick’s Shaun Kelly produced a powerful run but his tame effort in the box was easily gathered by Barry Murphy.
The Shannonsiders pushed for an equaliser as time ran out but despite a late header from Cian Coleman, Tommy Barrett’s side failed to muster an equaliser.
It was a disappointing evening for the Super Blues who drop below their opponents and Bohemians before next week’s Munster derby with Waterford United at the Markets Field.
St. Patrick’s Athletic: Barry Murphy, Simon Madden, Lee Desmond, Kevin Toner, Ian Bermingham, Jamie Lennon, Ryan Brennan, James Doona, Dean Clarke (Daragh Markey 69), Conan Byrne, Jake Keegan (Christy Fagan 90)
Subs not used: Tyson Farago, Michael Barker, Owen Garvan, Michael Leahy, Ian Turner.
Yellow Cards: Dean Clarke (36), Jamie Lennon (43)
Red Cards:</strong None
Limerick FC: Brendan Clarke, Shaun Kelly, Tony Whitehead, Darren Dennehy, Billy Dennehy, Cian Coleman, Killian Cantwell (Barry Maguire 64), Shane Duggan, Will Fitzgerald (Colm Walsh O’Loughlen 77), Henry Cameron (Jeff McGowan 79), Conor Ellis.
Subs not used: Tommy Holland, Shane Tracy, Killian Brouder, Karl O’Sullivan.
Yellow cards: Will Fitzgerald (24), Henry Cameron (32), Billy Dennehy (54), Conor Ellis (79)
Red Cards: None
Referee: Sean Grant