Limerick FC remain in 9th place in the Airtricity League Premier Division following a 0-2 defeat at the hands of Shamrock Rovers thanks to goals from Limerick native Joel Coustrain and Graham Burke at the Markets Field on Friday night.
Limerick FC created the first chance of the game as Mark O’Sullivan showed great strength before setting up Daniel Kearns. A combination of Rovers goalkeeper Gavin Bazunu and Joey O’Brien denied both Kearns and O’Sullivan.
The home side lost possession in their own area due to pressure from Dan Carr and the Englishman fired wide.
The game was failing to capture the imagination but Preston bound Graham Burke received possession from Sean Kavanagh before unleashing a dipping effort which went over the bar.
Limerick veteran Shane Tracy delivered a free-kick and a glancing header at the front post from Daniel Kearns travelled wide.
At the beginning of the second half, the Hoops doubled their lead. A driving run and cross from striker Dan Carr on the right hand side found the run of Graham Burke who neatly controlled before rifling home. It was the Preston bound midfielder’s third goal against Limerick this season.
Approaching the hour mark, Burke rattled the post from all of 30 yards with an audacious effort. Limerick captain Shane Duggan responded with a snapshot from distance which sailed harmlessly wide of 16 year-old Gavin Bazunu’s goal.
Burke was running the show along with Ronan Finn at this point and he cut inside before curling an effort wide of Brendan Clarke’s right hand post. As time ran out, Finn tried his luck but Clarke was equal to it to push it away from goal.
It was a poor performance from the Shannonsiders. However, it has been difficult for manager Tommy Barrett to contend with so many injuries. The Airtricity League now enters a two week break which will hopefully help the Super Blues recover.
Limerick FC: Brendan Clarke, Killian Cantwell, Killian Brouder (Tony Whitehead 67), Eoin Wearen, Billy Dennehy, Shane Tracy (Colm Walsh-O’Loughlen 77), Shane Duggan, Cian Coleman, Will Fitzgerald (Karl O’Sullivan 64), Mark O’Sullivan.
Subs not used: Tommy Holland, Shaun Kelly, Jeff McGowan
Yellow Cards: Mark O’Sullivan (32), Billy Dennehy (44), Shane Tracy (59), Cian Coleman (81)
Red Cards: None
Shamrock Rovers: Gavin Bazunu, Ethan Boyle, Lee Grace, Sam Bone (Brandon Kavanagh 66), Joey O’Brien, Greg Bolger, Ronan Finn, Graham Burke, Sean Kavanagh, Joel Coustrain, Dan Carr (Sean Boyd 77).
Subs not used: Kevin Horgan, Luke Byrne, Roberto Lopes, David McAllister, Aaron Bolger.
Yellow Cards: Greg Bolger (90+1)
Red Cards: None
Referee: Sean Grant