Limerick FC endured a difficult evening at Dalymount Park on Friday night as Bohemians ran out convincing 5-0 winners in a crucial relegation battle. Goals from Kevin Devaney, JJ Lunney, Keith Buckley, Daniel Grant and Eoghan Stokes provided the victory for Keith Long’s team.
Limerick had the first big chance of the game as an inswinging free-kick from Billy Dennehy found the head of Killian Brouder but the centre back failed to place his header on target. The visitors fashioned the next big chance as Karl O’Sullivan glided past the challenge of Daragh Leahy before crossing into the box towards Conor Ellis but the striker couldn’t direct it on target after pouncing on a poor clearance from Ian Morris.
Tommy Barrett’s side produced one of their best passing moves of the season involving Conor Ellis, Barry Maguire and Darren Murphy which ended in Maguire heading down for Murphy but the midfielder’s effort was pushed over the bar by Shane Supple.
The Shannonsiders were made to pay for failing to convert one of those chances as Bohemians took the lead as we reached the half hour mark. Poor defending on the right hand side afforded Daragh Leahy far too much room on the overlap and the left-back nodded the ball in the direction of Kevin Devaney who nodded home from close range.
As the half time break neared, the Gypsies doubled their advantage as JJ Lunney was afforded too much room on the edge of the box before placing his shot past Tommy Holland.
There was a slow start to the second period with Daniel Kelly evading two Limerick challenges before shooting wide. Striker Dinny Corcoran could have extended the home side’s lead further but he blasted his effort straight at Holland.
The Limerick management team made two necessary substitutions as Danny Morrissey and Coleman Kennedy replaced Barry Maguire and Darren Murphy. However, it was Bohemians who continued to exert pressure as Keith Ward was fed by goal scorer Lunney but his shot sailed harmlessly wide.
With just over 20 minutes remaining, the Super Blues night worsened as Kevin Devaney cut in from the wing before laying the ball off to Keith Buckley who smashed a shot past Tommy Holland to extend the Gypsies lead. Substitute Daniel Grant made an immediate impact as he added a fourth goal to compound Limerick’s miserable night. Dinny Corcoran’s initial shot was saved by Tommy Holland but Keith Ward was first to react to set up Grant to slot home from six yards.
Bohemians were awarded a late penalty as the full time whistle approached and Eoghan Stokes confidently converted the spot-kick to complete a perfect night for Keith Long’s side. Limerick suffered a late red card as Coleman Kennedy was dismissed on his debut for the club for a foul on Daniel Grant which led to the penalty.
It was a very a very disappointing night for the Limerick players and manager Tommy Barrett following a big victory over Waterford FC last week. The loss of defensive duo Killian Cantwell and Eoin Wearen was vital as Limerick conceded a number of soft goals. Midfielder Cian Coleman was asked to fill in at centre back and his energy was missed in midfield also.
It was a massive game as Limerick now find themselves seven points behind Bohemians. Sligo’s victory in Derry was also a huge blow for Limerick as the Bit O’Red moved five points clear of Tommy Barrett’s men with a game in hand. Limerick will be in FAI Cup action in Donegal next week and will host Sligo in the league at the Markets Field on August 17th in another crucial game.
Bohemian FC: Shane Supple, Derek Pender, Dan Casey, Ian Morris (Dan Byrne 75), Daragh Leahy, Keith Buckley, JJ Lunney, Keith Ward (Eoghan Stokes 75), Kevin Devaney, Daniel Kelly (Daniel Grant 71), Dinny Corcoran.
Subs not used: Sean Bohan, Dan Byrne, Andy Lyons, Christian Magerusan
Yellow Cards: Ian Morris (23)
Limerick FC: Tommy Holland, Shaun Kelly, Killian Brouder, Billy Dennehy, Cian Coleman, Darren Murphy (Coleman Kennedy 61), Shane Duggan, Barry Maguire (Danny Morrissey 61), Will Fitzgerald (Colm Walsh-O’Loughlen 73), Karl O’Sullivan, Conor Ellis.
Subs not used: Jack Brady, Tomas O’Connor, Jason Cross, Adam Foley
Yellow Cards: Shane Duggan (77)
Red Cards: Coleman Kennedy (86)
Referee: Derek Tomney