Champions in waiting Cork City made it 17 wins from 18 games with a comfortable 4-1 win in a disappointing Munster derby at Turners Cross last Friday evening.
John Caulfield’s side further exerted their dominance over Limerick having already beaten them in both the League and EA Cup.
As has happened all to regularly this season, Limerick gave away some cheap goals and against a team of Cork’s quality, mistakes will be punished.
The win sees Cork on 52 points a whopping 18 points clear of Dundalk in second while the defeat leaves Limerick FC sixth in the Premier Division table and seven points clear of the drop zone.
Following the midseason Summer break, Neil McDonald made three changes to the side that defeated Bray 5-3 two weeks ago at the Markets Field.
Brendan Clarke replaced Frederick Hall in goal, while team captain Shane Duggan and Dean Clarke replaced the injured Shaun Kelly and Thomas Robson, who has returned to Sunderland.
Sean Maguire opened the scoring on 24 minutes when he found himself one ht pend of a Karl Sheppard cross and headed home from close range.
Limerick responded when City keeper Mark McNulty fouled Blues winger Chiedozie Ogbene in the box. Roderigo Tosi dispatched the spot kick to make it 1-1.
Stephen Dooley’s unstoppable effort edged Cork back in to the lead just before half time to give his side a deserved 2-1 lead at the interval.
The message at half time for Limerick would have been to keep it tight and give nothing away, trailing by only a goal, Limerick were in with a shout of taking something from the game.
Hopes of taking something from the tie evaporated within 16 seconds of the restart as Preston bound Sean Maguire pounced on an underhit Robbie Williams back pass to round Brendan Clarke and make it 3-1.
As the visitors toiled in vain to claw their way back into the game, Jimmy Keohane drilled a stunning effort past Clarke courtesy of a little half from the post.
Next up for Limerick is a crucial clash with second-from-bottom St Patrick’s Athletic at the Markets Field on Saturday, June 24 at 6.30pm.
Neil McDonald will know that defensively, his side will have to improve, the concession of 7 goals in the last two games alone is alarming and defence has been the Superblues’ Achilles heel this year.
CORK CITY: Mark McNulty, Alan Bennett (Capt), Johnny Dunleavy (Greg Bolger 55), Jimmy Keohane, Conor McCormack, Stephen Dooley (Shane Griffin 81), Kevin O’Connor, Gearoid Morrissey, Karl Sheppard, Sean Maguire. Gary Buckley (Sean O’Mahony 87).
LIMERICK FC: Brendan Clarke, Robbie Williams, David O’Connor, Paul O’Conor, Lee J Lynch, Shane Duggan (Capt), Rodrigo Tosi, Tony Whitehead (Garbhan Coughlan 76), Dean Clarke, Chiedozie Ogebene, Bastien Hery (Shane Tracy 87).
REFEREE: Robert Rogers