Limerick FC travel to Eamon Deacy Park on Friday to take on Galway United in the SSE Airtricity League First Division (7.45pm).
Both sides will be entering the game off the back of contrasting results with Galway securing a shock 1-0 win over Premier Division Cork City last Friday night.
The Tribesmen’s reward for the win is a home quarter-final tie with Shamrock Rovers.
After ten minutes of Limerick FC’s away clash with Premier Division Sligo Rovers, it looked as though Tommy Barrett’s men would be joining Galway in the last eight as two superb goals from winger Karl O’Sullivan sent them into a shock lead.
However quickfire goals from Romeo Parkes and Limerick native Ronan Coughlan restored parity.
It looked as though the Shannonsiders were given another lifeline when Dante Leverock was shown a straight red card for a headbutt on Kieran Hanlon.
However, the sides were level on the scoresheet and numerically just five minutes later when captain Shaun Kelly was shown a second yellow card.
At the beginning of the second half, Regan Donelan gave Sligo the lead for the first time and Dave Cawley extended the lead to make it 5-2.
Farce appeared to descend for the visitors after that as Clyde O’Connell became the second Limerick player to be sent off for a wild challenge.
Furthermore, midfielder Jason Hughes was also sent off for becoming involved in an altercation with a steward when attempting to regain possession of the ball on the side line.
The three sending offs could not have come at a worst time for Barrett. Although play off hopes have been finished for a few weeks now, Limerick still have three games to navigate before the season finishes and all three will be suspended for the trip to Galway.
Hughes and O’Connell could be subject to further bans depending on the referee’s report, which means their season’s may be cut short.
The defeat to Sligo and the way the game ended, summed up the Super Blues season of hardship.
After a promising start, one always suspected that the lack of squad depth would catch up with the team after the summer break, and outside of a morale boosting 3-1 home win over Longford, the second half of the season has been relatively underwhelming.
On Friday night, Limerick will come up against former players Killian Brouder and Jack Lynch who have began to feature heavily for Alan Murphy’s side recently.
Tommy Barrett was bitterly disappointed to lose Brouder in July. The Newcastle West native had signed as a professional and with Limerick reverting to fully amateur status in July, the rangy centre-back was unable to revert his status as the deadline had passed.
Unfortunately, it epitomises the situation at the Markets Field currently when Brouder has joined a club below Limerick in the table in exchange for a better financial package.
The team will be hoping to secure a sixth place position which may not be easy with the list of suspensions and the fact that Cobh Ramblers are now just three points behind.
On a positive note for the Shannonsiders, they have beaten Galway on both occasions so far this season.
A Sean McSweeney goal was enough to secure victory at Eamon Deacy Park in April which was part of five wins in a row.
Limerick won 2-1 when the sides met at the Markets Field in June. Shane Doherty gave United the lead that night but former striker Connor Ellis and Kieran Hanlon provided a comeback victory.