Regional United Cause Big Upset Against Fairview Rangers

Regional United caused an upset in the Limerick District League Premier Division on Thursday evening with a 3-2 win over Fairview Rangers in a thoroughly entertaining encounter at Dooradoyle. Kieran O’Connell, Sid Bourke and Jack Arra were on the score sheet for the home side while Jeffrey Judge and AJ Moloney scored for the visitors.

Regional took the lead in the opening two minutes of the game when a strong run and pull back from Donal O’Connell on the right, who was up against makeshift left-back James Fitzgerald, resulted in a shot from Arra which was parried by Aaron Savage into the path of Kieran O’Connell who was quickest to react to score from close range.

Fairview responded well and experienced midfielder Jeffrey Judge was afforded far too much space to drive forward and the former Limerick FC man duly obliged before powering an effort into the net from 20 yards out.

Fairview midfielder Conor Coughlan is sandwiched by Killian Kingston and Ross Fitzgerald

At this juncture, the home side took control and should have regained the lead when both Paul Danaher and Mark Slattery were caught flat footed and Arra raced clear but was denied by the body of Savage. From the resulting corner, Andy Cowpar was denied by a combination of Savage and the post.

Tom O’Connell’s side were a huge threat from set-pieces all evening with Kieran O’Connell, Cowpar and Tommy Frawley attacking the ball well. From another corner, a goalmouth scramble ensued when the ball seemed to strike a Fairview player and hit the crossbar with the visitors living very dangerously.

Despite the fact that Regional attempt to play an attractive brand of football with both Ross Fitzgerald and Ewan O’Brien possessing great ability to pick the ball up from deep, it was a direct approach to O’Connell and Arra which was paying dividends in the first period.

Russell Quirke watches the ball while Killan Kingston closes him down

The home support were very unhappy with the decision to stop play to award a free-kick for Donal O’Connell on the right when the winger had crossed for O’Brien to score but the advantage was not forthcoming and the resulting free-kick was cleared.

Jason Purcell’s side had two chances before the break as Shane Duggan’s free-kick went narrowly wide and AJ Moloney fired over from the edge of the area as Robbie Broe called time on a riveting first half.

Fairview shuffled the pack at half-time with Mark Slattery being replaced by Mark Cahill. The former Carew Park centre-back had been struggling leading up to the game. Also, James Fitzgerald was removed from left-back and moved to the right-wing while Jason Cross came in for Conor Keane and slotted in at left-back.

Conor Coughlan in possession

It was the home side who were quicker out of the blocks once more and deservedly took the lead when Arra powerfully beat Cahill before pulling the ball back for Sid Bourke who delightfully volleyed the ball into the top corner to put the Dooradoyle outfit ahead for the second time.

The decision to move Fitzgerald to the right-wing was rewarded when he burst past Bourke on the right hand side before crossing for Moloney who expertly finished beyond Shier to restore parity for a second time. Both Frawley and Arra came close from corner kicks but couldnt find the target.

Substitute Jason Cross was having a torrid time against O’Connell and the winger beat the former Prospect man before Savage punched his effort over the bar. With 15 minutes remaining, the midfield duo of Judge and Duggan showed their class when they linked up before the former Galway man sent Moloney clear but the striker, who is in red hot form at the moment, skewed his shot wide.

AJ O’Connor (pictured above) was a big loss for Fairview on Thursday night

Right-back Kingston hit the crossbar having profited from another powerful O’Connell run before the visitors were reduced to ten men when substitute Cian Fitzgerald was shown two yellow cards in quick succession, the second for a poor challenge on Kingston.

The drama continued as we neared the end of normal time when a long searching ball was collected by Moloney who had acres of time and space to run goalwards, but he was denied by a superb save from Shier.

Fast forward 30 seconds and the ball was in the Fairview net when a long diagonal ball from Fitzgerald picked out Arra who connected perfectly with a header to lob Savage and send the home crowd into raptures.

The result ended Fairview’s unbeaten record after the fourth game while Tom O’Connell will be delighted with the response from his team following last week’s 4-1 defeat to Nenagh. Regional host Coonagh on Sunday morning while Fairview take on Janesboro at the Fairgreen.

Regional United: Rob Shier, Killian Kingston, Tommy Frawley, Andy Cowpar, Sean Madigan, Ross Fitzgerald, Ewan O’Brien, Kieran O’Connell, Sid Bourke, Donal O’Connell, Jack Arra

Fairview Rangers: Aaron Savage, Jamie Enright, Paul Danaher, Mark Slattery (Mark Cahill), James Fitzgerald, Shane Duggan, Jeffery Judge, Conor Coughlan, Russell Quirke (Cian Fitzgerald), Conor Keane (Jason Cross), AJ Moloney

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