Shelbourne FC grabbed a crucial 0-1 win over Limerick FC in the promotion race at the Markets Field on Friday night as a solitary first half strike from Ciaran Kilduff was enough to extend their lead at the top of the first division.
Ryan Brennan had the first shot of the game but his strike from distance sailed harmlessly over the crossbar. Limerick’s Karl O’Sullivan made a positive impact when his low cross was collected by Kieran Hanlon whose shot was deflected out for a corner.
Moments later, Hanlon was fouled on the edge of the box and the resulting Shane Tracy effort travelled just wide of Colin McCabe’s post. Following good build up play between Lorcan Fitzgerald and Daniel McKenna, the latter set up Ryan Brennan but the midfielder’s shot rose over the crossbar.
The Shannonsiders were awarded a penalty by referee David Dunne when Oscar Brennan was adjudged to have fouled Hanlon but Darren Murphy’s penalty cleared the crossbar. Lee Devitt was played through and forced a a save from McCabe.
Disaster struck for Limerick with ten minutes remaining in the first half when he attempted to shield the ball out over the end line but was dispossessed by Ciaran Kilduff who placed a shot into the net from a tight angle.
In the opening quarter there were very few chances but Brennan saw his free-kick travel wide. Limerick’s best attacking option was Karl O’Sullivan who was putting in one of his best performances of this season but the Super Blues struggled to create against a solid and vocal defensive unit.
Experienced winger Conan Byrne turned inside the otherwise impressive Aaron Fitzgerald before unleashing a shot from distance which failed to trouble Brady.
Limerick struggled to create chances for an equaliser despite bringing on an extra centre forward in Adam Foley. A shot from distance from Kieran Hanlon was the best Tommy Barrett’s men could offer and despite a valiant display, the Shannonsiders drop to sixth in the league table ahead of next week’s home clash with Longford.
Limerick FC: Jack Brady, Lee Devitt (Adam Foley 77), Robbie Williams, Killian Brouder, Aaron Fitzgerald, Shane Tracy (Clyde O’Connell 82), Darren Murphy, Jason Hughes, Karl O’Sullivan, Sean McSweeney, Kieran Hanlon
Subs not used: Tommy Holland, Edmond O’Dwyer, Andy Quaid
Shelbourne: Colin McCabe, Aidan Friel, Luke Byrne, Dan McKenna, Lorcan Fitzgerald, Oscar Brennan, Daragh Noone (Shane Farrell 84), Karl Moore, Ryan Brennan, Conan Byrne (James English 66), Ciaran Kilduff
Subs not used: Dean Delaney, Flavio Marku, Greg Moorhouse, Dayle Rooney