Treaty United fall to late Cobh winner at Markets Field

Treaty United took on Cobh Ramblers this Thursday.

Regardless of result, tonight’s match felt like the transitional pinpoint in Treaty United’s brief existence.

Halfway through a first season under Canadian CEO Ciara McCormack. Perhaps halfway towards becoming a Premier Division side.

In isolation, a 1-0 Thursday evening loss against Cobh Ramblers isn’t going to get anyone dreaming of a better, brighter future for Limerick soccer.

But certain things around tonight’s match just might.

Everything felt right in the world as “We love you Lee J” chants boomed from the left corner of the Markets Field stand before kick-off; the Blue Army recognising the return of their former Limerick FC hero Lee J Lynch.

While we can’t repeat the rest of the chant, a repeat of his previous contribution to Limerick soccer would be much welcomed.

Although not involved tonight, Lynch’s return to Garryowen has made Treaty fans believe, and you got that sense from the crowd throughout this otherwise low-profile fixture.

His attacking quality will help hugely, but the subtext is more important – does this mean more signings of his standard could be in the pipeline?

Admittedly hard to know, but it’s certainly been a decent transfer window for the club so far.

Galway United loanee Steven Healy is another fresh face and he fared well in the middle of the park – an area the Superblues have struggled in this season in the absence of Colin Conroy.

Trpimir Vrljicak, meanwhile, a Croatian forward previously with Kerry FC, has added some firepower to Tommy Barrett’s bench.

Introduced in the eightieth-minute tonight, ‘The Eagle’ offers Barrett something different and is, by all accounts, worth another shot in the League of Ireland after impressing so much at Killarney Celtic.

The biggest indication of the muscle behind this club in 2024 however, is shown by the women’s team’s addition of forward Danielle Steer from Turkish giants Fenerbache.

McCormack’s contact book is no joke, and if rumour is to be believed, bigger things are ahead for both men’s and women’s teams beyond this important first season of appraisal, administration and audition.

Treaty donned the old Limerick colours of blue and white tonight (as is now the norm for home fixtures) and a potential name change over the winter would really be rolling out the carpet for Lee J to roll back the years.

Once that’s done, the board might ask Chiedozie Ogbene what he’d like added to the chip van menu.

Or maybe play it cool by asking Will Fitzgerald which Blue Army ref insults were his favourites.

The full repertoire was rehearsed tonight, with alleged timewasting and long delays spoiling the rhythm of the second half in particular.

But groans nearly turned to glee when Thomas Considine emerged from the bench to give some much-needed impetus in the final quarter.

Considine, who began his Treaty career with an opening night brace against the same opponents back in March, is more important than ever now that Armshaw has left the club.

His 79th-minute surge down the left wing very nearly set up Yoyo Mahdy for a winner.

That made the supporters happy, but not half as happy as they were whenever fellow substitute Vrljicak did as much as touch the ball.

As a towering striker, a non-Irish League of Ireland player and with a nickname like ‘The Eagle’, he ticks just about every ‘cult hero’ box a fan can ask for.

Okay, there won’t be a Lee J Lynch-style return for Chiedozie Ogbene, and we probably won’t see Will Fitzgerald back either, but this guy could fill the Rodrigo Tosi-shaped hole in novelty-seeking Superblue hearts.

For tonight, though, those hearts go home broken.

Just as the Shannonsiders were turning the screw, a 91st-minute break-away from the Rams saw Jack Larkin find space in the box before sticking a neat finish past Cory Chambers and sticking a pin into Markets Field positivity and the coherence of this match report.

This is how Before Lee-J ended.

Now let’s see what our saviour has in store.

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