Dave O’Leary’s second half goal sealed a crucial win for Limerick against Tommy Dunne’s struggling Cork City side.
It was the hosts who began the game the better side and they were rewarded for their quick start when striker Denis Behan fired them into the lead after 14 minutes. Behan, who was handed a rare start in the absence of the ill Daryl Kavanagh, made no mistake when finding himself one on one with the keeper after an Aaron Browne error as he neatly slotted the ball into the bottom left corner.
City were guilty of resting on their laurels and they were punished to full effect as Limerick grabbed two quick fire goals to stun the Leesiders. The equaliser came courtesy of Aaron Browne, who atoned for his early mistake by powering his header across the keeper and into the far corner after being picked out brilliantly by Dave O’Leary. Limerick’s second was a carbon copy of the first but this time it was Axel Bossekota who benefitted from another excellent cross from O’Leary and he directed his header past the helpless Mark McNulty and into the far left corner.
Things went from bad to worse for Cork as with the half drawing to a close they were reduced to 10 men as Darren Dennehy was dismissed for a dangerous tackle. Despite that disadvantage, City started the second half brightly and moments after Danny Morrissey shot narrowly wide from a tight angle, Shane Duggan headed in the equaliser from close range. A pin-point Gearoid Morrissey cross found Danny Morrissey unmarked at the back post and his neat header back across goal found Duggan who headed home.
As City pushed forward in attempt to retake the lead they were left vulnerable at the back and needed keeper Mark McNulty to produce a stunning save to tip former Leesider Joe Gamble’s low drive past the left hand upright. But it was McNulty who was at fault for the game’s deciding goal as his poor punch clear from a Shane Tracy cross allowed Dave O’Learyto turn and thump the loose ball into the net. Danny Furlong missed a glorious chance to snatch a point for Cork late on but he inexplicably blasted his effort over the bar with only the keeper to beat.
The result leaves Tommy Dunne’s side struggling near the foot of the division after what can only be described as an awful first third to their league campaign.