Airtricity First Division: Matchday 2 - Waterford United in surprise win over Limerick

Waterford United recovered from their opening day defeat to Wexford Youths with a 3-1 win over Limerick, while SD Galway drew with Wexford
The Airtricity First Division season continued with another surprising result. This time, Waterford United defeated promotion candidates Limerick FC to show the competitive nature of the division, while SD Galway's first ever home game was a dull affair.

SD Galway 1–1 Wexford Youths
The renamed SD Galway played their first ever league game at Terryland Park, and it wasn’t really one for the history books with the opening half being a drab affair. A falling mist hindered both sides, and could have been the reason that referee Keith Callanan waved play on after Wexford Youths midfielder Shane Nolan was bundled over in the box.

At the end of the first half, neither team had got a shot on target, and when a goal did come, it arrived out of nowhere. From 30 yards out, Shane Dempsey caught a wonderful volley which sailed past Liam Grant in the SD Galway goal.

The home side’s equaliser also came from long range, with Brian Gaffney curling in a gorgeous free-kick eight minutes from time. First Division top scorer Tom Elmes should have won it for Youths, but shot straight at Liam Grant, with the match ending 1-1.
Waterford United 3–1 Limerick FC
After their 6-0 drubbing by rivals Wexford last weekend, Waterford United looked a very different side on their home turf against title favourites Limerick. John O’Sullivan’s team organised themselves much better, and held Limerick at bay for almost 70 minutes. At the same stage last week, Wexford led 4-0.

Limerick looked the better team for the majority of the game, but the home side led at half-time thanks to lone forward Willie John Kiely’s 22nd minute goal. An equaliser was always likely, and it was surprising that it took so long to arrive. A perfect header from Shane Guthrie was too much for goalkeeper Packie Holden, and made for an intense final 20 minutes.

Rather than be happy with a point, Waterford boss Sean O’Brien felt his men were capable of taking all three, and sent on Sean Maguire for Peter Higgins. The change immediately paid off, with Maguire scoring after just a minute on the pitch, rounding goalkeeper Barry Ryan.

Limerick substitute Gary Sheahan almost paid off his manager’s faith with a late goal, but his thunderous shot rattled off the crossbar.

In stoppage time, Kiely netted a second to give Waterford a hard-fought 3-1 victory.
Finn Harps 4-3 Mervue United
Finn Park was the venue for a seven goal thriller on Saturday night, with the Finn Harps coming out on top thanks to the odd goal against Mervue United. An end-to-end start saw the home side open the scoring after just ten minutes through Adam Clarke's second goal in two games. Mervue hit back almost immediately when Jason Molloy capitalised on a defensive mistake to equalise.

Mervue defender James Casserly saw red in the 26th minute, bringing Kevin McHugh down in the box. McHugh scored from the spot for his first goal of the season. Once again, the Harps lead was short-lived, with Etanda Nkololo meeting Molloy's cross to bring it to 2-2.

McHugh was on hand to restore Finn Harps' lead just before half time, linking up with Blaine Curtis to prod it in under pressure. Harps struck again just after half-time with Thomas McMonagle claiming his first of the season. With 12 minutes remaining, Molloy got his second for the visitors, but despite a nervy finish, Finn Harps held on for the win.
Longford Town 2-1 Athlone Town
A crowd of around 500 watched Longford Town's first home game of the season, but would have been disappointed by the lack of action at Flancare Park. A tense opening half hour saw two players on each side pick up cards, but chances were few and far between before Daniel Purdy opened the scoring wit a neat finish.

Just before half-time, Noel McGee met Mark Walsh's cross to equalise for Athlone. The second half resumed the slow pace of the opening 45 minutes, and the only real talking point was Mark Salmon's goal after an hour. However, despite the football on show, the win moves Longford to the top of the table with two wins.