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FAI Ford Cup – Third Round

November 7, 2018

Limerick claimed victory over Sacred Heart in a tough struggle in the third round of the FAI Ford Cup on Sunday at Tallaght Stadium. First half goals from Sean Connor and a brace form Sean Brosnan put Limerick on their way. But they had to wait until Padraic Quinn's 85th minute goal to finally see off a spirited fightback from Sacred Heart who scored two goals through Ian Lowry and Anthony Weafer just after the break.

The Shannonsiders were in complete control in the first half with goalscorer Sean Brosnan looking particularly dangerous. He went very close after only nine minutes when he connected with a Sean Connor cross from the right, the glancing header rolling just wide.

There was plenty more to come from the Brosnan-Connor partnership however and three minutes later Brosnan met O'Connor's corner. But once again the striker's effort was off target.

Limerick was constantly probing and looked extremely dangerous from corners – particularly O'Connor's in-swinging efforts form the right. Sacred Heart just about managed to deal with one on 19 minutes.

However the Tallaght side's luck ran out two minutes later when Brosnan collected the ball in the Sacred Heart box and fired at goal. The shot took a wicked deflection off defender Ger Wrafter leaving goalkeeper Ken Deegan with no chance.

Limerick continued to press and should have had a second when Brosnan attempted to round Deegan outside the box, following the keeper's poor clearance. Deegan put out his hand to stop what would have been a certain goal. The goalkeeper was lucky to escape with only a yellow.

The second goal came after 40 minutes when Brosnan headed home O'Connor's corner – a constant threat for the travelling side. The game appeared to be beyond all doubt when Connor turned goalscorer on the stroke of halftime. He rifled past Deegan after fantastic build-up lay from Jeffrey Judge and Padraig Quinn in the middle.

However, Sacred Heart didn't give up and came out fighting in the second half. David Byrne went close two minutes in before the completely unmarked Anthony Weafer headed home on 48 minutes later to lift Sacred Heart spirits.

Sacred Heart were a lot more tactically aware in the second half, using counter attacking football to their advantage. And this ploy paid off again on 58 minutes Ian Lowry stroked the ball past David Ryan in the Limerick goal to really make a game of it.

However, after the goal, Sacred Heart failed to really test the Limerick goal again. The game fizzled out as the half progressed with both managers doing their best to shake things up. Sacred Heart introduced Michael Quigley and Alan Bergin for Patrick Knowles and Darren Goode respectively. For Limerick Steven McGann replaced goalscorer Sean Connor after 64 minutes but ultimately the changes made little impact.

Lowry had a chance to level matters with ten minutes to go but fluffed his effort well wide. Five minutes later, Padraig Quinn made no mistake down the far end as he collected on the edge of the box after Ger Wrafter had clearerd Chris Breen's lobbed effort off the line. Quinn took his time and rifled into the bottom corner. It was to be the last noteworthy action of the game as Limerick advanced to the next round.

Sacred Heart: Kenneth Deegan, Gerard Wrafter, Damien O'Reilly, Dean Lawrence, Anthony Weafer, Ian Lowry, Patrick Knowles (Michael Quigley 58), Darren Kirby, Darren Goode (Alan Bergin 68), David Byrne, Paul Caffrey (Jamie O'Neill 76).
Unused subs: Mark Clohessy, Gareth Higgins, Robbie Thornton.

Limerick FC: David Ryan, Peter White, Andrew Bhandarkar, Brian McCarthy, Pat Purcell, David O'Leary (Garvan Broughall 86), Jeffrey Judge, Padraic Quinn, Peter Hynes (Chris Breen 70), Sean Brosnan, Sean O'Connor (Steven McGann 64).
Unused subs: John Frost, Garbhan Coughlan, Barry Ryan, Darren Coleman.

Referee: Philip Caschera.

Ford Man of the Match: Sean Brosnan.

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