With their top flight status already secured, Limerick Fc looked to end the season on a high a note as they made the trip to the capital to face Shamrock Rovers in the final game of the season on Friday night with kick off 7:45pm.
The result in Tallaght Stadium ended in a 2-1 win to Shamrock Rovers.
Neil McDonald’s charges secured Limerick Fc’s place in the top flight for 2018 following a 2-2 draw with Galway United last Friday night, as a run of five games unbeaten saw them narrowly fight off relegation with one game to spare.
Speaking in an interview on the clubs Facebook page, the Englishmen was happy to get the crucial point, but felt the moment was soured by a lacklustre performance on the night.
“It was a little bit of an anti-climax because we wanted to play well, and we wanted to win the win game and obviously we didn’t do both. But we got the point that we required. On reflection, everybody’s happy now, which is excellent.”
The former Newcastle United player was relishing a chance for his side to show their quality following the burdens of survival being finally lifted, and hoped Friday night’s game would present his younger stars with an opportunity to shine.
“We’re really looking forward to the Shamrock (Rovers) game, to play a game without any pressure. And just go and enjoy ourselves and try to show people what were really about. I’m going to try to integrate a couple of the younger players in, who have been waiting to get their chance. And if I can do that, then that’s brilliant.”
“There’ll only be one or two changes from the starting eleven, but we’ll see how everybody trains this week, and then we’ll decide later what the team is going to be.”
The sides have met twice this season, a late Rodrigo Tosi goal earning the Super Blues a point when the sides met for the first time this season in Tallaght Stadium back in April, while the Hoops were comfortable 2-0 winners for the return fixture at the Markets Field, two goals in either half from David McAllister and Ronan Finn seeing the Dubliners take the spoils.
Stephen Bradley’s charges go into the game having already secured European football, but McDonald will travel to Dublin with little fear, knowing the hoops have recorded just one victory in their past six competitive fixtures, that coming at the hands of bottom side Drogheda United.
Speaking to Shamrockrovers.ie, Bradley was aware of the threat an already safe Limerick could bring, particularly that of the in-form Rodrigo Tosi.
“I think Limerick will come and play now that they’re safe. They have players that can do that, they can score goals. Tosi scores goals when they get runners off him. So it’s going to be a tough game but if we bring what we can bring the result will look after itself.”
Shamrock Rovers have a long list of players unavailable for the final home game of the season, with Trevor Clarke, Roberto Lopez and Michael O’Connor all suspended, while David Webster, Gary Shaw and Lee Grace are all out with injuries.
In other club news, it has been confirmed that John O’Flynn and Stephen Kenny will leave the club following the end of the season, with the club deciding not to offer the duo new contracts.
Both men were key members of the Shannonsiders’ First Division title campaign in 2016, netting 16 goals between them as the club coasted to their third league title at that level.
Also leaving the club is Joe Crowe, who will return to his parent club Norwich City, having made 11 appearances for the Super Blues since joining the club on loan in July.