Limerick FC relegated from premier division after play-off loss to Finn Harps

Karl O’Sullivan escapes down the right wing. Photo: Liam Winter, Limerick Voice

Limerick FC’s 2-0 loss to Finn Harps at Markets Field sees their time in the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division come to an end.

Heading into the game Limerick needed to overcome a one goal deficit having lost 1-0 in the first leg.

The matches opening exchanges were fiery with tackles flying in from both teams with Finn Harps picking up two bookings within the first ten minutes, with many Limerick fans calling for John Kavanagh to be sent off following a particularly heavy challenge on captain Shane Duggan.

Heated early exchanges between the two sides. Photo: Liam Winter, Limerick Voice

The heavy challenges continued for the majority of the first half causing the game to be very stop start with neither side being able to gain much momentum, Finn Harp’s Paddy McCourt was the games first casualty leaving the field just 15 minutes into his final game before retirement.

It took 21 minutes for the first real chance of the game as Mark Timlin was played through on goal but clipped the outside of the post with his effort, with Limerick managing to scramble the ball away for a corner.

Timlin redeemed himself on the stroke of half time after being played through by Mikey Place he slotted the ball past Jack Brady giving Limerick a mountain to climb in the second half.

Karl O’Sullivan and Gareth Harkin scrap in midfield. Photo: Liam Winter, Limerick Voice

Limerick piled on the pressure after the break with Finn Harps’ goalkeeper Peter Burke misjudging a free kick from Shane Tracy early on.

Danny Morrissey created the hosts best chance of the game when he turned his defender and fired a shot low to the goalkeeper’s right, but the Burke was equal to it and kept his team in front with a fine save.

Mikey Place should have wrapped the game up in the 75th minute when he was left unmarked at the back post after a low cross was played in from the right wing but he blazed his effort over from just 3 yards.

With ten minutes left on the clock Finn Harps secured their place in the Premier Division as Nathan Boyle drifted in from the right to slot the ball past Jack Brady.

With Limerick’s fate now sealed many fans opted to leave early while others began to voice their frustrations towards the players in the games closing stages with gardai being required to control one section of the home stand as flares began to be lit.

Tempers flare in the Limerick FC home stand. Photo: Liam Winter, Limerick Voice

The 3-0 defeat on aggregate sees Limerick FC’s turbulent 2018 campaign come to a close with them now returning to the First Division, which they won back in 2016.

Limerick FC Players leave the field disappointed after relegation. Photo: Liam Winter, Limerick Voice

Limerick- Jack Brady; Shaun Kelly, Kilian Cantwell, Killian Brouder, Shane Tracy; Cian Coleman (Karl O’Sullivan, 70), Shane Duggan, Connor Ellis (Will Fitzgerald, 58), Barry Maguire (Darren Murphy 58),  Billy Dennehy; Danny Morrissey.

Finn Harps- Peter Burke; John Kavanagh, Jacob Borg, Keith Cowan, Sam Todd, Ciaran Coll; Paddy McCourt (Niall Logue, 17), Gareth Harkin, Mark Timlin (Devers, 84); Mikey Place; Nathan Boyle (John O’Flynn, 88).

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