Rainsford and O'Leary blitz Students
This was a Thomond Park tale of delight for Limerick FC and despair for UCD.
The Shannonsiders have made a satisfying return to the top flight, stitching a third game to their unbeaten start to the season, while the Students remain rooted to the foot of the table. If UCD don't improve quickly that is precisely where they will stay.
Stuart Taylor's tidy Limerick outfit exploited UCD's chronic lack of confidence early on, pouncing for three first-half goals in front of 1,712 spectators.
The visitors were in damage-limitation mode once Limerick took the lead in the 14th minute. Darragh Rainsford's effort took a wicked deflection and the ball spun over UCD custodian Mark McGinley.
Two minutes later, Limerick extended their advantage when Dave O'Leary, prominent until an injury forced his departure, lashed a long-range shot to the back of the net.
Martin Russell has impressively guided UCD for a couple of campaigns, but it looks like he will be tested in the coming months.
UCD leaked a preventable third on 32 minutes when Craig Curran provided the assist for Rainsford to decorate a lively first-half display.
The visitors trimmed the deficit in the 70th minute when Gary Burke finished well following a Dave McMillan pass.
Limerick -- Ryan; Nzuzi (Kelly, 77), O'Callaghan, Folan, Williams; Tracy (McGann, 71), Gamble, O'Leary (Bradley, 46), Galbraith; Curran, Rainsford.
UCD -- McGinley; Matthews, Douglas, Boyle, Langtry; Clarke (Belhout, 8), McCabe (Walsh, 68), Creevy (Kavanagh, 86), Burke, Russell; McMillan.
Ref -- A Kelly (Cork)