Kieran Sadlier penalty earns Cork a point at Limerick
Limerick 1 Cork City 1
LIMERICK were good value for the draw as they held champions Cork City at Markets Field.
The home side took the lead in the 17th minute through Billy Dennehy, having played well up to then.
With City sloppy early on, Limerick sensed an opportunity and created a good chance in the ninth minute, with captain Shane Duggan volleying over after two fellow former Cork players, Billy Dennehy and Danny Morrissey, had combined well.
At the other end, Kieran Sadlier sent a half-volley over the bar from long range but Limerick were competing well, exemplified by a superb challenge by Cian Coleman on Gearóid Morrissey just before the goal.
When it came, it was a mix of Limerick activity and Cork passivity.
Aaron Barry’s defensive header fell to Billy Dennehy just inside his own half and his surging run went unchecked until he was 25 yards out, from where he sent a low shot beyond the reach of Mark McNulty.
Having been quiet up until then, City responded well, their best chance falling to Morrissey, whose shot was tipped over by Brendan Clarke, while Sadlier and Barry McNamee were off target.
A Sadlier penalty had given the champions victory over Shamrock Rovers on Monday and he was to score from the spot again to level here.
As McNamee sent a corner over on 33 minutes, Darren Dennehy’s challenge on Graham Cummins was deemed a foul by Neil Doyle and Sadlier sent Clarke the wrong way.
City went in search of a lead goal before the break and Sheppard had two opportunities, first heading over from Conor McCarthy’s cross and then shooting over when Sadlier’s free-kick broke in the penalty area.
The opening stages of the second half provided little in the way of goalmouth action before Limerick twice went close around the hour mark.
On 59 minutes, Billy Dennehy’s free-kick from deep was aimed for his brother Darren and though the centre-back controlled the ball, he couldn’t keen his shot down.
Two minutes later, a shot from distance by right-back Shaun Kelly, impressive throughout, needed a strong hand from McNulty to palm over.
Late on, sub Karl O’Sullivan went close while Sadlier tested Clarke from a free-kick, but no winner was forthcoming.
LIMERICK- Clarke; Kelly, Whitehead, D Dennehy, B Dennehy; Cantwell, Coleman; Morrissey (K O’Sullivan 67), Duggan, Kearns(Fitzgerald); Ellis.
CORK CITY - McNulty; McCarthy, Barry, McLoughlin, Griffin; McCormack (Howard 80), Morrissey; Sheppard, McNamee (Keohane70),Sadlier; Cummins.
REF- N Doyle(Dublin).