Thursday 22 March 2018

Limerick set for Thomond Cup switch if they beat Shels

Daniel McDonnell

Daniel McDonnell

LIMERICK FC are set to stage an FAI Cup semi-final at Thomond Park if they progress through next Monday's re-arranged quarter-final meeting with First Division rivals Shelbourne.

The Irish Independent understands that advanced talks have taken place between Limerick and the Thomond authorities about them using the home of Munster rugby if they reach the last four.

The winners of the Shelbourne/ Limerick tie will host St Patrick's Athletic and the Shannonsiders accept that their rented Jackman Park home would be unsuitable for a game of that stature.

Limerick officials have a good relationship with their counterparts at Thomond. They were on course to stage a glamour friendly with Barcelona there last year until the FAI blocked the fixture.

Promotion to the top flight is the priority for Limerick and they face a real fight to achieve that aim, sitting in fourth with the top three having games in hand. They have also appealed the FAI's decision to award rivals Monaghan United the three points from a drawn game with Finn Harps where the Donegal side fielded an ineligible player.

Nevertheless, the club is conscious that a cup run could generate significant interest. Attendances at Jackman Park are poor and a donation from JP McManus has paved the way for a long-awaited return to the Market's Field. However, with work on that project ongoing, Thomond could even emerge as a potential stopgap next season if Limerick were to reach the Premier Division.

For now, though, the possibility of further soccer action at the 26,000 capacity ground depends on Pat Scully's side getting the right result in Tolka Park next week.

Bohemians and Sligo Rovers will contest the other semi-final, with one of the games pencilled in for Friday, October 14 and the other for Sunday, October 16.

Irish Independent

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