Tuesday 16 January 2018

Murray wondergoal bolsters Galway survival bid

Galway United 3 Limerick 1

Alex Byrne of Galway United in action against Rodrigo Tosi of Limerick. Photo by David Maher/Sportsfile
Alex Byrne of Galway United in action against Rodrigo Tosi of Limerick. Photo by David Maher/Sportsfile

Independent.ie Sportsdesk

Galway United gave their survival hopes a huge boost at Eamonn Deacy Park when they scored three goals in a game for the first time this season.

They made the most of their chances in stark contrast to a Limerick side who struggled in front of goal.

Alex Byrne of Galway United in action against Bastien Héry of Limerick. Photo by David Maher/Sportsfile
Alex Byrne of Galway United in action against Bastien Héry of Limerick. Photo by David Maher/Sportsfile

Limerick enjoyed most of the early chances but found themselves 2-0 adrift at the break after Galway struck for two quality goals in a blistering three-minute spell.

Galway were struggling to stay in the contest on 35 minutes when Ronan Murray took a pass from Marc Ludden, teed it up and hit a wonder-shot from 30 yards which dipped into the top right corner.

Limerick goalkeeper Brendan Clarke stood no chance, and three minutes later he had to pick the ball out of his net again.

This time he got a hand to Padraic Cunningham's effort after the Galway striker turned superbly inside the box and finished strongly into the bottom left corner.

Tony Whitehead of Limerick in action against Padraic Cunningham of Galway United. Photo by David Maher/Sportsfile
Tony Whitehead of Limerick in action against Padraic Cunningham of Galway United. Photo by David Maher/Sportsfile

Those goals made Limerick's earlier misses all the more glaring, with top scorer Rodrigo Tosi shooting over from close range on 12 minutes after a good cross from debutant Joe Crowe.

Crowe, on loan from Norwich, had a decent outing and the Belfast native settled in quickly to his new side.

Galway defender Lee Grace did well to deflect an effort from Chedozie Ogbene as Limerick failed to make possession count.

Limerick upped the tempo after the restart as they tried to get back in the contest but Tosi had a header easily saved by home keeper Conor Winn after 57 minutes.

Chedozie Ogbene of Limerick in action against Lee Grace of Galway United. Photo by David Maher/Sportsfile
Chedozie Ogbene of Limerick in action against Lee Grace of Galway United. Photo by David Maher/Sportsfile

The introduction of John O'Flynn added an edge as the visitors piled on the pressure after the restart, buoyed by a sizeable travelling support in the crowd of 1,471, but Tosi's header after 57 minutes was easily dealt with by Winn.

Galway soaked up the pressure and wrapped it up eight minutes from time when sub Eoin McCormack chased a hopeful ball from Ludden, beat two defenders and then the Ballinasloe native slotted the ball into the bottom right corner.

Garbhan Coughlan pulled back a consolation goal for Limerick going into stoppage-time.

GALWAY UNITED - C Winn; C Horgan, L Grace, S Folan, M Ludden; K Devaney, A Byrne, D Cawley, G Holohan (C Melody 87), R Murray (G Shanahan 89); P Cunningham (E McCormack 76).

LIMERICK FC - B Clarke; J Crowe, T Whitehead, R Williams, D O'Connor; D Clarke (G Coughlan 60), B Hery, S Duggan, L Lynch (S Kenny 82); C Ogbene, R Tosi (J O'Flynn 59).

Rodrigo Tosi of Limerick in action against Stephen Folan of Galway United. Photo by David Maher/Sportsfile
Rodrigo Tosi of Limerick in action against Stephen Folan of Galway United. Photo by David Maher/Sportsfile

Ref - N Doyle (Dublin).

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