Sport League of Ireland

Thursday 22 February 2018

O'Flynn's late strike earns Limerick a second shot at Sporting


Ruaidhri O'Connor

Ruaidhri O'Connor

Stephen O'Flynn's injury-time equaliser forced FAI Ford Cup holders Sporting Fingal into a second replay against Division 1 opposition in a row at Morton Stadium.

The goal capped a remarkable comeback for Pat Scully's Limerick who fought back from being 2-0 down at the break and played the last 20 minutes with 10 men.

The small crowd had barely settled in their seats at Morton Stadium before the holders went in front. Ronan Finn was at the heart of a slick passing move that saw Gary O'Neill thread the ball through for the midfielder, who took the chance well.

Conan Byrne doubled the lead, meeting Shaun Williams' cross-field ball with an inch-perfect volley to beat Davy Ryan. But Limerick came out fighting after the break and Pat Purcell pulled a goal back within five minutes of the restart as Shane Treacy's corner found the centre-half unmarked, and he headed in off the post.

The goal seemed to fill the visitors with belief and although Ollie Cahill went close for Sporting, it was Limerick who looked the more likely to score next as Quigley did well to deny Shane Clarke and Tierney fired the rebound over.

Garbhan Coughlan went close, while Clarke had a shot saved but just as Fingal weathered the storm, Tracy picked up a second yellow for an over-zealous challenge on Byrne.

His side's chance looked to have gone with him, but Fingal failed to deal with another set-piece and the ball fell to O'Flynn who bundled home to force a replay at Jackman Park on Monday night.

SPORTING FINGAL -- Quigley; O'Brien (Gannon 93) Maher, Browne, Frost; McFaul, Williams, Finn (Kirby 88); Byrne, O'Neill, Cahill (Zayed 83).

LIMERICK -- D Ryan; Kelly, Stanley, Purcell, Judge; Kiely (Clarke h-t), O'Sullivan, Tracy, Tierney; B Ryan (Coughlan 60), O'Flynn.

REF -- D Hancock (Dublin).

Irish Independent

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