SSE Airtricity League action returned with a bang to Oriel Park as Dundalk and Limerick played out an action packed eight-goal thriller.
It took the league leaders just four minutes to get down to business. Stephen O’Donnell, making his first start since the title decider with Cork City on the final day of last season, played a neat one two with Daryl Horgan before smashing the ball past his namesake, Conor, in the Limerick goal.
Martin Russell’s side were looking to end a run of six straight defeats but it looked a lost cause when Brian Gartland rose to head home Darren Meenan’s corner on the half hour mark.
Then came the third goal after 35 minutes. Ronan Finn opened up the Blues’ back four and David McMillan raced clear to lift the ball past O’Donnell for his first goal in eight league games.
The second half was even more dramatic with four more goals and a missed penalty on the menu.
McMillan made it 4-0 when he buried a drive past O’Donnell via
the underside of the crossbar in the 54th minute before Limerick pulled one back when Gary Rogers badly misjudged the flight of Sean Harding’s free-kick five minutes later.
Gartland restored the four-goal cushion when he flicked home another Meenan corner but more sloppy play at the back allowed the visitors in for a second goal in the 70th minute when Shane Duggan pounced on a poor header by Andy Boyle to prod the ball home.
Limerick were given a glimmer of hope five minutes later when they were awarded a penalty but Rogers redeemed himself when he stopped Shane Tracy’s spot-kick.
The scoring was rounded off when Limerick sub Tony Whitehead deflected a Jake Kelly cross into his net in the final minute.
DUNDALK – Rogers; Gannon, Gartland, Boyle, Massey; O’Donnell (Shields 60), Towell; Meenan, Finn, Horgan (Kelly 80); McMillan (Mountney 69).
LIMERICK – O’Donnell; Harding (Whitehead 86), Price, Williams, Tracy; Hughes (Mann 62), O’Conor, Duggan, Russell, Rainsford (Faherty 62); Clarke.
REF – Rob Rogers.