Limerick 37 5; Waterford United 1
Despite the fact that they received the good news that they will probably be awarded two extra points from the game which they drew against Athlone Town two weeks previously, due to the fact that the Midlanders allegedly broke some sort of rule, the players of Waterford United turned in their worst display for many a long day in Limerick on Friday night last.
Perhaps the news that they had two extra points worked against them on the night but whatever the reason this was a most extraordinary performance by a Waterford side who would appear to have a big fear of winning the league title. They were totally outclassed in every department and the only surprising fact was that they did not lose by a bigger margin.
Just how Gareth Cronin will lift his troops for Friday’s massive game against Dundalk is anyones guess. A few seasons ago the Blues were thumped 5-0 by Shelbourne when Mike Kerley was the manager but the former United boss certainly had the last laugh on Friday last. His young Limerick outfit tore Waterford apart and they could prove to be a good bet to get promoted next season.
Limerick took the game to Waterford from the outset and they pinned the visitors back during the opening minutes and it came as no surprise when they took the lead after 14 minutes. Wayne Colbert got in a cross from the right and Dave Ryan was given far to much space and he headed home with ease from 14 yards. Waterford equalised 2 minutes later when the referee Paul Caschear adjudged that Paul Danaher took down Vinny Sullivan inside the box and Gary Dunphy made no mistake from the penalty spot.
The hosts regained the lead on 37 minutes when Paul Danaher took advantage of a mistake by goalkeeper Pakie Holden who failed to catch a corner kick taken from the right by Dave Ryan and he found the net with his head from close range. David Grincell replaced Gary Dunphy for the second half and he did look dangerous for a short period but it was Limerick who scored once again on 55 minutes. Stephen Quigley, the Blues right full back took down Gary Sheehan which gave Paul Walsh, the Waterford born player the chance to score for Limerick from the spot, a task he completed with class.
Gary Sheehan made it 4-1 on the hour mark when he raced 30 yards with the ball before angling a low shot past Pakie Holden from the left. The roof fell in completely on Gareth Cronin’s men 6 minutes later when Paul Walsh got in a low cross from the right and when the Waterford defence only half cleared the danger, 17 year old Jason Hughes hammered the ball into the net from just inside the penalty area. The Limerick outfit teased and tormented Waterford during the remainder of the game. At that stage many of the loyal Waterford supporters were half way back home. Dreadful, truly dreadful.
Limerick 37: Dave Ryan, Tommy Barrett, Brian Cleary, Paul Danaher, Pat Purcell, Wayne Colbert, Thomas Lyons, Dave Ryan, Gary Sheehan, John Tierney, Paul Walsh. Subs. Jason Hughes for Lyons (52 mins) Peter White for Purcell (56 mins) Colin Scanlon for Ryan (82)
Waterford United: Pakie Holden, Stephen Quigley, Robbie Clarke, David Breen, Kenny Browne, Gary Dunphy, Luke Fitzpatrick, Paul McCarthy, Vinny Sullivan, Willie John Kiely, Kevin Waters. Subs. David Grincell for Dunphy (H-T) Karl Bermingham for Kiely (63 mins) Kieran Fitzgerald for Waters (68 mins)
Referee: Paul Caschear (Dublin)