League of Ireland, Premier Division
Waterford FC 4 Limerick FC 1
They did it their way and they did it with pride and style. Waterford FC, back in the Premier League for the first time in ten years, brought the curtain down in style on their season at the RSC on Friday night last.The Blues defeated Limerick by four goals to one and secured a top four finish, which was simply beyond the expectations of supporters at the outset of the campaign.
Add in qualification for European football next season and you get some sort of idea of the enormous progress the club has made during the past nine months.
There were all sorts of ups and down along the way but all of the players displayed wonderful character and now we will start counting down the months to the start of 2019 season.
The game was less than three minutes old when Waterford won a penalty.
Barry Maguire took down John Martin inside the area and Dessie Hutchinson sent the Limerick keeper Jack Brady the wrong way from the spot.
The crossbar denied the Blues a second goal on ten minutes when Izzy Akinade struck the post after Dessie Hutchinson’s free-kick came back off the woodwork.
Limerick levelled seconds later from a breakaway attack when Connor Ellis crossed to Colm Walsh-O’Loghlen who steered a right-footed shot past keeper Matt Connor.
The Blues regained their lead less than two minutes later when Hutchinson sent in a brilliant free kick to the back post to Garry Comerford who planted a header to the net for his first league goal of the season.
Ellis had a chance on15 minutes to equalise for a second time when he got space but his shot was inches wide of the far post. Izzy Akinade should have stretched the Waterford lead on 31 minutes when he raced onto a through ball from John Martin, but he shot straight at keeper Brady from deep inside the penalty area.Bastien Héry turned provider for Derek Daly on 56 minutes but his shot whistled inches wide of the far post. John Martin had a good chance minutes later when he took a ball from Hutchinson but he couldn’t direct his effort on target.
The Blues grabbed a third goal on 63 minutes when Izzy Akinade was brought to ground 22-yards from goal and Dessie Hutchinson’s free kick took a deflection off the Limerick wall and wrong-footed Jack Brady.Waterford scored their fourth goal seven minutes later when Gavan Holohan, who had only replaced Dean O’Halloran, whipped in a cross to John Martin and he beat keeper Brady with a brilliant header. Holohan had another chance for the Blues on 73 minutes but his cracking shot was tipped over the crossbar by the Limerick keeper.