Ten-man Finn Harps saw their hopes of making the FAI Cup quarter-finals ended by Limerick FC at the Markets Field this evening.
Limerick FC 1 Finn Harps 0
Dave O’Connor netted the game’s only goal in the 64th minute as Limerick advanced to the last eight.
Harps saw winger Caolan McAleer – who is just back from a suspension – sent off in the 23rd minute.
McAleer will now miss Friday night’s League meeting of these sides and the Omagh native can expect an additional suspension to be heading his way, which will badly hurt Harps in the relegation battle.
O’Connor, who proved to be Limerick’s winner, was involved in the incident that led to McAleer’s dismissal, as he appeared to kick out at the Limerick man.
This was the first FAI Cup meeting of these clubs and a Chiedozie Ogbene effort was the only attempt of note in part one, but he shot off target.
Limerick, who had slipped into the relegation quagmire of late, made one change from the side which defeated Bohemians last weekend as Dean Clarke came in for Barry Cotter.
McAleer, along with Pascal Millien and Ibrahim Keita, came into the Harps side with Gareth Harkin, Sean Houston and Danny Morrissey all starting on the bench.
Ethan Boyle had to intervene to superbly cut out a Stephen Kenny cross that was destined for Rodrigo Tosi at the far post.
Limerick took on Garbhan Coughlan and it proved an inspired change as he set up the winner.
Bastien Hery and Lee-J Lynch did the spadework and when Coughlan crossed, O’Connor raced in to head home from close range.
Harps, who are back to the banks of the Shannon on Friday night for a crunch League game, couldn’t get back level and make their exit.
Limerick: Brendan Clarke, Dean Clarke, Tony Whitehead, Joe Crowe, David O’Connor; Stephen Kenny (William Fitzgerald ’61), Lee-J Lynch, Bastien Hery, Chiedozie Ogbene; Peter Berki (Garbhan Coughlan ’61), Rodrigo Tosi.
Finn Harps: Ciaran Gallagher; Damien McNulty, Killian Cantwell, Ethan Boyle; Caolan McAleer, Ciaran Coll, Paddy McCourt (Gareth Harkin ’62), Tommy McBride, Pascal Millien (Sean Houston ’80); Mark Timlin; Ibrahim Keita (Danny Morrissey ’78).
Referee: Anthony Buttimer (Cork).