Russell prepared to fight for in-demand Gaffney

Limerick manager Martin Russell admits he faces a tough task in his attempts to keep hold of in-demand striker, Rory Gaffney who broke Derry City’s hearts on Friday night at Brandywell.

The in-form hitman from Tuam, took his season’s tally to 15 goals in all competitions when he netted the winning goal right at the death against the ‘Candy Stripes’ to earn a victory which drew Limerick level on points with Peter Hutton’s troops.

TOP FORM . . . 'Limerick striker, Rory Gaffney celebrates after scoring his side's winning goal at Brandywell on Friday night. Picture Margaret McLaughlin

TOP FORM . . . 'Limerick striker, Rory Gaffney celebrates after scoring his side's winning goal at Brandywell on Friday night. Picture Margaret McLaughlin

It was the 25 year-old’s 10th goal in 11 appearances - the kind of form which has reportedly alerted the interest of several clubs in the League of Ireland and earned him the Soccer Writers’ Association of Ireland ‘Player of the Month’ award.

Therefore, Russell understands he will be facing a fight to keep hold of one the ‘Superblues’ finest talents next season.

“We’d be doing very well to keep hold of him,” admitted Russell. “When a player’s doing well for a club you can rest assured that there’s other clubs looking at him.

“Rory’s been doing really well for us but we’ll see how it goes,” he added. “He’s one we would like to keep in the pack if we could, that’s for sure.”

It was Gaffney’s 90th minute strike which sealed a deserved victory for Limerick in the end - three points which brings them level with Derry - and Russell was surprised to learn it was his side’s first ever win on Foyleside.

“I find that a bit strange but if that’s the case then, well that’s good as well,” he smiled. “We want to try and be competitive and we’ve played one or two players who we wanted to have a look at but we want to finish as high up the league as we can.

“It was a good result because we knew whatever side Derry put out they would be competitive. But we played well and in the second half we had a bit more of a cutting edge in terms of getting our shots on goal.

“I think both sides gifted each other a goal apiece but we’re delighted to come out the right side of the result.

“Both sides tried to play which made it an entertaining game,. We still want to get as many points on the board as we can so we’re glad we got the winner late on.”