Cockhill Celtic 0, Limerick 2
LIMERICK survived an early scare before cruising into the Irish Daily Mail second round with victory over Cockhill Celtic at the Charlie O'Donnell Park.
The Premier Division outfit could so easily have fallen behind to the Ulster Senior League side after five minutes when Cockhill striker, Gerard McLaughlin fluffed his lines with the goal at his mercy.
The Munster men upped the ante in the second half with a 30 yard strike from Killian Brouder three minutes after the break and a neat Barry Maguire finish on 74 minutes securing the win.
It was a brave effort from the Inishowen men who have just got their pre-season campaign underway and while they ran out of legs in the second half, they were made to rue that early missed goalscoring chance.
Indeed, it was glorious chance to take the lead with just five minutes on the clock. Skipper, James Bradley out-muscled Brouder, raced into the box before squaring the ball to Gerard McLaughlin who was free at the back post but he scuffed his shot wide from 10 yards.
It was a lucky escape for Limerick who were struggling to get to grips with the game but they did manage an effort on target on 13 minutes when Will Fitzgerald crossed from the right and Danny Morrissey headed into the hands of Cockhill player/manager, Gavin Cullen.
The home side looked dangerous from set-pieces and from a Gerry Gill corner Brouder bravely nipped in to head clear with Malachy McDermott lurking at the back post and Gerard McLaughlin headed the loose ball safely into the hands of Jack Brady on the half hour mark.
Mark Moran did well five minutes later when he brushed off the challenge of Shane Duggan before firing a half volley from 30 yards towards goal but Brady saved comfortably.
Limerick were bossing possession as the interval approached and Fitzgerald wasted a great chance after a neat passage of play as he blasted high over the bar from inside the box.
Tommy Barrett made a double substitution at the interval and it had the desired effect as the Blues edged in front.
Indeed, all of Cockhill's good work in the first half was undone three minutes after the break when Brouder's drilled strike took a slight deflection and found its way past the keeper from 30 yards. The player/boss will have been disappointed not to have got down in time to keep it out!
Cullen made an excellent save to deny Dennehy's powerful left foot strike on 66 minutes as the Blues began to churn through the gears.
Substitute, Karl O'Sullivan burst down the right flank before picking out Maguire and his low strike from 10 yards found the bottom corner on 74 minutes.
Conor Ellis found himself clean through on goal on 89 minutes but Cullen made himself big and produced a terrific save to deny the Limerick substitute.
The Cockhill keeper denied Dennehy what looked a certain goal at the death but Limerick had done enough to progress.
Cockhill Celtic: Cullen; Breslin, Doherty, McDermott, McColgan (Doherty 79); Moran, Gill, McLaughlin (D. Doherty 86), McLaughlin; Bradley; McLaughlin (Wesolowski 77); Subs Not Used - McKinney, Doherty, McLaughlin, McCallion.
Limerick: Brady; Kelly, Wearen, Brouder, Dennehy; Walsh-O'Loughlen (O'Sullivan h-t), Duggan, Murphy (Coleman h-t), Fitzgerald; Morrissey, Maguire (Ellis 76) ; Subs not Used - Holland, Tracy, O'Connor, McGowan, Dennehy, Foley, Barry, Cross, Kennedy.
Referee - Michael Connolly.