Jason Byrne celebrates - By Eddie Lennon


Oh, Jayo Jayo… 217 not out, the veteran striker scored yet another winning goal for his collection as Keith Long’s Bohemians leapt into the top 3 in the Airtricity League Premier Division. Just like Adam Evans in the previous game, substitute Byrne scored in the 84th minute to turn a disappointing result into a positive one. In a scrappy, scruffy contest played in wind and rain, Bohs certainly didn’t put in a stellar performance, but ground out a vital three points to continue their expectation-busting start to the 2015 season.

Bottom-dwelling Limerick came to Dalymount without a win this season, but were happy in the knowledge that they had a terrific record in Dublin 7 over the past couple of years. Martin Russell’s side caused the Bohs defence a lot of problems, but it was the guile and experience of Byrne coupled with astute tactical changes by his manager that won the night, writes KEVIN FAGAN.


The home side started at a fantastic pace. Instantly from the kick off, Paddy Kavanagh’s floating cross was inviting, and Roberto Lopes got there before Limerick keeper Conor O’Donnell, but the header dropped agonizingly over the crossbar. Many Bohs fans thought the ball had dropped in, but it wasn’t to be.

Adam Evans was restored to the starting line-up after his supersub appearance against Cork, and he went on a mazy run in the 10th minute that forced a corner. Lorcan Fitzgerald’s delivery was inch-perfect, and Derek Prendergast thumped a header into the net for his first goal for the club. There was a lovely touch with his celebration, as he put the ball under his shirt to celebrate the birth of his son on Wednesday.

Unfortunately for the 1200 fans who braved the shocking May weather, that was as good as it got for Bohs for the next hour. They sat back a bit, and allowed Limerick to gain a foothold in the game. Dean Clarke was a menace to the Gypsies back four. He had the pace to beat both Dave Mulcahy and Prendergast, and used it to good effect to get Limerick pushed up the field. This didn’t translate into any clear cut chances, but gave Russell’s team confidence going into the second half.

An equalizing goal was always a possibility, and when it arrived on 52 minutes, it was as scrappy as they come. A Robbie Williams corner was flicked to the back post where Lorcan Fitzgerald was caught off guard. It bounced off the left back to the feet of a delighted Dean Clarke who turned it in from three yards.

Keith Long’s response was to introduce Marc Griffin for Kealan Dillon in the no.10 role, and but he found himself deeper than he would have liked, with Limerick still looking the more likely to get a winner. However, Long’s final double salvo was the key to the victory. Byrne replaced the tireless but ineffective Dean Kelly, who didn’t have his best night. Keith Buckley replaced Robbie Creevy, and this was combined with a positional switch between Lopes and Mulcahy. The effect was almost instantaneous. Mulcahy’s ball forward was expertly flicked on by Byrne, and Adam Evans was through on goal. His low shot was well-saved by O’Donnell.

Next, it was Griffin who had a great chance. Buckley played it forward towards Byrne, whose deft dummy left three Limerick defenders dumbfounded. It was the best piece of skill on the night, and left Griffin clean through on O’Donnell. However, the sub’s left-footed effort was struck over the crossbar. It was left to the old stager to show them how its done. Byrne collected an Adam Evans cross with his back to goal about 14 yards out. His turn and snapshot had surprising pace, and O’Donnell couldn’t get down quick enough to stop it. The celebrations in front of Block G were as delirious as we’ve seen from a Bohs team in years. Magic.

There was still time for Paddy Kavanagh to fire wide with the goal at his mercy, and even Lorcan Fitzgerald had a late chance to seal it – but O’Donnell pulled off another brilliant save. However, it was 3 points in the bag, and the Gypsies head west to Galway for a league and EA Sports Cup double header next week.

Bohemians: Dean Delany, Derek Pender, Dave Mulcahy, Derek Prendergast, Lorcan Fitzgerald, Roberto Lopes, Robbie Creevy (Keith Buckley, 75), Paddy Kavanagh, Kealan Dillon (Marc Griffin, 66), Adam Evans, Dean Kelly (Jason Byrne, 77). Subs not used: Lee Steacy, James O’Brien, Stephen Best, Karl Moore.

Limerick FC: Conor O’Donnell, Sean Harding (Jason Hughes, 45), Robbie Williams, Shane Tracy, Darragh Rainsford. Paudie O’Connor, Paul O’Conor, Ian Turner, Shane Duggan,  Vinny Faherty (Kieran Hanlon, 78), Dean Clarke.  Subs not used: Tommy Holland, Aidan Price, Tony Whitehead, Val Feeney, Ross Mann.

Mr. Green Bohemian Man of the Match: Paddy Kavanagh


Website by Simon Alcock