Owen Heary may well be applying to the FAI to see if his side can play cup games every week as the Gypies marched into the FAI Cup last 16 with a well deserved away win against Limerick. A goal and an assist for Man of the Match Steven Beattie put Bohs in control on a sandy Thomond Park pitch, though the away side were made to sweat for the last 15 when Rory Gaffney pulled one back for the hosts.

Compared to just 2 league wins in 15 games, Bohs have now won 4 out of 4 in the League Cup and FAI Cup. Boss Heary went back to basics with a direct 4-4-2 formation featuring Beattie and Dinny Corcoran up front. The selection of recognised defenders Roberto Lopes and Eoin Wearen in central midfield raised more than a few eyebrows, but the battling partnership flourished in a hard-fought victory, writes KEVIN FAGAN.


Heary made 4 changes from the well-beaten side of last Friday, with Corcoran, Wearen, Lopes, and Keith Buckley replacing Jason Byrne, Craig Walsh, Dave Mulcahy, and Karl Moore. In front of a paltry crowd of just 842, Bohs made the most of the summertime atmosphere to largely negate Limerick’s threat. The Gypsies had the better of the opening exchanges, and should really have been in front after 14 minutes. Steven Beattie showed great pace to beat Shaun Kelly, and his byline pull-back was enticing. Keith Buckley stepped over the ball nicely to leave Dinny Corcoran with a simple tap-in from 6 yards, but the striker somehow contrived to skew his shot off the post and wide.

Limerick themselves were cursing the woodwork a little over a minute later when a scramble from a long throw fell to Shane Duggan, but his hooked effort cannoned up off the crossbar and was cleared. That was as good as it got for the home side in the first half as Bohs slowly began to dominate. The lead goal was well deserved, and came 10 minutes from the half. Operating from the left flank, Paddy Kavanagh put in a lovely out-swinging cross that fell kindly for the on-rushing Beattie, who finished brilliantly from 14 yards on the half-volley. Barry Ryan had no chance, and Beattie celebrated passionately in front of the jubilant away fans.

The second half started just as positively for Bohs, and they should have had a second within 5 minutes. A swift counter attack fell to Buckley on the right wing, who put in a nice square ball for Corcoran on the penalty spot, but the striker again scuffed his shot, this time well wide. If Corcoran is a confidence player, it must be very low at the moment. Happily, the misses didn’t matter as Bohs got the comfort-goal on the hour mark. Another swift counter attack clearance set Beattie free down the right, and his acrobatic hooked pass sent Paddy Kavanagh through on goal. Kavanagh just about got the ball around the diving Ryan, steadied himself, and squeezed the ball past Stephen Folan on the line. Kavanagh also came away with a goal and an assist which will delight his manager.

With 20 minutes to go, Limerick struck back. Rory Gaffney flattened Dan Byrne in the build-up, which meant he was free to be slipped in on the left channel. His curling shot could have been saved by Dean Delany, but the keeper’s hand wasn’t strong enough. Although the goal might have galvanised the home side, Owen Heary’s men were solid at the back and in midfield. Happily for their nerves, no clear cut chances arose for the home side in the last 20. There was no doubting the Man of the Match as Beattie continuously relieved pressure with lung-bursting runs and terrific hold-up play. Strangely marooned at right back for much of the early part of the season, the Skerries man showcased his pace and power in a terrific display. With just 7 Premier Division teams left in the last 16, Bohs can dream of an FAI Cup run to match their EA Sports Cup form. Next week sees a return to League action and a crunch game with Bray Wanderers on the seaside.

Limerick FC: Barry Ryan, Shaun Kelly, Stephen Folan, Samuel Oji, Shane Tracy (Ross Mann 25), Patrick Nzuzi (Kieran Hanlon, 89), Shane Duggan, Darragh Rainsford (Tony Whitehead, 63), Danny Galbraith, Tam McManus, Rory Gaffney. Subs Not Used: Shane Cusack, Michael Leahy, Shane Costelloe, Barry Sheedy.

Bohemians: Dean Delany; Derek Pender (Dave Mulcahy, 46), Aidan Price, Roberto Lopes, Dan Byrne; Eoin Wearen, Anto Murphy, Keith Buckley (Craig Walsh, 77), Paddy Kavanagh; Steven Beattie (Kevin Devaney, 88), Dinny Corcoran. Subs Not Used: Gavin Moore, Stephen Traynor, Jason Byrne, Karl Moore.

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