OPINION: Toothless League of Ireland media will never win over the barstoolers

Alan O’Brien 

It’s a little over a month now since I sat in Limerick’s Strand Hotel scribbling notes on Cork City’s televised Dalymount Park triumph. I should have been in Tallaght that night, commentating on a creditable Limerick FC draw. Instead, I was making the best of a bad situation, after running afoul of Shamrock Rovers director Mark Lynch. Continue reading

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Crocked Clifford opens the door for Cork City

Alan O’Brien 

The injury list continues to grow for Limerick FC. On Monday night, Conor Clifford became its latest addition. And the midfielder’s half-time departure here proved decisive in Cork City’s favour. Continue reading

Second half substitutions ignite lackadaisical Leesiders

Alan O’Brien 

This was not a vintage Cork City performance by any means. Beset by unforced errors, the off-colour Leesiders required Kieran Sadlier’s decisive impact to preserve their perfect home record. Limerick, error-prone as ever themselves, let the league leaders off the hook. Continue reading

Deja vu for Dundalk as Caulfield’s Cork impose their will again

Alan O’Brien 

When it comes to Cork City’s storied rivalry with Dundalk, there is nothing new under the sun. Friday’s latest chapter was almost a shot-for-shot rerun of the sides’ last Turner’s Cross engagement. The Lilywhites grabbed an unmerited point on that September occasion, thanks to a late Robbie Benson leveler.  Alas for Stephen Kenny, that was precisely where this tedious remake deviated from the original. Continue reading

Caulfield deserves plaudits for near-perfect away performance

Alan O’Brien 

John Caulfield is not a man inclined to rest on his laurels. A reinvigorated Dundalk pose a serious threat to Cork City’s recent double-winning hegemony. But anyone who doubts Caulfield’s stomach for the fight need only play back the 73rd minute of this near-perfect away performance. Continue reading

Barrett comes of age with timely tactical triumph

Alan O’Brien 

The learning pathway was always bound to be a bumpy one for 38-year-old Tommy Barrett. Thrown in at the Limerick FC deep end, with no senior management experience, the eviscerations Barrett suffered in Dundalk and Derry were not exactly unexpected. Continue reading

Limerick FC: 2017 Season in Review

Alan O’Brien 

Remaking Limerick FC’s patchwork squad is a challenge few would relish. And yet, just days after securing Premier Division football for 2018, Neil McDonald has already begun to tackle that herculean task. There will be no holiday for him. Both his future, and his reputation, rest on the outcome. He is, after all, only here because his predecessor failed to scale the same mountain. Continue reading

Analysis: Back-post Buckley breaks Limerick hearts

Alan O’Brien 

Less a cup semi-final, more an exercise in underlining the scale of squad surgery facing Neil McDonald this winter. Only 15 minutes of Cork City effort, laser-focused on Limerick’s left-flank, was required to seal the Leesiders’ third-straight FAI Cup final appearance. Continue reading

Analysis: Dundalk fail to beat Cork at their own game

Alan O’Brien 

Much like the celebratory title bubbly, still frustratingly iced tonight, Dundalk were Corked here. Stephen Kenny’s side tried, and failed, to beat the Leesiders at their own game. In the end, a scantly-deserved point proved a fortunate, but probably meaningless, outcome. Continue reading

Analysis: McDonald’s man-management vindicated by sweet Munster derby success

Alan O’Brien 

On a night of sweet vindication for Neil McDonald, Limerick FC defeated champions-elect Cork City to pull five points clear of the relegation zone. Continue reading