By Jim MacArdle
The Drogs were extremely unlucky to come up short in this one. Two late goals by the visitors snatched victory from the jaws of defeat after Levi Boardman had given the home side the lead half way through the first period of extra time.
With Sean Trimble suspended and Jordan Adeyemo unavailable, the Drogs welcomed William Hondermarck back to the starting eleven and Tom Adeyinka lined out with Levi Boardman up front.
The visitors proved to be a resilient and skilful team and they threatened the home defence from the kick off with their strong and intelligent running. They took the lead on 5 minutes when the Drogs defence failed to clear the ball properly and keeper Dan Grace had no chance when Limerick expertly converted their first chance of the game.
As the half progressed, the Drogs came into the game playing controlled football out from the back, with John Barry and Eoin McPhillips combining well on the left to provide a few chances for striker Boardman. When it looked looked like the Drogs were getting on top, they could only thank keeper Dan Grace, who magnificently tipped over an almost certain goal for the visitors on 32 minutes. A minute later the Drogs equalised when Lee McKevitt’s brilliant cross was expertly steered to the net by Boardman.
The Drogs should have had their second goal just on the stroke of half time when a great shot hit the bar and appeared to bounce down over the line with the keeper beaten, but play was waved on and the teams went in 1-1 at half time.
The Second half was a very competitive from the start and keeper Grace, who had one of his best games of the season, made a superb double save on the hour to prevent the visitors taking the lead. The Drogs eventually took the lead after much pressure on the visiting defence when another great cross from the right by Lee McKevitt was expertly headed to the corner of the net by Boardman. But a minute later the visitors surged down the middle and scored the equaliser from close range. The Drogs suffered another reverse in the 70th minute when Hondermarck received a straight red for an ill-judged tackle. At the end of 90 minutes the teams went in 2-2.
And so the teams went into extra time and the Drogs looked like they had victory secured when Boardman completed a great hat-trick half way through the first period, but the 10-man Drogs could not hold out when the visitors equalised with 5 minutes of extra time to go to make it 3-3. Boardman had another a great chance to give the Drogs the lead, but his shot was just wide. And in the dying minutes the visitors, showing great resilience, forced the winning goal with time running out.
This was another great display by the Drogs Under 19s , who received resounding round of applause as they left the field. The fact that six of the squad were on the first team panel this season augurs well for their progression into the senior ranks and is a testament to the great work of Manager Garret Dodrill and Head Coach Wayne Groves.
Team: Daniel Grace, Lee McKevitt, John Barry, Luke Ring, Dylan Connolly, Sean Cronin, Oisin Proudfoot, William Hondermarck, Tom Adeyinka,Levi Boardman, Eoin McPhillips
Subs: Ben Murphy, Frank Cabraley, Kyle Robinson, Leo Tang, Dylan Cullotty, Ryan Harte, Cian Quinn.