Paul Keegan 48+ pen

Killian Cantwell s/o 50

First Division

Carlisle Grounds
12 Jul 2019

Douglas rises highest
pic: Peter Minogue

Bray's string of poor results came to an end in the Carlisle Ground when they came out at the right end of a single-goal scoreline.

The Wanderers had the better of the rare chances in a first half of largely unbroken dullness, extended by two minutes for no discernible reason by Referee David Dunne.

And it was during that added time that Clyde O'Connell barged Dylan McGlade as the latter powered towards the endline, resulting in the award of a penalty.

Bray captain Paul Keegan swept the ball confidently from the spot to the back of Jack Brady's net, resulting in an unexpected home lead at the break.

Bray had seen defender Killian Cantwell booked for a challenge on Lee Devitt before the match had got into any sort of stride, which would prove problematic later on.

But the home side began to show intent eleven minutes in when Richie Purdy chased a long ball towards the endline, but could only manage a weak square ball that Jack Brady caught neatly.

That was followed by the first significant Bray attack, a speculative shot parried well by Brady, and Keegan following up saw a shot deflected into the path of Dean Williams, but the offside flag put an end to the move.

Williams was instrumental in the next serious move, feeding Dylan Barnett, whose power drive rocked Brady's near post, but no-one in green was near enough to follow through.

Minutes later, Kieran Hanlon skied a long-range effort in the general direction of Gabriel Sava, and missed.

As the break neared, McGlade was in action, sidefooting a distance effort following a mazy run across the line of the penalty area but at least 20m out, and cleared the bar by a marrow margin.

In the final minute of regulation time, the same player forced Brady into a fine diving save, and it was he of course whose fall under the attention of O'Connell in the unexplained time added led to Bray leading when the whistle went.

The restart featured a rare second kick-off, when Limerick players encroached on the Bray half before the whistle.

And thereafter play wasn't more than five minutes in progress when Cantwell earned a second caution and a dismissal when he pushed Limerick's Tomás O'Connor.

But the ensuing free, just outside the area, flew high off the wall and was easily cleared away.

Brady had to come forward to claim Barnett's deep pass to the front of the area minutes after that, and a Keegan free from a dangerous position, taken short to McGlade, was snuffed out by an offside flag towards a crowded area.

Bray continued to have great difficulty in finding each other with the ball, and several promising movements came to an end that way, as they had in the first period.

When Limerick conceded a corner on the hour, Seán Heaney headed Barnett's flag-kick firmly into the net only for the Referee to award a free out.

But that was as good as the second half got for the visitors, despite their picking up their intensity especially in the final twenty minutes.

Midway through, O'Connor arced a 25m effort so high that Sava had to step forward to catch it, while at the far end some moments thereafter Brady scrambled to keep the ball in play and failed, but Bray failed to repeat their set-piece pattern.

With five minutes remaining, McGlade brought another fine diving save from Brady, and in the final minute at the other end Hugh Douglas, who had picked up what appeared to be a harsh caution, cleared one of Limerick's rare shots on target off the line.

The award of not less than five minutes time added may have given travelling fans a faint hope that lightning might find the same spot again, but apart from an over-optimistic high ball from captain Shaun Kelly their wishes were in vain.

Mícheál Ó hUanacháin

Bray Wanderers: 1 Gabriel Sava; 4 Killian Cantwell , 2 Hugh Douglas , 5 Seán Heaney, 3 Dylan Barnett; 11 Derek Daly, 6 Paul Keegan (c) , 8 Philip Gannon, 24 Richie Purdy; 10 Dylan McGlade; 18 Dean Williams
Subs: 14 Jake Ellis (for Purdy 72), 15 Darragh Gibbons (for Gannon 74), 16 Adam Hayden (gk), 17 Luka Lovic, 19 Brandon McCann (for Williams 86), 20 Dylan Thornton, 22 Luke Nolan
Limerick: 1 Jack Brady; 2 Shaun Kelly (c) , 15 Tomás O'Connor, 6 Robert Williams, 11 Shane Tracy; 22 Karl O'Sullivan, 24 Darren Murphy, 21 Clyde O'Connell, 12 Lee Devitt; 8 Jason Hughes; 9 Kieran Hanlon
Subs: 16 Edmond O'Dwyer (for Murphy 14 inj), 17 Andy Quaid, 19 Ger Barry (for O'Dwyer 84), 20 Callan Scully, 25 Seán Madigan, 28 Adam Foley (for Hanlon 69 inj), 29 Alan Murphy
Referee: David Dunne

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