IT MAY only be five games into a 28-match season, but already there’s a sense that Limerick FC will canter to the First Division title in 2016.
Last weekend’s 5-1 home win over Shelbourne maintained the Super Blues’ 100% league record, took their ‘goals for’ tally to 25 within the opening month of the season and allowed them to open a seven-point gap at the top of the table.
For the second week in succession, all five goals were scored by five different players, with Garbhan Coughlan, Robbie Williams, John O’Flynn, Shane Duggan and Shane Tracy all finding the net.
The final score admittedly flattered Limerick to a degree, with the teams level going into the final quarter of the game before the home side demonstrated their superior quality and fitness.
Limerick manager Martin Russell acknowledged that it hadn’t all been pain sailing for his team on Saturday, although he was pleased with their response to Gavin Boyne’s equaliser and Limerick’s burgeoning goal count.
“I think there was a passage where, for about 15 minutes, we lost our way. It’s never ideal to concede but you’re looking for that test of character that we’ll come through and respond in the right manner, and we’ve done it already this season where teams have scored and we’ve replied with more goals.”
The Super Blues can push further clear of the pack this Friday with a win away to Drogheda United, although with the Louth side in second place, Russell is expecting this match to be far more closely contested than Limerick’s previous league games.
“We know the challenges that come ahead and we’ll look forward to Drogheda next week. They’ll fancy their chances at home. It’s another obstacle and they can get closer to us, but we’ll go there in a determined fashion not to let that happen.
“The players are doing what they can. They’re winning games, scoring goals and attacking. They’re accumulating points that have us in pole position and we’ve just got to keep it going. That’s the hard thing. It doesn’t stop today and everybody will want to be the ones to stop Limerick.”