Waterford FC continued their unbeaten run in the Under 17 Southern Elite Division after a 3-0 win against Limerick at the RSC on Saturday afternoon.
Limerick goalkeeper Cory McManus made a fantastic save to deny the Blues the lead goal on two minutes when Jack Larkin slipped the ball out to the right side for Darragh Power but his well-struck left-footed effort from 20 yards was superbly tipped around the posts.
The Blues struck the front with a magnificent move on nine minutes when Colm Whelan slipped the ball in for Regix Madika, who did brilliantly to find the timed run of Jack Larkin and he beat McManus with a neat left-footed finish from ten yards.
Larkin was denied a penalty two minutes later when the midfielder was tripped in the area by Limerick defender Joshua O’Rahilly but referee Gavin Keyes nor his assistant referee Ian O’Keeffe awarded the spot kick.
Jack O’Donnell should have doubled the lead for the hosts on 18 minutes when the attacker raced onto a brilliant through ball from Colm Whelan on the right-side of the penalty area but he dragged a right-footed shot wide of the far post.
It was the turn of Cory McManus to come to the rescue of the visitors from falling further behind on 24 minutes when a sweeping move involving Jack Larkin and Regix Madika saw the latter cross into the danger zone but Colm Whelan’s close-range effort was somehow kept out.
McManus produced another top save to deny a dominant Blues side their second goal of the tie with nine minutes remaining in the first half when Whelan sprayed the ball out to the right for Regix Madika but his low shot was saved by the legs of the visiting netminder.
Limerick carved out their first real chance of note and it could have seen the equalising goal on 48 minutes when Dylan Kelly Higgins sent in a cross for Brian Ahern from the left but his effort at the near post went just inches wide.
Lee Costello turned provider for Madika three minutes later with a delivery from the left but his header at the back post was narrowly wide before Ciaran Brennan was denied by another McManus save on 58 minutes after he raced onto a neat pass from Colm Whelan.
The second Blues goal that their performance deserved finally arrived with 63 minutes on the clock when Larkin set up Brennan, who showed his brilliance to skip past four challenges before slotting a right-footed shot from 12 yards to the left-corner past a helpless Cory McManus.
Blues keeper Charlie Heffernan was called into action to make his first save of the game with 78 minutes played when Lee Devitt got free on the right-side of the area in a one on one situation but his low effort was superbly kept out.
A third goal for the Blues arrived with six minutes remaining in the tie when Adam Conway cracked in a free kick from 25 yards that was parried by Limerick keeper Cory McManus and Jack Larkin was on hand to fire the rebound to the net from close range.
Waterford FC: Charlie Heffernan, Greg Waters, Torik Adegao, Adam Conway, Lee Costello (Mike Nzongong `59), Dean Beresford, Darragh Power (Sean Tracey `68), Jack Larkin, Regix Madika (Andrew Farrell `76), Jack O’Donnell (Ciaran Brennan `55), Colm Whelan (Kallum Broaders `76)
Limerick FC: Cory McManus, Andy Quaid, Joshua O’Rahilly (Philip Tatly `55), Keith Ryan, Tomas O’Connor, Liam O’Sullivan, Jack Joyce, Lee Devitt, Brian Ahern, Bradley McNamara, Dylan Kelly Higgins
Referee: Gavin Keyes assisted by Ian O’Keeffe and Jim Kealy