Report: Rovers 2-1 Limerick
First-half goals from Raffaele Cretaro and Kieran Sadlier earned Rovers a 2-1 victory over First Division leaders Limerick in a friendly at The Showgrounds this afternoon.
Cretaro opened the scoring after just four minutes, with Sadlier extending the lead after 24 minutes. Stephen Kenny halved the deficit for Limerick just after the hour mark, but they were unable to get a second.
Fresh from the mid-season break, Rovers looked lively from the off and came close through Liam Martin with just seconds on the clock, but he could only hit the side-netting.
Cretaro made his opportunity count, though, as he netted past a packed Limerick box to give Rovers the lead after just four minutes.
The 34-year-old could very well have doubled Rovers' lead when he ran on to a cross from the right by Kieran Sadlier, but Limerick limbs ensured it was forced wide.
Defender Regan Donelon was next to threaten Tommy Holland, but his long-range effort was also sent wide by a deflection.
Rovers did make their possession count, as Sadlier extended the lead to 2-0 after 24 minutes. Holland's clearance from a Cretaro shot fell into the path of Sadlier, and the 21-year-old looped the ball over his head.
Limerick did try force their way back ino the game, but they found that difficult as their best opportunity came from a Stephen Kenny free-kick, which failed to trouble Micheál Schlingermann, creeping wide of the target.
An excellent cross from Regan Donelon in the early stages of the second-half was perfect for Sadlier, who found himself one-on-one with Holland, but the 'keeper stretched wide to block the shot at goal.
Martin Russell's side did get a well deserved goal back just after the hour mark through the busy Kenny, who sent his effort low and hard past Schlingermann in goal.
Sadlier was proving a huge thorn in Limerick's side, and he almost got his second of the night when he was played in by Keohane. Under pressure with three Limerick players around him, Sadlier did excellently to turn and shoot at goal, but he could only hit the side-netting.
Sadlier tried his luck from long range again later on, but his effort went amiss.
Rovers team versus Limerick: Micheál Schlingermann (Ciaran Nugent, 63), Tobi Adebayo-Rowling (Jordan Richards, 63), Mick Leahy (Tim Clancy, 63), Gary Boylan (Philip Roberts, 69), Regan Donelon (Fintan Borotto, 63), Kieran Sadlier (Gary Armstrong, 85), Craig Roddan, Trialist A, Jimmy Keohane, Liam Martin, Raffaele Cretaro (Chris Lyons, 69).