Limerick v St Patrick's Athletic

6.30pm  24 June 2017

League of Ireland, Premier Division
Limerick 2 St Patrick's Athletic 2 (att 1,470)

I finished my 2016/17 football season, after a two week hiatus that's likely to be longer than my close season, with a yet another visit to Limerick ... Markets Field being the fifth different home ground I've seen them play on.

This time, more than any of the previous visits, they feel like a club on the up. The first two Limerick home games I saw, at Rathbane in 1997 and at Pike Rovers in 2004, each attracted less than 200 spectators to very basic venues.

Markets Field is a return to the ground they used before Rathbane, and having been spruced up into an impressive League of Ireland venue it was good to see a large and noisy crowd inside.

I last saw Limerick away to Dublin-based Cabinteely in October (last season in League of Ireland terms) when they were rounding off a successful division one campaign that saw them return to top flight football.

They've made a good to start back in the top tier, but were lucky to get a point from this game despite having a 2-0 lead early in the second half. The hosts scored the only goal of an even first half, but their second, a penalty not long after the break, was very much against the run of play.

St Patrick's went into the game at the foot of the table, but it didn't show and they continued to dominate possession even after going two behind. The two quick goals they got to earn a draw were much deserved, and although that was the end of the scoring it was the visitors who looked more likely to get a winner.

Markets Field is dominated by a large seated stand, with a smaller one behind the goal at the away end. The rest of the ground is open standing, with grass banks providing good vantage points behind the paved areas.

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