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Comment & Analysis | Sport

Five talking points from the League of Ireland

SSE Airtricity League Premier Division, Dalymount Park, Dublin 15/4/2016 Bohemians vs Shamrock Rovers Bohs' of Rovers Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Ryan Byrne
Crowd trouble arises during Bohemians match against Shamrock Rovers (Photo: Inpho)

Dundalk stay on top

Reigning champions Dundalk maintained their position at the top of the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division, although they had to work hard to earn a narrow 1-0 victory over Sligo Rovers at Oriel Park.

The Lilywhites struggled throughout to break down their stubborn and well-organised visitors, but the decisive moment of the game arrived seconds before half-time, when referee Ben Connolly ruled that Brian Gartland was wrestled to the ground by Mick Leahy as a corner came in, and pointed to the penalty spot.

Ronan Finn made no mistake from 12 yards, to claim his fourth goal in his last two games and his fifth of the campaign.

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Sligo’s troubles continue, with no wins and just three goals scored in the first eight league games of the season.

Rovers triumph in Dublin derby

It was a good night for Shamrock Rovers as they powered their way to 4-0 win over arch-rivals Bohemians at Dalymount Park, in a game that was halted temporarily towards the end due to crowd trouble.

The result was Rovers’ biggest league win over Bohs since a 7-1 win in January 1964 at Milltown, and unceremoniously ended Bohs’ unbeaten home record.

Brandon Miele was the hero for the Hoops, scoring twice after Gary McCabe had given Pat Fenlon’s side a half time lead, and Gavin Brennan wrapped up a comprehensive win with a fine effort into the top corner with 12 minutes remaining.

Brennan’s goal provoked some unfortunate scenes, with a handful of Bohs fans racing towards their Rovers counterparts, and Gardai managed to calm the situation down after some fighting broke out and missiles were thrown.

Bohs issued a statement in the immediate aftermath of the game, which said that “The club will work closely with stewards and An Garda Síochána to identify the individuals responsible.”

McClean strike saves a point for Derry

Derry City had to come from behind to earn a point from a 1-1 draw against Longford Town at City Calling Stadium, but the game was notable for the emergence of a familiar Derry footballing name.

Substitute Patrick McClean, 19, brother of West Bromwich Albion and Ireland winger James who also started his career at the Brandywell, scored a spectacular first goal for the Candystripes, after they fell behind to a first half goal from Longford’s David O’Sullivan.

Longford had led from the 26th minute, after O’Sullivan beat Derry keeper Ger Doherty with a header from a Kevin O’Connor corner.

But McClean made his mark in spectacular style, with a 35-yard left-foot shot into the top right-hand corner of Longford keeper Paul Skinner’s net for an equaliser 17 minutes from time.

The goal means Derry are still the only Premier Division team to score in every game this season, although they lost ground on leaders Dundalk but remain in second spot two points behind.

Comfortable win for Saints

St Patrick’s Athletic cruised to an emphatic 4-0 home win against Wexford Youths, who finished with ten men after star striker Danny Furlong was red carded.

Conan Byrne was star man for Saints, delivering a cross for Mark Timlin to head the opener on six minutes, and four minutes later Christy Fagan, winner of the Player of the Month award earlier in the week, added a second with his seventh goal of the season when he converted a Timlin centre.

It was 3-0 on 32 minutes when Byrne fired an unstoppable shot into the top corner, after collecting a deflected Billy Dennehy effort, and added his second 12 minutes into the second-half with another good finish from a Dennehy pass.

Directly after the goal, it got even worse for Youths as Furlong received a straight red card from referee Robert Harvey.

Galway and Cork share the points

Galway United failed to win at home for the first time this season, as they twice conceded a lead to Cork City in an entertaining 2-2 draw at Eamonn Deacy Park.

The Tribesmen led twice, with Vinny Faherty opening the scoring after just four minutes but his effort was cancelled out by a fine solo effort from Stephen Dooley for the visitors 15 minutes later.

Gary Shanahan restored the hosts’ lead with a fine lob over Mark McNulty to give Galway the advantage at half time, but the Leesiders were level at the midway point in the second half when home defender Kilian Cantwell turned a corner kick into his own net.

In an exciting finish, there were chances created at both ends, with Cork substitutes Mark O’Sullivan and Danny Morrissey going close before Galway replacement Padraic Cunningham struck the woodwork.


Premier Division

Bohemians 0 Shamrock Rovers 4, Dundalk 1 Sligo Rovers 0, Finn Harps 1 Bray Wanderers 0, Galway United 2 Cork City 2, Longford Town 1 Derry City 1, St. Patrick’s Athletic 4 Wexford Youths 0.

First Division

Cobh Ramblers 2 Athlone Town 2, Limerick 3 Cabinteely 0, UCD 2 Drogheda United 2, Waterford United 1 Shelbourne 4


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