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Comment & Analysis | Sport

Five talking points from the League of Ireland

Dundalk fans

David’s double secures the points for Dundalk

Two goals from David McMillan ensured that champions Dundalk continue to set the pace at the top of the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division, after a 2-1 win over Galway United at Oriel Park that was more comfortable than the narrow scoreline suggests.

Unusually slack finishing and a fine display by Conor Winn in the Galway goal meant that there was only 20 minutes left before Stephen Kenny’s men broke the deadlock, McMillan firing home after good lead up play from Daryl Horgam and Robbie Benson.

McMillian doubled his tally eight minutes later with a chip over the out of position Wynn in the Galway goal, and it proved to be decisive as Eric Foley reduced the deficit in stoppage time for Galway with a consolation goal.

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City stay second

Cork City manager John Caulfield warned his side that with Dundalk showing formidable momentum at the moment, the need to stay in touch at the top of the table is crucial, and his players obliged with a 2-0 win at Bray Wanderers that keeps them in second place.

Two goals in the space of four second half minutes sealed victory for the Leesiders, who remain four points off the top.

Greg Bolger and Kevin O’Connor combined to set up Sean Maguire for the opener, with a volley on the turn taking him to six goals for the season, and Bray goalkeeper Peter Cherrie had a moment to forget soon afterwards when he failed to collect a corner kick, and the ball slipped from his grasp and into the path of Karl Sheppard who beat him from close range.

Kenny candid about Derry’s position

A well worked goal from Barry McNamee earned Derry City a 1-0 win at St Patrick’s Athletic to keep them in the top three, five points behind Dundalk, although afterwards City manager Kenny Shiels said that he felt his team were in “a false position”.

“We are not as good as that, but we’ve had a wee bit of luck along the way, we are getting rubs at the right time, and long may it continue,” said Shiels.

“We are trying to make sure we compete with the best teams, and St Pats are one of the best teams. We want to be a good team and are working towards that.

“Our organisation during the game was good, and it was a very good goal. The passage of play was good and I think this league needs football like that.”

Although his side are now in 6th place in the table, Pats manager Liam Buckley insisted they shouldn’t be written off yet.

“We’ve lost five league games now, in previous years we wouldn’t have lost that many in a season,” he said.

“The expectation is that we will be in the top three or four every year, and we do believe we will be there this year. We’ve got enough good players to make a difference, we’re just not firing on all cylinders at the moment.”

Second half show sees Hoops through

An inconsistent start to the season has produced some speculation over the position of Shamrock Rovers manager Pat Fenlon, but his side enjoyed the rub of the green they needed with an own goal and a goalkeeping mistake helping them to a 2-0 win at bottom of the table Longford Town.

The first half delivered little in the way of goalscoring chances or entertainment, and it took an own goal just after the hour to break the deadlock, Jamie Mulhall turning a Dean Clarke cross into his own net.

Rovers wrapped up victory after an unfortunate error by Longford’s 19 year old substitute goalkeeper Ian Molloy, who slipped on the wet surface as he attempted to clear the ball, leaving Danny North a clear run in to tap home a second goal.

The win moved the Hoops into fourth place, while Longford are still without a win since the opening day of the season.

Perfect ten for Limerick

Limerick rounded off a good week’s work with a 3-0 win at Cobh Ramblers that maintained their 12 point lead at the top of Division One.

Earlier in the week, the Blues advanced to the semi-finals of the EA Sports Cup with a comfortable 2-0 win over Premier Division opponents Galway United, a result that earned a semi-final tie at Derry City in August.

The return to league action saw them cruise to their tenth straight league win, with goals from Shane Tracy, Lee-J Lynch and Sean Russell making it a perfect ten straight league wins.

It was a result that also continued the trend of goals being spread around the team, with the 12 Blues goals scored in the last three games having nine different individual scorers.


Premier Division – Bray Wanderers 0 Cork City 2, Dundalk 2 Galway United 1, Finn Harps 0 Bohemians 0, Longford Town 0 Shamrock Rovers 2, Sligo Rovers 4 Wexford Youths 1, St Patrick’s Athletic 0 Derry City 1.
First Division – Athlone Town 1 Drogheda United 2, Cabinteely 0 Shelbourne 4, Cobh Ramblers 0 Limerick 3, Waterford United 3 UCD 1.


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