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Five talking points from the League of Ireland

SSE Airtricity League Premier Division, Taillight Stadium, Dublin 1/4/2016 Shamrock Rovers vs Galway United Brandon Miele of Rovers celebrates scoring the first goal of the game with Gavin Brennan Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Donall Farmer
Brandon Miele of Shamrock Rovers celebrates scoring the first goal of the game against Galway United (Photo: Inpho)

Dundalk held at home in table top clash

The top of the table clash at Oriel Park between Dundalk and Derry City ended in a 1-1 draw, with both sides reduced to ten men in what was at times a bad tempered game.

Dundalk were left rueing their wastefulness in the first half, which they dominated, but only had a single goal to show for their efforts at the break.

The goal arrived in the fourth minute and was a well worked effort, with a quickly taken free kick from Dundalk captain Stephen O’Donnell finding Ronan Finn, who darted into the box and laid  the ball into the path of David McMillan, who beat Derry keeper Ger Doherty with a neat finish.

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Early in the second half, Dundalk’s Chris Shields was dismissed after a second bookable offence, and it got worse for Dundalk at the midway point of the half when Derry scored with their only real chance of the game.

A quick counter attack set up a shooting chance for Rory Patterson, whose effort from the edge of the box struck the post and fell kindly to Barry McNamee who followed up to fire home the equaliser.

Shortly afterwards Derry were also reduced to ten men when Conor McCormack received his second yellow card of the game, and now has the unusual record of being sent off on each of his last three appearances against Dundalk.

Both sides remain tied level on points at the top of the Premier Division table.

Hoops keep up the pressure at the top

Goals in each half from Brandon Miele and substitute Trevor Clarke saw Shamrock Rovers through to a 2-0 win over Galway United at Tallaght Stadium.

It was the fourth victory in five games for Pat Fenlon’s side, and a result which moved them to a point behind Dundalk and Derry at the top.

Miele pounced on slackness in the Galway defence to fire past Kevin Horgan from 20 yards to put Rovers ahead with his second goal of the season, and although Galway threatened at times in thesecond half Rovers defended their one goal lead well and took their chance to seal the game late on.

An error by Paul Sinnott was seized upon by substitute Trevor Clarke, who beat Horgan at his near post to seal the win for the Hoops, and at 18 years and 6 days old he became the youngest Rovers player to score his first league goal since Barry O’Connor scored against UCD in 1989.

Sligo and Cork draw a blank

Sligo Rovers are still looking for their first win of the season, after a goalless draw with Cork City at the Showgrounds on Saturday night.

The result was Sligo’s first clean sheet of the new campaign. and the first goalless draw in either division so far this season, but the visitors missed a great chance to break the deadlock and collect all three points when top scorer Sean Maguire missed a second half penalty.

The penalty incident in the 55th minute was the main talking point from the game, and was awarded when Sligo goalkeeper Micheál Schlingermann brought down City’s Karl Sheppard in the penalty area.

Sean Maguire scored from the spot to earn his side all three points against Dundalk at Oriel Park a couple of weeks ago, but on this occasion he was denied by a save from Schlingermann low down to his left, denying the Cork striker his fifth goal of the campaign.

Wexford win at last

Shane Keegan’s Wexford Youths moved off the bottom of the table while recording their first ever Premier Division victory, with two goals from Paul Murphy earning them a 2-0 win over Bray Wanderers at Ferrycarrig Park.

Murphy opened the scoring with a deflected header in the 19th minute, and he rounded off a good night for Youths when he finished off Andy Mulligan’s left wing cross to give his side their first taste of top flight success, having taken just one point from their previous five games this season.

Limerick still on song

Limerick continued their thundering start to the season as they made it five consecutive league wins with a 5-1 defeat of Shelbourne at Markets Field on Saturday evening.

It’s looking like all bets are off already for the First Division title, with Martin Russell’s charges already seven points clear at the top, and having an impressive array of goalscoring firepower at their disposal.

They have now scored 25 goals in five games, and in their last three games six different scorers were on target against Cobh Ramblers, five different scorers against Athlone Town and five different scorers once more against Shels.


Premier Division

Bohemians 2 Longford Town 0, Finn Harps v St. Patrick’s Athletic (postponed), Shamrock Rovers 2 Galway United 0, Sligo Rovers 0 Cork City 0, Wexford Youths 2 Bray Wanderers 0.

First Division:

Drogheda United 4 Cabinteely 0, Limerick 5 Shelbourne 1, UCD 1 Athlone Town 1, Waterford United v Cobh Ramblers (postponed)


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