The League of Ireland Week In Football – Week 10
Leaders Sligo Rovers continued their excellent run of form by beating Drogheda United in a convincing 3-1 victory. Striker Danny North was again the main man for the Bit O’ Red, scoring two goals to take his tally to nine for the season.
The league’s other inform side St Patrick’s Athletic chalked up another impressive win. This time it was Derry City who would fall to Liam Buckley’s side, the final score of 2-0 in no way flattering the away side.
With ten games played, Sligo and St Pat’s both remain undefeated.
Slipping back to third in the table are Shamrock Rovers. Having taken a two goal lead into the break Rovers were expected to run out comfortable winners over UCD, but the Students had other plans. Having pulled one back from the penalty spot, an injury time equaliser by Paul O’Conor meant UCD took a share of the spoils and Rovers received a chorus of boos as the home fans tried to come to terms with them once again letting a lead slip.
Following a draw with Shamrock Rovers and win over Monaghan, confidence will have been high for Bray Wanderers coming into their game with Bohemians. That confidence will now have sky-rocketed as they once again claimed all three points, beating Bohs 2-1 with goals from Jason Byrne and Danny O’Connor.
Two Davin O’Neil goals and a Vinny Sullivan strike were just about enough for Cork City to see off Dundalk at Turners Cross. 3-2 was the final score in a game that was played in conditions which can only be described as horrendous.
There were three goals in the final thirty minutes at Tolka Park as Shelbourne came from behind to beat Monaghan United 2-1. Monaghan still have just the one solitary victory in the league so far.
Before that Shels v Monaghan game both teams were visited in their dressing rooms by the League Director, Fran Gavin.
Gavin felt the need to warn players that there had been reports of irregular betting patterns around the game, specifically betting around the awarding of a penalty.
Speculation and rumour abound but as yet there have been no more details have been released and the FAI do not appear to be looking to take the mater any further.
Monaghan did score from the penalty spot as it turned out. The rumour mill has it the bet was for them to concede a penalty however. It’s not the first time there’s been suspicion around betting on League of Ireland, Shels losing to Sherriff FC in the cup last year being the most high profile case in recent times.
My money is on the FAI sweeping this one under the carpet and no further action being taken.
Speaking of Monaghan…
Probably of more concern to Monaghan fans, and the league,are the reports emerging of their financial situation. Only ten games into the season the newly promoted side have apparently hit a financial shortfall.
At a general meeting this week the club outlined the need for an immediate injection of funds to keep the club operational in the Premier Division.
Monaghan currently lack a stadium or jersey sponsors having seen potential deals fall through in recent months. With Dundalk also apparently struggling to balance the books this is a worrying development, particularly at this early stage of the season.
Suggestions that Monaghan may have missed a payment of player wages is adding fuel to the betting scandal fire, but there has been no confirmation that any players have been left short of payments at this stage.
First Division & Women
Longford Town continued their dominance at the top of the table with a 1-0 victory over Wexford Youths.
Limerick remain four points behind them having beaten Mervue United 2-0, and it was the same scoreline out west as visitors Waterford United beat SD Galway in Terryland Park.
The remaining fixture saw Finn Harps lose for the third time in a row as they were defeated 2-1 at home to Athlone Town.
There was a bigger crowd in attendance at Tallaght Stadium on Sunday than at all four of those fixtures for the Women’s National League Cup Final. In a close contest Peamount United’s class showed through to win 1-0 and make it a league and cup double for The Peas. Champions League football now awaits.
The All Ireland Talent Show
The Setanta Sports Cup Final takes place this Saturday as Derry City take on Crusaders at The Oval,Belfast.
With Crusaders having to witness rivals Linfield complete the domestic double yet again this season and with Derry in indifferent form so far, both sides may equally see this as their only chance of silverware this season.
Both sides are without key players through injury, with Derry skipper Kevin Deery confirmed as a long term absentee with a dislocated knee-cap.
It’s a 4pm kickoff for the game which will be broadcast live on Setanta Ireland.
This Weekend’s Fixtures:
Friday 11th May
Bohemians v Drogheda United
Dundalk v Bray Wanderers
St. Patrick’s Athletic v Cork City
U.C.D v Shelbourne
Athlone Town v Mervue United
Waterford United v Longford Town
Wexford Youths v Finn Harps
SD Galway v Limerick FC
Saturday 12th May
Sligo Rovers v Shamrock Rovers
(live on RTE and rte.ie/live , 1.45pm k.o)
Setanta Sports Cup Final
Derry Cityv Crusaders
(Live on SetantaIreland, 4pm k.o)
Tuesday 15th May
Monaghan United v Derry City