With the league title wrapped up by Dundalk and Shamrock Rovers assured of finishing runners-up, the focus now is on the race for third place. Going into the weekend’s action in the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division, it was Derry City who occupied the spot as Bohemian FC and St. Patrick’s Athletic were both hot on their heels.
Derry were away to the champions on Oriel Park. They were beaten 1-0 with Daniel Kelly getting the game’s only goal in the 64th minute. St. Pats were home to Waterford in Richmond Park as they were beaten 2-0 in what was the first defeat for their new manager Stephen O’Donnell. It was on-loan striker Michael O’Connor who scored both goals for Waterford.
He joined from Linfield in the summer, and his first was a penalty. So a win for Bohs would mean that they would leapfrog Derry into third and with it, the chance of European football next year. They were home to Cork City in Dalymount Park. Cork haven’t won a game since they appointed their new manager Neale Fenn.
That run continues as a goal in the 47th minute from Derek Pender was enough to give Bohs a 1-0 win. For Cork, they haven’t yet escaped the shadow of the relegation play-offs. They are now only six points clear of Finn Harps with five games left to play. Harps took on bottom side UCD in Finn Park with the sides playing out a goalless draw.
It also finished goalless in the other game in the Premier Division: the clash of the Rovers between Sligo and Shamrock in the Showgrounds. The game was slightly overshadowed by the news that Dermot Desmond is looking to purchase 25% of the club for a fee believed to be €2,000,000. Desmond is the largest shareholder in Celtic and these proposals will be voted on by the club’s members at an upcoming general meeting.
The playoff process has begun in the First Division. Cabinteely took on Longford Town on Friday night in Stradbrook. The tie remains finely poised ahead of the second leg tonight in City Calling Stadium as it finished 0-0. Cabinteely will be without the services of Kevin Knight for that game as he was sent off in the 86th minute.
The winners will take on Drogheda United for the right to play either Finn Harps or Cork City. This all means that Drogheda will be waiting three weeks for their next competitive fixture.