Going into the last series of games in this season’s SSE Airtricity League Premier Division all eyes were on the race for the last European spot between Derry City and St. Patrick’s Athletic. Derry went into the week five points clear of St. Pat’s. That gap though was cut to two after the sides met in the Ryan McBride Brandywell on Tuesday night.
St. Pat’s won 3-1. Derry had opened the scoring in the game through David Parkhouse. Two goals from James Doona and one from Chris Forrester gave Stephen O’Donnell’s side the points. So going into the last round of games in this season’s league St. Pat’s were away to the champions Dundalk in Oriel Park. Derry welcomed their North-West rivals Finn Harps to the Ryan McBride Brandywell Stadium.
Both games finished 4-0 with St. Pat’s losing and Derry winning. The Candystripes claiming 4th in the league and with it the last European qualification spot. A great achievement for their manager Declan Devine. Junior Ogedi-Uzokwe with a hat-trick with Grant Gillespie getting the game’s other goal. That hat-trick for Ogedi-Uzokwe meant that he finished as the league’s top scorer.
His tally of 14 was one better than that of Dundalk’s Patrick Hoban. Hoban wasn’t among the scorers for his side in their 4-0 win against St. Pat’s. One was an own goal from St. Pat’s keeper Brendan Clarke and the others were scored by Dane Massey, Daniel Kelly and Georgie Kelly. So St. Pat’s will have to make do with a place in next season’s Tunnock’s Caramel Wafer Challenge Cup.
Joining them will be Waterford FC. They pipped Sligo Rovers for 6th place in the last game of the season. They beat relegated UCD 4-2 in the Regional Sports Centre. Shane Duggan, Walter Figueira, Zack Elbouzedi and Michael O’Connor scored their goals. Jack Keaney got both goals for UCD, both were from the penalty spot.
Sligo Rovers were beaten 2-1 by Bohemian FC in Dalymount Park. They did take the lead through Daryl Fordyce but goals from first Danny Mandroiu and then Derek Pender gave Bohs the win. For Pender it was a fairytale end to his career as he had announced he was retiring after a 17-year spell in the League. He had been with Bohs since 2011.
Shamrock Rovers warmed up for this weekend’s Extra.ie FAI Cup Final by beating Cork City 3-0 in the Tallaght Stadium. Jack Byrne, Lee Grace and Graham Burke with their goals. Going back to the Derry City against Finn Harps game it was notable that Harps manager Ollie Horgan was not in the dug-out for the game. He instead opted to go to United Park to watch the First Division play-off game between Drogheda United and Cabinteely.
Going into the game the sides were level at 1-1 after the first leg last week in Stradbrook. This game wasn’t as close. Drogheda turned on the style to win 5-1 on the night and 6-2 on aggregate and in the process set up a promotion/relegation showdown against Horgan’s Harps. Luke McNally scored a hat-trick for United with Chris Lyons and Jamie Hollywood getting a goal each. Kieran ‘Marty’ Waters scored for Cabinteely.
The first leg of the promotion/relegation play-off took place last night in United Park and it is advantage United. They beat Harps 1-0 with Lyons getting the game’s only goal in the 93rd minute. The second leg is this coming Friday in Finn Park.