Drogheda United have certainly put their play-off disappointment of last season behind them. They claimed the First Division title and with it automatic promotion on the last day of the season as they beat Cabinteely 2-0 in Stradbrook. James Brown and Luke Heeney with the goals as Cabinteely played most of the game with ten men after Jonny Carlin was sent off in the first half and then Kevin Knight missed a penalty in the second half.
Bray Wanderers finished second as they were 1-0 winners away against Athlone Town in the Athlone Town Stadium, Ryan Graydon with the game’s only goal. UCD finished third as they drew 2-2 with Galway United in Eamon Deacy Park when Evan Weir got both of their goals. Stephen Christopher and Shane Duggan got the goals for Galway who qualified for the play-offs. Rounding off the play-off positions were Longford Town who finished fourth.
They were beaten 2-1 by Wexford FC in Ferrycarrig, Karl Ftizsimons and Jack Doherty on the scoresheet while Dylan Grimes scored for Longford. The remaining game was a goalless draw between Cobh Ramblers and Shamrock Rovers II in St. Colman’s Park. So that meant in the play-off semi-finals, Galway were away to Bray and Longford were away to UCD.
An 81st minute goal from Wilson Waweru gave Galway a 1-0 win in the Carlisle Grounds. They will face Longford in the play-off final. The midlanders beat UCD 3-2 after extra time in the Belfield Bowl. Colm Whelan and Yousef Mahdy scored for UCD with Joe Gorman getting two for Longford while Dean Byrne got the winner in the 121st minute. The play-off final will be played on Friday night.
There were two games in the Premier Division. St. Patrick’s Athletic and Dundalk played out a 1-1 draw in Richmond Park. Pat Hoban gave Dundalk the lead with Robbie Benson getting the equaliser against his former club. Champions Shamrock Rovers won 2-0 away against Finn Harps, Joey O’Brien and Max Murphy with their goals.
There was one quarter-final played in the Extra.ie FAI Cup and it produced a shock as Athlone beat Premier Division side Shelbourne 4-1 in the Athlone Town Stadium. Dean George got a hat-trick while Scott Delaney got the other goal, while Ciaran Kilduff got one for Shels.
The other big news from the week was that FORAS, who are the supporters’ trust who run Cork City, voted to sell the club to Grovemoor Limited who are owned by Preston North End’s owner Trevor Hemmings. Grovemoor paid €1 but have taken on all outstanding liabilities that the club has as they look to rebuild and prepare for life in the First Division next season.