Action concluded in the Premier Division of the SSE Airtricity League last Monday night with a full round of games. There was plenty at stake with a battle for 3rd and 4th place and also a fight at the bottom to avoid the relegation/promotion play-offs. Champions Shamrock Rovers finished the season unbeaten as they beat Shelbourne FC 2-0 in Tolka Park.
Jack Byrne and Aaron Greene with their goals. That win meant that if Finn Harps were to beat Waterford FC in Finn Park then Harps would leap frog Shels into 8th place. They duly obliged, Ollie Horgan’s side won 1-0 thanks to a first half goal from Adam Foley. Shels will now take on Longford Town in the play-off final which takes place this coming Sunday.
That game had a knock on effect on the one in Oriel Park. Dundalk last year’s champions were taking on Sligo Rovers. A win for Dundalk would ensure they finish 3rd while a win for Rovers would see them with a chance of finishing 4th. Rovers hadn’t won in Oriel since 2016 but won 2-0 on the night. Jesse Devers got their first in the first half and Ronan Coughlan got the second deep in stoppage time.
With Harps having beat Waterford Rovers finished 4th and have a great chance now of qualifying for Europe depends on who wins the Extra.ie FAI Cup. Dundalk ended up finishing 3rd and ensuring they qualified for Europe for the 8th season in a row. It will be somewhat of a pivotal off season for Dundalk. 18 of their squad are out of contract whilst there are also questions as to who will be in charge in the dugout next season.
Different for Rovers, bottom with four defeats out of four before the season was interrupted; they had a complete turnaround and are still in the FAI Cup. Bohemian FC wrapped up what has been an impressive season as they came from behind to beat St. Patrick’s Athletic 2-1 in Richmond Park. The league runners-up fell behind to a goal from Jordan Gibson.
Goals from first Daniel Grant and then Andre Wright saw Bohs pick up the win. Relegated Cork City finished their season with a 1-1 draw with Derry City in Turner’s Cross. Beineon O’Brien Whitmarsh gave Cork the lead. James Akintunde equalised for Derry.
Prior to these games Longford Town had booked their place in the promotion/relegation final after they beat Galway United 2-1. Karl Chambers and Aodh Dervin scored for Longford. Vinny Faherty was on the mark for Galway.