There was little doubt as to what was the standout game in the SSE Airtricity League last weekend. It was the clash of the Premier Division top two in the Tallaght Stadium as Shamrock Rovers welcomed the champions Dundalk. Both side had won their opening three games so something had to give. And it did as Shamrock beat Dundalk 3-2.
That was their first win against the Lillywhites since August 2018. It was a great advertisement with great football and goals. Dylan Watts, Roberto Lopes, and Jack Byrne got the goals for the home side while Jordan Flores and Patrick Hoban got the goals for Dundalk. Flores’s goal was the pick of the bunch and a true contender for goal of the year. It is well worth checking out.
And in keeping with the good news for Shamrock, they announced the signing of striker Rory Gaffney during the week. He joins from League Two side Salford City and made his debut in the win against Dundalk. Sligo Rovers also brought in a new forward as New Zealand international Ryan de Vries signed from Japanese third-tier side FC Gifu. It is hoped he will replace the highly influential Romeo Parkes who is currently on loan in America.
Derry City halted the good run of Bohemian FC as they beat them 2-0 in the Ryan McBride Brandywell Stadium, with Stephen Mallon and Walter Figueira getting their goals. Cork City recorded their first win of the season as they beat Finn Harps 1-0 in Turner’s Cross as Alec Byrne got the winner for Neale Fenn’s side in the 55th minute.
Shelbourne won their first Dublin Derby of the season as they beat cross-city rivals St. Patrick’s Athletic 1-0 in Tolka Park, with Jaze Kabia netting the winner in the 23rd minute. In doing so he became Sehlbourne’s youngest ever goalscorer in the top flight. The meeting of Sligo Rovers and Waterford FC was postponed due to the high winds of Storm Jorge. It proved to be a good weekend for Shamrock.
As in the First Division, their second side picked up their first point of the season. They drew 1-1 with Galway United in Tallaght. Brandon Kavanagh gave Shamrock the lead with Conor Barry getting a late equaliser for Galway. After the game, a number of players were treated for suffering from the effects of hypothermia – such were the severe weather conditions that the game was played in.
UCD finally rediscovered the winning habit after a season of struggle last year that culminated in their relegation as Yousef Mahdy got their winner in the 87th minute. Longford Town won by the same score away against Drogheda United in United Park, Sam Verdon with the game’s only goal.