And they’re off as the new season of the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division got underway over the weekend. Champions Dundalk who are looking to make it a “three-peat” got their campaign off to a winning start as they beat Derry City 1-0 in Oriel Park, with Dane Massey getting the winning goal in the 79th minute. The side who are expected to challenge them for their crown, Shamrock Rovers, also got off to a winning start.
They beat their fierce Dublin rivals Bohemian FC 1-0 in Dalymount Park. Aaron Greene got the winner in the 93rd minute while the Bohs played out most of the second half with ten men as Andy Lyons got sent off in the 65th minute after picking up his second yellow card. A huge psychological win for Shamrock as so often in recent times, Bohs seemed to have the better of them.
The game was a little overshadowed by events before the game. It had been due to have been played on Friday evening but was moved to Saturday afternoon at the request of the Gardai. The game was also due to be televised on RTÉ but Storm Dennis put paid to that as the camera gantry was deemed a health and safety risk. The game went ahead untelevised.
The other derby game of the weekend was in the North West: Finn Harps beating Sligo Rovers 1-0. Their goal came in the 65th minute from one of their new signings, Karl O’Sullivan. After a mixed pre-season, Waterford FC got their new campaign off to a great start as they won 1-0 away against St. Patrick’s Athletic in Richmond Park. Kevin O’Connor got the game’s only goal in the 49th minute.
1-0 was the score of the weekend as newly promoted Shelbourne FC won by the same scoreline away to Cork City in Turner’s Cross. Ciaran Kilduff scored in the 87th minute with his 100th career goal in the league. The other big news in the league was the release of the fixture list in the First Division. Limerick FC, as it turned out in the end, won’t be competing but Shamrock Rovers II will be.
Cork had been busy ahead of that game against Shelbourne. They signed defender Joseph Olowu on loan from Arsenal until the end of June, who has eleven appearances for their U-23s. They have also brought in winger Deshane Dalling on loan from QPR. Dalling has made one appearance for QPR. The transfer window in the league closes at the end of the week so there will be plenty more comings and goings.