Graham Burke marked his return to Shamrock Rovers in the best possible way as he scored the only goal in their 1-0 win against fierce Dublin rivals Bohemian FC. This was Shamrock’s first win in the Dublin Derby this season and to put the icing on the cake they did in front of a crowd of 7,000 in the Tallaght Stadium.
Burke has rejoined on loan from Preston until June 2020. They are still though four points behind leaders Dundalk who also have two games in hand on them. On Friday night they beat UCD 5-0 in the Belfield Bowl. Daniel Cleary scored two with Sean Hoare, Michael Duffy and Georgie Kelly getting the other goals. Cork City took to the pitch in Turner’s Cross under new manager Neale Fenn for the first time.
His appointment didn’t have an immediate impact as they were beaten 4-2 by Sligo Rovers. A result they should have seen coming as this is the fourth year in a row that Rovers have beaten Cork in August in the Cross. Ronan Coughlan and Romeo Parkes got both goals for Rovers. Dan Casey and Shane Griffin got the goals for Cork.
The remaining game in the division saw Waterford FC and Derry City play out a 1-1 draw in the Regional Sports Centre. Michael O’Connor scored for the hosts with Junior Ogedi-Uzokwe ensuring a point for Derry. The race for promotion is really hotting up in the First Division.
Many pundits myself included ad effectively handed Shelbourne the league title and with it promotion. However as always in football, there has been a twist in the tale. Shelbourne are starting to stutter. At the weekend they were held to a goalless draw by Bray Wanderers in Tolka Park. This couple with Drogheda United’s 2-0 win away against Athlone Town means that the gap between the sides is now just three points.
Chris Lyons scored both goals for Drogheda who will now play host to Shelbourne this coming Friday evening in United Park. Longford Town secured their place in the play-offs with a 2-1 win against Wexford FC in Ferrycarrig. Danny Furlong scored for Wexford but goals from first Sam Verdon and then Peter Hopkins gave Longford the win.
Cabinteely currently occupy the last play-off position but are only three points ahead of Bray. They drew 1-1 with Cobh Ramblers in St. Colman’s Park. Brian Murphy gave Cobh the lead with Paul Fox levelling for Cabinteely. The game between Galway United and Limerick was postponed but Limerick still garnered headlines.
There are reports that the club are to enter examinership this week in the face of mounting debts. The long term future of the club could depend on the outcome of this process. The club had been the subject of a couple of takeover bids none of which came to fruition.