European qualifiers dominated action this week in the SSE Airtricity League but three of the four sides have it all to do with only Dundalk with an advantage going into the second leg.
Cork City were up first, they were home to Polish champions Legia Warsaw in the First Qualifying Round of the Champions League. There was a sell-out crowd in Turner’s Cross but Legia were the dominant side and claimed a 1-0 win. Michal Kucharczyk got the game’s only goal in the 79th minute.
In the first qualifying round of the Europa League Derry City were home to Dinamo Minsk from Belarus in the Brandywell. They lost 2-0 with Nino Galovic and Vladimir Khvaschinski getting their goals. Derry also finished with ten men as Conor McDermott was sent off nine minutes from time.
Shamrock Rovers wrapped up a hat-trick of home defeats as they were beaten 1-0 in the Tallaght Stadium by Swedish side AIK. Daniel Sundgren scored the game’s only goal. Dundalk though fared much better in their tie away in Estonia against Levadia Tallinn. Dylan Connolly scoring for them in the 53rd minute.
There was one game played in the Premier Division and it was a hugely significant one in terms of the relegation battle as Bohemian FC welcomed Sligo Rovers to Dalymount Park. Both of these sides needed a win in order to ease the pressure on them and to keep a gap between the bottom two – Bray Wanderers and Limerick FC. In something of a surprise result but a very much welcome one for Rovers supporters as the away side won 3-0.
Jack Keaney and David Cawley scored two of the goals with the other being an own goal from Dinny Corcoran. Rovers gave first starts to two of their new signings – Canadian international and former Millwall player Chris Twardek and Lee Lynch who won the League with Rovers in 2012 and was most recently with FC Arizona.
Bohs played most of the second half with ten men after Derek Pender was sent off in the 51st minute. They now drop to 8th with Rovers climbing above them to 7th in the table. Going back to Bray and their players have decided to go on strike after going weeks unpaid, the FAI have set a deadline of today (Monday 16th) for the players to be paid or else the club will face official sanctions.
In the First Division UCD remain top after a much needed win away to Wexford FC. They won 3-0 with their goals coming from Daire O’Connor, Neil Farrugia and Gary O’Neill. Drogheda United are hot on their heels in second place after their 1-0 win over third place side Shelbourne FC in Tolka Park. Sean Brennan getting their winner in the 89th minute. Finn Harps are still in with a good shout of making the play-offs as they beat Longford Town 3-0 in Finn Park. For Longford that result effectively ends their season barring a collapse in form from the sides above them. Nathan Boyle, Mikey Place and Tunmise Sobowale scored the goals for Harps. Elsewhere Cabinteely won 3-1 away to Athlone Town and Galway United were 2-1 winners down against Cobh Ramblers in St. Colman’s Park.