The games keep coming thick and fast in the SSE Airtricity League with a mixture of First Division games and the quarter-finals of the EA Sports Cup being played over Monday and Tuesday night. There was no shortage of goals either. None more so than in the cup game in the Brandywell between Premier Division side Derry City and First Division team Shelbourne FC. Derry won 7-3. The home side raced into a two goal lead with Ronan Curtis getting both. Shelbourne pulled it back to 2-2 thanks to two strikes from the inform Davy O’Sullivan, one of which was a penalty. However another Curtis followed by goals from Ronan Hale and a penalty from Aaron McEneff meant that Derry led 5-2 at half-time. Nicky Low and Nathan Boyle scored their other goals in the second half with James English getting the third for Shelbourne. There was one all First Division affair as in a repeat of their league game from Saturday Cobh Ramblers once again played host to Longford Town in St. Colman’s Park. This time though it was Cobh who prevailed winning 2-0 thanks to goals from Darren Murphy and Andrew Wall. The other two games were all Premier Division encounters. Dundalk welcomed Bohemian FC to Oriel Park.
The Lillywhites who are the holders progressed winning 3-0. Dylan Connolly scored the first two with Jamie McGrath getting the third. Connolly’s two goals were something of a vindication for Dundalk’s manager Stephen Kenny who had been saying in recent weeks that he felt the winger was coming in for some unfair criticism following his transfer from Bray Wanderers last season. The remaining quarter-final saw Sligo Rovers play host to Waterford FC in the Showgrounds. A second half goal from David Cawley was enough to see the Bit O’Red progress to their first semi-final in any competition since 2014. So we have out final four – Cobh Ramblers, Derry City, Dundalk and Sligo Rovers. The draw for the semi-finals will be made next week and these game are two legged affairs. UCD extended their lead at the top of the First Division and boosted their goal difference in the process thanks to their 8-0 win away against Wexford FC in Ferrycarrig Park. Jason McCelland and Gary O’Neill both scored three each with Yousef Mahdy and Liam Scales getting the others. Finn Harps have found their feet following their relegation and they made it four wins in a row beating the other relegated side Galway United 1-0 in Finn Park. Jesse Devers got the game’s only goal on the stroke of full time.