The first Monday night of League of Ireland action saw a Dublin derby, a first win for the champions and Cork City finding the net for the first time this season.
Wins for Derry, Bohs, Dundalk and Cork, as well as a draw between Finn Harps and St Pat’s, meant that last night was a frantic evening in the Airtricity League Premier Division.
After the third round of fixtures, Pundit Arena takes a look at what we learned from Monday’s action.
Dublin Is Red & Black
It’s only the third game of the league season but Bohemians win over Shamrock Rovers in the Dublin derby was a massive result no matter the stage of the campaign.
Bohs have dominated the fixture in recent years winning five of the last six meetings but given Rovers’ strong start to the season and impressive off-season additions, the Hoops would have fancied their chances at Dalymount Park last night.
The home side did go down to ten men which greatly affected the game’s momentum and unquestionably swung it in the favour of Bohemians, as they dominated against their rivals.
The win was a statement of intent from Keith Long’s side and could be a clear indication that they have the tools to challenge for the title this season, against arguably the predictions of most.
In Dinny Corcoran, they also have a proven goalscorer in this division who seems as though he is reaching his best form as the season kicks into gear.
For Rovers, the result will obviously be a bitter pill to swallow. Dublin derby defeats always are. But Bradley’s men were very much in last night’s game despite the red card and had it continued 11 vs 11 they would have fancied themselves to take something from Dalymount Park.
The season looks very promising for the Dublin clubs.
A Win For Dundalk To Ease The Pressure
When promising youngster Neil Farrugia gave UCD the lead against Dundalk in Belfield last night, Vinnie Perth must have been questioning if he would ever taste victory in charge of the reigning champions.
During the first half against the students, Dundalk looked almost unrecognisable from the side that blew away all other challengers in the division last year, struggling to find the equaliser.
The second 45 was a lot different as last season’s top scorer Pat Hoban converted a spot-kick before Michael Duffy’s low strike put Dundalk into the lead.
From there they had a number of chances to grab another to extend their lead but the game ended 2-1. A massive sense of relief from Perth and co.
The win was not overly convincing but it will fill the club with confidence marking the first victory of the post-Stephen Kenny era.
Shamrock Rovers await on Friday for what should be a fantastic game and one where Dundalk can really kick-off their season with a big win over one of their potential challengers.
Cork City Do Know Where The Net Is
A first win of the season for Cork City as well as two goals, in a victory which no doubt will be a massive boost for John Caulfield’s side.
The Leesiders defeated Sligo Rovers by 1-2 at the Showgrounds on Monday night and looked a much more cohesive unit than they have done in their previous two games.
Caulfield had outlined over the weekend, following their defeat to Waterford, that they were clearly having issues finding the net, helped in no small part by the off-season exit of last year’s top scorer Kieran Sadlier
“We can’t score a goal at the moment and it’s frustrating, but just move on and work on these things.”
Much like Dundalk, Cork’s first victory will likely give them a good base to kick-on from as their new side look to shake the “transitional” tag they have been labelled with in the early stages of the season.
Derry City await for Caulfield’s side on Friday and despite the Candystripes winning two on the spin, Cork City will surely fancy their chances at picking up a win at Turner’s Cross.