With only five games left in this season’s League of Ireland First Division, things are hotting up as Longford and Shelbourne battle it out to be crowned champions and avoid the playoffs, while Galway FC and Wexford Youths battle it out for the final playoff spot and the chance of promotion to the Premier Division.
The tie of the weekend came in the form of Shelbourne and Longford Town. If Sky Sports covered League of Ireland, this would have been a Super Sunday game. With just three points separating the sides, both will be happy to come away from the game with a share of the spoils.
Newly formed Galway FC kept their hopes of the playoffs alive when they welcomed a struggling Waterford United to Eamon Deacy Park. The Blues have been struggling all season, and with virtual a new young squad the remainder of the season was giving these youngsters the chance to prove themselves. Despite a battling performance from United, Galway took all three points in a one nil victory over the Southeast club.
Ryan Connelly sent a free kick into the Waterford box, where former blue Paddy Barrett was on hand to head the ball into the back of the Waterford net. Barrett departed Waterford only weeks previous.
The last of Friday night’s action came from Ballybofey where Finn Harps entertained Shamrock Rovers B. A single goal was the deciding factor in sending the Hoops back to Dublin with all three points. Chris Lyons was the man of the moment when he stood up to convert a spot kick on thirty-one minutes, after he was brought down in the home sides twelve yard area.
The visitors were reduced to ten men on sixty minutes when Conor Dunne was given his marching orders by the match official. Despite the numerical advantage, the Harps couldn’t find an equaliser. The victory sees the Hoops leapfrog, Waterford in the table.
Saturday night saw Wexford Youths look to keep their promotion dream alive when they traveled to Cobh to face a Ramblers side who have only won one game all season.
The ‘Rams’ started the better of the two sides and took the lead early on. It took Robert Waters just six minutes to find the back of the net and thirteen minutes later Kynan Rocks doubled the home side’s advantage. The Youths battled back into the game and were given a lifeline when Eric Molloy pulled a goal back on fifty six minutes. Molloy was once again on hand to salvage a point for the southeast club when he clinched the all important equalizer on ninety minutes, keeping the Youths’ hopes of a place in the playoffs alive.
David Pheasey, Pundit Arena.