This weekend in the League of Ireland First Division proved to be yet another thriller. With Longford drawing and Shelbourne easing to victory, there is only a single point between the two top dogs as the season edges towards its conclusion.
The only game to take place on Friday night was that between Waterford United and Shelbourne. Shels were hoping to take all three points and keep the pressure on league leaders Longford Town, and that’s exactly what the Dublin outfit did.
It took just fourteen minutes for the game to see its first goal. Dylan Connolly beat the United offside trap to fire the ball deep into Kevin Burns net. Three minutes before half time Connolly struck again, to give the traveling side a two goal cushion going in at the interval.
Shelbourne made all but certain of all three points on seventy four minutes when Sean Russell smashed home to make it three nil.
The young Blues didn’t give up, and were rewarded for their efforts on eighty-one minutes. Ethan Boyle sent the ball in from the right, where Mikie Rowe was on to turn it into the bottom corner of Murray’s goal, the youngsters first Blues goal in competitive action.
At the top of the table, Longford welcomed Wexford Youths to the City Calling Stadium. The home side got off to the perfect start when Gary Shaw found the back of the Youths net on four minutes.
The Youths came back battled back into the game, and drew level on thirty seven minutes, via a Danny Furlong spot kick, after Peter Higgins was deemed to be fouled inside the Longford box. It was Furlong who put the visitors in front on seventy nine minutes, again another spot kick.
The action wasn’t over there however, and five minutes from time Gary Shaw drew the game level. With so much at stake, tempers eventually boiled over and Longford were reduced to ten just before full time when Patrick Sullivan was shown red for a second bookable offence.
The other game on Saturday saw struggling Cobh take all three points from Finn Harps. Robert Waters was the man to score the all important goal for the Rams on thirty one minutes, as the Cork outfit recorded their second win of the season. The home side were reduced to ten men with minutes left as Waters was shown red, after a scuffle between both sets of players.
Sunday afternoon saw Galway FC keep their hopes of promotion alive, when the western club saw off Shamrock Rovers B, by three goals to nil. Jake Keegan was first to score for Tommy Dunne’s men when he fired home on thirty eight minutes. The visitors doubled their lead two minutes after the break when Gary Shanahan put the ball into Craig Hyland’s goal.
Keegan was on hand once again on seventy eight minutes for his second, Galway’s third. The win puts the new boys in the league five points clear of Wexford for the final promotion playoff place.
David Pheasey, Pundit Arena.