Cork City recovered from last week’s frustrating defeat to Dundalk by seeing off the challenge of Shamrock Rovers on Monday night.
In a game of very few clear-cut chances, Kieran Sadlier’s penalty seven minutes before half time proved to be the only goal of the game, as City’s young defence, with Conor McCarthy and Sean McLoughlin in place of Steven Beattie and
Stephen Bradley’s side, who had scored twelve goals in their last two games combined, rarely looked like threatening Mark McNulty’s goal right up until the end, when Luke Byrne’s header came back off the crossbar.
The result puts a bit of daylight between the teams once again, and Rovers will want to bounce back quickly to maintain their early title charge.
Sticking with the title challengers, Dundalk were held to a scoreless draw by St. Patrick’s Athletic at Richmond Park. Stephen Kenny’s side were buoyed by their long overdue victory over Cork City last Friday night, but couldn’t build on that momentum on a frustrating night in Inchicore.
Ronan Murray came closest to breaking the deadlock with a free-kick that struck the bar, but a third scoreless draw of the campaign always seemed the more likely outcome for the visitors. On the plus side, they are still yet to concede a goal in the league this season.
To Derry City next, where Kenny Shiels’ side made the perfect start to their Brandywell return. the Candystripes had been desperate to bounce back from last week’s 6-1 drubbing at the hands of Shamrock Rovers, and they did just that with an emphatic 5-0 thrashing of Limerick.
Ronan Hale was the star of the show with a hat-trick, the first coming just inside the ten minute-mark. The visitors held their own until around the hour mark, and then the floodgates opened. Ronan Curtis and Aaron McEneff added goals two and three before Hale took over and really hammered home Derry’s advantage with the fourth and fifth, the final goal coming from the penalty spot.
After losing three of their opening four games, things could now be looking up once again for Shiels and his men.
At the RSC, Waterford maintained their fine start to the season with a 1-0 win against an inconsistent Bohemians side. Sander Puri scored the only goal of the game around five minutes into the second half, and although Keith Long’s side pushed for an equaliser, it wasn’t to be.
Waterford now sit joint-top of the Premier Divison, four wins from five and another clean sheet. A very promising start from Alan Reynolds’ side.
Finally, to the Carlisle Grounds where Bray Wanderers are still waiting for their season to kick into gear. Dave Mackey’s side fell to a 2-1 defeat by Sligo Rovers, with Caolan McAleer doing the damage with two goals in the first half. Dylan O’Connor pulled one back after the restart but the Seagulls remain rooted to the bottom of the table with just one point from five games.