While the World Cup throws up surprises everyday, the Airtricity Premier Division continues to do likewise. Cork City moved to within three points of leaders Dundalk with an unexpected win at Shamrock Rovers, while Athlone demolished Drogheda for just their second win of the season.
Cork City laid down a marker against one of their title rivals by holding out to secure a 2-0 win at Tallaght Stadium. Mark O’Sullivan put the visitors in front before a resilient defensive effort was capped by a Gearoid Morrissey goal, resulting in pandemonium in the away end. John Caulfield’s men have now won six on the spin in all competitions and are refusing to leave the title race.
Rovers will be hugely disappointed with both the performance and result to start a run of crucial home games against the league contenders. Trevor Croly’s side are now eight points adrift of Dundalk and need to pick up wins against them and St. Pats next month.
Athlone produced a brilliant second half to run out 6-0 winners over free falling Drogheda. Phillip Gorman scored twice as the bottom club picked up their second consecutive home league win. On current form they may even harbour hopes of catching Drogheda who’s desperate slump continues. The Louth club have lost 10 of their last 11 league matches and have conceded 25 goals in their last five league games. Last week’s comeback win in the FAI Cup failed to bring about any improvement in performance and fans will be seriously worried about relegation at this stage.
Bohemians alleviated some of their relegation concerns with a comprehensive 5-0 win over Bray at the Carlisle Grounds. A first half hat-trick from Dinny Corcoran did the damage as Bohs were three up after 25 minutes. Goalkeeper Shane Redmond’s sending off effectively ended the game as Bray suffered their worst defeat of the season. Owen Heary’s side look an entirely different proposition on the road than at Dalymount having won their last three away games in all competitions. Bray’s form is becoming a worry as with just a single goal scored in their last eight in all competitions, a run which has seen them slide back towards the drop zone. A trip to St Pat’s next week is unlikely to help matters.
Pats themselves will be looking to build on a hard earned point at Dundalk. Both sides created chances but couldn’t convert as the much anticipated clash at Oriel Park ended scoreless. The draw brought an end to Dundalk’s seven match winning streak and they will be disappointed not to have stretched the gap between themselves and the champions. Ken Oman and David McMillan were sent off as yet another League of Ireland game failed to finish with 22 men on the field. The Lilywhites face trips to Derry and Shamrock Rovers in the next two, a run that will test their title credentials. Pats will look to extend their six game winning run at Richmond Park against Bray before facing three away games in a row.
A four goal first half at the Showgrounds failed to produce a winner as Sligo were held to a 2-2 draw by Derry. A Ryan McBride brace out the visitors in front after John Russell’s opener before Daniel Ledwith equalised ten minutes before the break. Neither side could make the breakthrough in the second half with Eric Odhiambo frustrating the home fans by getting sent off just minutes after coming on. Sligo have gone four without a win and have little left to play for following their cup exit at Dundalk last week. Injuries have hurt them but the Europa League will be their focus from here out. Derry will be happy to get a result in a fixture they usually struggle in before a tough clash with Dundalk the Brandywell in two weeks’ time.
Finally, Limerick continued their recent good form with a 2-1 home win over UCD. Thomas McManus and Shane Duggan scored the goals for the hosts while a second half strike from Samir Belhout was not enough for the Students. The Super Blues have won three on the bounce in the league and have pulled away slightly from the relegation battlers. They will be full of confidence ahead of their trip to Cork in their next game.
Alan Matthew’s side on the other hand are struggling picking up just one point from games against Athlone, Bray and Limerick. They are without a win in seven in all competitions and could be about to lose Cillian Morrison to Cork City. They will look to improve as they enter a run of three home games in next four after the break.
The Aitricity League is taking a two week break which may be to reduce competition with a belting World Cup.
Airtricity Premier Division results – 13th June:
Athlone Town 6-0 Drogheda United
Bray Wanderers 0-5 Bohemians
Dundalk 0-0 St. Patrick’s Athletic
Limerick 2-1 UCD
Sligo Rovers 2-2 Derry City
Shamrock Rovers 0-2 Cork City