SSE Airtricity League Mid-Week Wrap Up: McAleer Double Lifts Bit O’Red Spirits

There was a full round of SSE Airtricity League Premier Division games played on Monday night with plenty of significant results. After losing three of their opening four games all of which were played at home Sligo Rovers had their first away fixture of the season as they travelled to the Carlisle Grounds to play Bray Wanderers who had also lost three of their opening four games. And it was the Bit O’Red who picked up the win with Caolan McAleer scoring twice in the first half to help them to a 2-1 win. McAleer’s first is the one to seek out as he dinked a shot from 30 yards over the head of Bray keeper Aaron Dillon. Paul O’Conor pulled a goal back for Bray in the second half. Waterford FC remain atop the table as they beat Bohemian FC 1-0 in the Regional Sports Centre. Estonian international Sander Puri scored the games only goal which he dedicated to the memory of his father Raul who died before Christmas. Cork City are second as they bounced back from their defeat against Dundalk last Friday by beating Shamrock Rovers 1-0 in Turner’s Cross. Kieran Sadlier scored the games only goal from the penalty spot.

Despite dominating and creating a number of chances Dundalk played out their third goal-less draw of the season against St. Patrick’s Athletic in Richmond Park. Ronan Murray and Pat Hoban had their best efforts. It was a night tinged with emotion as Derry City made their return to the newly redeveloped Brandywell after over a year away from the ground. They also opened stands dedicated to the memory of their players Mark Farren and Ryan McBride. Limerick FC were the opposition and they provided little resistance as they were beaten 5-0. Rory Hale scored a hat-trick with Ronan Curtis and Aaron McEneff getting the other goals. There was also one game played in the first round of the EA Sports Cup as Finn Harps played host to one of the non-league representatives the Mayo League in Finn Park. Harps won 4-3 but were very nearly punished for complacency. They raced into a 4-0 lead thanks to goals from Jesse Devers, Michael O’Connor, Lee Toland and John O’Flynn. They took their foot off the pedal though and two goals from Brendan Lavelle and one from Sean Morrissey saw Mayo ensure a nervy finish for the hosts. There is a full round of fixtures in both divisions over the weekend and then more Premier Division games scheduled for the Bank Holiday Monday.