SSE Airtricity League Round Up: Champions Are Strong Out of the Gate

Cork City got their defence of the Premier Division title off to a great start as they defeated St. Patrick’s Athletic 3-2 in Richmond Park in what was an action-packed season opener. Goals from Barry McNamee and Graham Cummins had them 2-0 up after 11 minutes. However, Cummins was then sent off in the 26th minute. This allowed the home side to come back and strikes from first Ian Bermingham and then Conan Byrne had them level at half-time. A goal from Kieran Sadlier eight minutes from time gave them the win and the three points.

Their great rivals Dundalk were held to a goalless draw in Oriel Park by Bray Wanderers. Stephen Kenny’s side will be frustrated that they failed to put away one of the chances they created but they were busy in the transfer market as they added two new players to their squad. They brought in former Liverpool under-age player Darren Cleary and also signed Irish U-21 international Sam Bryne on loan from Everton until July. He is a striker and Dundalk have the option to make the move permanent.

In the first Dublin Derby of the season Bohemian FC played host to Shamrock Rovers in front of a sold out crowd in Dalymount Park. Ronan Finn gave Shamrock the lead, but it was the home side who took the win and the bragging rights thanks to second half goals from Dan Casey, Paddy Kavanagh and Oscar Brennan. Bohs also announced before the game that they had signed former Leeds United striker Eoghan Stokes who had been a target for Shamrock.

After a decade in the First Division Waterford United made their return to the top flight as they welcomed Derry City to the Regional Sports Centre. They made a winning start as well winning 2-1 thanks to goals from Gavan Holohan and Dean O’Halloran. Armin Aganovic had given Derry the lead.

The last game of the weekend was on Saturday night as Sligo Rovers played host to Limerick FC in the Showgrounds. This was an historic game for the club as it was their 3,000th competitive fixture and the novelty got the imagination with the club’s biggest attendance in a couple of seasons with nearly 3,500 in attendance. The result though put a dampener on the whole occasion. A second half goal from Darren Dennehy giving Limerick the win. It will be all go this coming weekend as the First Division gets underway as well.