After a goal-less draw during the week with Bray Wanderers things were not looking good for Sligo Rovers and their hopes of staying in the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division as they travelled to Turner’s Cross last Friday evening to take on champions elect Cork City. And yet such is football that Rovers produced one of their best displays of the season to win 1-0. Rhys McCabe scored the games only goal three minutes into the second half. Craig Roddan who was immense throughout the game was sent off in stoppage time as Rovers finished with ten. For Cork they are struggling for goals following on from the departure of Seanie Maguire to Preston North End. They are now more falling over the line than galloping as they had been before. For Rovers it was their first away win of the season and more importantly it lifted them out of the bottom three. Fellow strugglers Finn Harps were beaten 4-0 by in form St. Patrick’s Athletic. Kurtis Byrne bagged a brace with Conan Byrne and Graham Kelly getting one apiece. Eddie Dsane was sent off late on for Harps. St. Pat’s are now up to 8th. Despite taking the lead Galway United were beaten 2-1 at home by Shamrock Rovers. Ronan Murray gave his side the lead but two late goals from Gary Shaw gave his side the win. The winner came in stoppage time. Bottom side Drogheda United were beaten 2-1 in the Carlisle Grounds by Bray. Hugh Douglas and Aaron Greene scored for Bray with Chris Mulhall netting for Drogheda.
Bray and Shamrock Rovers are both very much now in the hunt for third place which of course brings with qualification for the Europa League….qualifiers. The side currently in third Derry City were beaten 4-0 at home by Dundalk who are very much back in their groove after a minor rebuilding phase. David McMillan, John Mountney and Robbie Benson scored their goals with Benson scoring twice. Limerick put a rotten run of form behind them as they beat Bohemian FC 1-0 in the Markets Field. Rodrigo Tosi with the games only goal. George Poynton was sent off for the visitors. The draw was made for the second round of the Iron Bru Scottish Challenge Cup and Sligo Rovers were drawn at home to Falkirk whilst Bray were drawn away to Elgin City. This is the first season that sides from the league have been invited to take part and going forward the plan is that the sides who finish 4th and 5th in the league will qualify. The novelty factor alone means that it has at least caught the attention of supporters and Rovers have scheduled the game for Saturday 2nd September in the Showgrounds with a 7:45pm kick-off. I had been hoping they would draw Queen of the South away as that way I would have got to see them play in Hampden Park! In the First Division they have started engraving Waterford’s name on the trophy as they won again this time beating UCD 1-0. Cobh Ramblers won 1-0 away against Shelbourne and Wexford beat Cabinteely 2-0. It would feel almost out of place if this wrap up didn’t include at least some of news about Athlone Town and true to form they made headlines again at the weekend as they were beaten 7-1 by midlands rivals Longford Town. That was a joint club record win for Longford.