Yet another weekend of action gone by in the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division and again Cork City continue to flirt with the thought of being crowned League champions. On Friday night they were away to Bohemian FC and knew that a win would see them win their first title since 2005. And so the stage was set, the game was live on television, hundreds of the City faithful had travelled up to Dublin to see what was a scrappy goalless draw in the end. Cork were the better in the first half but faded in the second as the home side were more involved. There was still a chance that they could be crowned champions if Dundalk failed to beat Bray Wanderers in Oriel Park. And while the home side did toil they did get the three points thanks to a late goal from Michael Duffy. That means that Cork lead by six points but have played a game less than Dundalk. They have a chance to win the league – again – tomorrow evening as they play host to Derry City in Turner’s Cross in front of what is sure to be a sell-out crowd. Interesting to note that based on form since Seanie Maguire was sold to Preston Cork are 9th in that mini-table. Replacing him will be the key challenge for manager John Caulfield next season.
For Dundalk they will be happy that they have managed to stretch what was a one horse race to the near end of the season. They booked themselves a place in the Irish Daily Mail FAI Cup Final earlier in the week beating Shamrock Rovers 4-2 after extra time. In the final which will be played in the Aviva Stadium in November they will once again clash with Cork City for the third year in a row. Dundalk won in 2015 and Cork in 2016 making this the decider. It seems as well that once again their manager Stephen Kenny is on the radar of clubs from England and Scotland as he was linked during the week with Kilmarnock job and also an unnamed Football League club. Shamrock confirmed their place in the top four at the weekend meaning they are guaranteed European football. They did this despite being held to a draw by Sligo Rovers who produced a battling display. Gary Shaw gave Shamrock a first half lead with Regan Donelon earning his side a point thanks to a brilliantly executed free kick deep in the second half. Interesting side note Shamrock hit the post twice in the match whilst Rovers also had a chance come back off the woodwork. That point keeps Rovers fourth from bottom and out of the relegation zone with two games to go.
Limerick have all but secured their top flight status thanks to a 1-0 home win against already relegated Drogheda United in the Markets Field. Their Brazlian striker Rodrigo Tosi got the game’s only goal. Drogheda finished with ten as Colm Deasy was sent off in the second half. Finn Harps on the other hand have an uphill battle after they were beaten 3-0 in McGinn Park by Derry City. That result means that they are second from bottom five points adrift of safety. Rory Patterson scored for Derry with Ronan Curtis getting the other as the North West side ensured that they will finish in the top four and thereby qualify for Europe. Galway United and St. Patrick’s Athletic remain mired in the relegation battle after they played out a 1-1 draw in Eamon Deasy Park. Eoin McCormack gave Galway the lead with Billy Dennehy getting the leveller for St. Pat’s who are 5th from bottom level on points with Sligo Rovers. Galway are third from bottom occupying the last relegation zone and are a point behind Rovers and St. Pat’s.