It’s easy to pinpoint when Cork City’s title charge started to wobble and that was when their top goal-scorer Seanie Maguire signed for Preston in July. Since then have struggled for goals and as such sides are less fearful when playing them and are having a go more. They still lead by eleven points and will fall over the line but still it must be alarming for their manager John Caulfield that this really was a season of two halves in terms of league form. They were dominant early on but now are slowly limping over the line. On Friday night they made the short journey to the Markets Field to take on Limerick FC in the Munster derby and were beaten 2-1. Rodrigo Tosi and Shane Duggan scored the goals for the home side, both of which came inside the first ten minutes of the game. Kieran Sadlier pulled a goal back in the second half for Cork. Dundalk kept up the pressure on Cork as they had a comfortable 3-0 win against their Louth rivals Drogheda United. Steven Kinsella, David McMillan and Michael Duffy scored their goals as Drogheda finished with ten when Thomas Byrne was sent off with nine minutes to go. Shamrock Rovers solidified their grip on third place thanks to an easier than expected 4-1 win against Finn Harps in the Tallaght Stadium. James Doona scored two with Brandon Miele and Gary Shaw getting the other goals. BJ Banda got a consolation for Harps late on. Bohemian FC have moved into the race for a European place thanks to their 3-2 win against St. Patrick’s Athletic who remain in the bottom three. Dinny Corcoran bagged a brace with Ismahil Akinade scoring the game’s opening goal. Conan Byrne and Christy Fagan scored for St. Pat’s who also had Gavin Peers sent off in the first half.
The players of Bray Wanderers let their football do the talking as they stunned Derry City by beating them 5-0 in McGinn Park. Aaron Greene scored two with Gary McCabe, Darragh Noone and Ryan Brennan their other scorers. The remaining game was a huge one in terms of the relegation battle as Galway United played host to Sligo Rovers in the Connacht Derby. Kyle Callan-McFadden gave the visitors the lead but goals from Marc Ludden, Kevin Devaney and Gavan Holohan gave the home side the points. Both sides are outside of the bottom three but Galway now leapfrog their Western rivals. Waterford confirmed their return to the top flight as they sealed their long expected First Division victory by beating Longford Town in the Regional Sports Centre. David McDaid scored their only goal in front of a crowd of over 2,500. It will be interesting now to see how they will fare back in the Premier and also if they will be able to attract some of the League’s top players to the South East. Elsewhere Cobh Ramblers were beaten 1-0 by UCD, Wexford drew 1-1 with Shelbourne and Athlone Town who must just want this season to end and fast were beaten 6-2 in Stradbrook by Cabinteely Town.