League of Ireland round-up: Cork go nine clear at the top

Cork City are now nine points clear at the top of the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division after won 2-0 away to Bohemian F.C. Karl Sheppard and Garry Buckley got their goals making it nine league wins out of nine so far this season. Dundalk remain second but they were beaten 3-1 at home by Bray Wanderers in what was their third defeat of the season. Gary McCabe scored two from the penalty spot for Bray with Ryan Brennan getting their third. Stephen O’Donnell scored for the home side. A goal from Brandon Miele was enough to give Shamrock Rovers a win against Sligo Rovers in their clash of the Rovers which was played in Tallaght Stadium. Sligo finished with ten men as John Russell was sent off midway through the first half. Limerick have continued with their good start to life back in the top flight as they beat Drogheda United 3-0 to go up to 4th in the table. Rodrigo Tosi, Chris Mulhall and Chiedozie Ogbene their scorers. They leap frog Derry City who were beaten 2-0 by Finn Harps in the ‘Donegal Derby’ at least it is while Derry are playing in Buncrana as their ground, the Brandywell, is being redeveloped. BJ Banda and Michael Funston were on the mark for Ollie Horgan’s side. St. Patrick’s Athletic looked on course for three points as a goal from Rory Feely gave them a first half lead against Galway United. However the home side earned themselves a share of the spoils thanks to an 89th minute penalty from former Notts County striker Ronan Murray.

A 2-1 win at home to Athlone Town means that Waterford continue to lead the First Division. UCD, who drew 2-2 at home to Cabinteely, are second with Cobh Ramblers third. They were 2-1 winners away to Wexford. The division’s remaining game saw Longford Town beat Shelbourne 3-1. It was a busy Easter period for most of the teams with last 16 of the EA Sports Cup, which is the equivalent of the League Cup, on Easter Monday. There is no European place on offer for the winners so as in England teams tend to not take it as serious as other competitions until it gets down to the business end. I have to admit I have a soft spot for the trophy as it kickstarted the Golden period for Sligo Rovers when we won it in 2010 by beating the now defunct Monaghan United 1-0 in the final which was played in the Showgrounds. Matthew Blinkhorn, who is now with AFC Fylde, scored the winner. They booked their place in the quarter-finals of this years competition thanks to a 1-0 win away against Finn Harps. Mathew Stevens, who is on loan from Peterborough United, scored the crucial goal. Dundalk needed penalties to see off UCD after they finished level at 1-1. The same scored between St. Patrick’s Athletic and Bray Wanderers meant that spot kicks were needed there as well with the Saints progressing. Longford Town repeated their league win against Shelbourne, this time winning 2-0 away from home. Shamrock Rovers beat their fierce cross city rivals Bohemian F.C. 3-1 with Cork City winning 3-0 away to Limerick. Waterford were 2-0 winners at home to Cobh and Galway won by the same score against Derry City.