The game of the weekend’s action in the SSE Airtricity League came in the Premier Division as leaders Cork City welcomed the reigning champions Dundalk to Turner’s Cross. Dundalk were looking for their fourth title in a row, Cork have been runners-up in each of those seasons. The game was played earlier than usual in the afternoon and there was a sellout crowd of near 7,000 in attendance. The majority of them went home happy as Cork won 2-1 to open up a six-point lead at the top. Former Reading striker Karl Sheppard scored both of their goals with David McMillan on the mark for Dundalk. The champions finished the game with ten men as Ciaran Kilduff was sent off with five minutes remaining. Bohemian FC are up to fourth as a goal from Daniel Byrne was enough to give them a 1-0 win away against Drogheda United. Another side who won 1-0 on the road were Limerick FC as they beat Bray Wanderers in the Carlisle Grounds, Paul O’Conor scoring after five minutes.
St. Patrick’s Athletic recorded their first win of the season by beating Dublin rivals Shamrock Rovers 2-1 in Richmond Park. Gary Shaw had given the visitor’s the lead but the first half sending off of Sean Heaney proved the turning point in the game. He was booked twice in the space of four minutes. Second half goals from first Kurtis Byrne and Josh O’Hanlon gave the Saints the much-needed win. In the first North West Derby of the season, Sligo Rovers travelled to Finn Park to take on Finn Harps. Raffaele Cretaro gave them the lead in the second half but it only lasted nine minutes as Killian Cantwell equalised for Harps. It seemed as if both sides would have to settle for a point that is until Harps won themselves a penalty in stoppage time. Ciaran O’Connor took it and while his spot kick was saved by Rovers keeper Micheal Schlingermann the rebound came back to the Harps striker who tapped into the unguarded net to give his side a 2-1 win. The meeting of Derry City and Galway United was postponed due to the tragic and untimely passing of Derry’s captain Ryan McBride, he was only 27, may he Rest in Peace.
In the First Division Waterford are top on goal difference thanks to their 2-0 win against South East rivals Wexford FC. Level on points with Waterford are UCD who defeated Longford Town 2-0 in the Belfield Bowl. Cobh Ramblers drop to fourth after suffering their first defeat of the season when they went down 4-1 against the in form Cabinteely. The division’s remaining game saw Athlone Town beaten 4-1 at home by Shelbourne.