The race for the Irish premier league has just begun, even at that, all clubs have proven in one way or the other why they are at the position they are presently holding. And in a few months, it will become clearer who wins it all and who goes out of the top-flight league. Currently, at matchday two, the league is still up for the taken. Here is how the league has been so far.
The Ireland Premier League is currently being topped by the unstoppable Shamrocks who came third last season. They have won two out of two games and have only let just a single goal in. Their first win came against the Waterford with a slender 2-1 win away from home courtesy goals from A. Greene and E. Boyle. Shamrocks Rovers also defeated Derry City with a positive exhibition and, adding to the 2-0-win, Derry City received a late red card which made sure they had no shout back in the game.
Closely behind Shamrock rovers are Bohemian FC and St Patrick’s Athletic who are also yet to drop a point this season. The Bohemian FC has kept a clean sheet in the two games they have played and are only bettered by the goal difference of the Shamrock Rovers who have scored more goals than them. D. Corcoran is their present highest goal scorer having scored two goals in two matches.
Up there in the top is the St Patrick’s Athletic, who have also not let a single goal in this season. This can be attributed to their solid backline who are always on hand to deny even the very best goal scorers. If they keep their compact defensive exhibitions, one can expect them to be quite difficult to break for opposite teams.
The winner of the competition last season Dundalk FC have not found the new season easier, presently holding the sixth position on the table with two unconvincing draws against Sligo Rovers, and another 1-1 draw against Finn Harps. We can only expect a better run from them in the coming week; it is worthy to note though that the league is still very much open for winning.
While some sides are enjoying remarkable success, one of the top team has been finding the season very hard to cope with. Coming second last season, Cork City has failed to either score a single goal this season or to win a single game. They have been beaten both by St Patrick’s Athletic and disgraceful 2-0 by Waterford FC. This has left them in the bottom of the league looking for the way to the top.
The University College Dublin who was the First Division Champion last season had found the Premier League tougher than expected. Having shipped in 5 goals in two games scoring none, they are probably on their way to the first division if things don’t change in a few weeks. As of present, they have conceded more goals, and they are one of the two teams yet to score a goal this season.
About individual figures, M. Drennan from St. Patrick and D. Corcoran, who plays are the Bohemians, are presently tied as the league highest goal scoresr with two goals in two games.
It is important to note that at the end of the season, the league winner will be qualified for the UEFA Champions League where they will have the opportunity to compete against the top teams in Europe, but they will need to pass through three qualifying rounds to get into the group stages. The past July Cork City, 2017 season title winners, had to face polish champions Legia Warsaw and they were defeated both at home (0-1) and away (0-3). The irish team later fell down to second tier of European international football, Europa League, but they lost again at the hands or Norwegian team Rosenborg. The other irish team in this competition Dundalk FC, also left the competition very early, getting beaten 4-0 at Cyprus, after a draw at home against AEK Larnaca. The same Dundalk FC who in the season before was almost operating a miracle of getting into Champions League, after successfully passing two rounds but failed to do the last step by losing by an aggregate score of 3-1 against… Legia Warsaw.
It is unquestionable that work needs to be done and the Irish Premier League needs to take measures to be able to bring back moments of glory to Irish football. Also, let’s stay away from the polish folks who seem to be the favorite killer of Irish hopes and dreams!