With just a handful of games left, the Airtricity Premier Division title race is really hotting up after Monday evening’s games.
St. Pats kept themselves in with a chance of winning the league with a hard fought 1-1 draw with Shamrock Rovers. The Hoops went into a first half lead when Stephen O’Donnell fired past Gary Rodgers when the home side failed to clear a corner. A defeat for Pete Mahon’s side would have all but ended their title aspirations but sub Danny North was the saviour for the Super Saints. He was found by Ian Bermingham and then he fired past Thompson from a tight angle. In a frantic last quarter, both sides had opportunities to win it with Ronan Fin hitting the bar for the Hoops. The result means that the gap between the two sides remains 3 points.
Bohemians continued their fine form with a comfortable win over Dundalk. In a goalless first half, chances were at a premium but the second period proved to be different as Bohs got themselves into the driving seat. Killian Brennan and then Ger O’Brien gave the home side a two goal lead before Johnny Breen pulled one back for Ian Foster’s men with an hour left. Their fifth win in as many matches was secured in injury time when Christy Fagan tapped in from close range.
Derry City came from two goals behind to draw with Drogheda to stay top of the table. Brian Gannon and Gavin Brennan gave Mick Cooke’s side a first half lead but they couldn’t hold out for a massive victory. The Candystripes began to pile on the pressure in the second period and their constant pressure paid off with 15 minutes to go. Ruadhri Higgins’ shot was saved by Guggan before Gareth McGlynn headed in the rebound. The come back was complete with just minutes to go when Duggan parried a cross only for it to hit off his own man Dave Rodgers and trickle into the goal. It could prove a massive point for Stephen Kenny’s side in their pursuit of the title.
Sligo Rovers took advantage of Derry and Shamrock Rovers dropping points with a comprehensive win over a struggling Bray side. Sligo are just one point behind Derry after the win and Paul Cook’s side are now in with a great chance especially following their recent confidence boosting victories. Danny Ventre and John Russell gave the home side a 2-0 lead at the break and the win was secured after 67 minutes when Alan Keane headed past Quigley.
Finally but not least, UCD secured top flight football for another season with a scrappy victory over bottom side Galway in Belfield. The Students came from behind to earn the three points after Oscar Sibanda had put United into the lead just after the break. Martin Russell’s men have shown a lot of fight in recent weeks to come from behind and they did that again. Substitute Chris Lyons’ deflected shot went past Winn to level the game and the comeback was complete minutes later when Lawrence Gaughan headed past his own keeper to hand UCD three vital points.
By Ryan Bailey, @ryanbaileysport