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5 Things We Learned From Week 32 Of The Airtricity League

5 Things We Learned From Week 32 Of The Airtricity League
By John Dodge
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The penultimate weekend of action, and plenty to talk about. Here's our take-aways.

1) Pats lift the trophy, and barely lift a finger at home to Derry

Captain Conor kenna lifts the Airtricity League Trophy - Matt Browne / SPORTSFILE

Celebrations continued in Inchicore and surroundings on Friday as Pats lifted this version of the Airtricity League winners' trophy for the first time.  Manager Liam Buckley showed his lack of intent by making 6 changes and the Champions were clearly off their game early on. They did step it up slightly in the second half and Anto Flood's wonder goal was enough to keep supporters happy before they got what they came for, captain Conor Kenna lifting the league trophy.

2) Shels are relegated.

Dean Kelly knew how big defeat to Limerick would be - Diarmuid Greene / SPORTSFILE

After only 2 seasons back in the Premier Division, Shelbourne have been relegated back into the First Division. Unlike at the end of the 2006 campaign, Shelbourne's relegation is solely as a result of on field performances. They've lost 8 of their last 9 league games and also started the season without a win in their opening 10 games. Sacking manager Alan Mathews midway through the season seemed to have worked as a period of 4 wins in 6 games had Shels out of the relegation places with a full series to go. However their form since July has been horrendous and they can't argue with finishing bottom of the league


3) The relegation play off spot could be one of three clubs

Bray's surprise win in Dalymount not only confirmed Shels' relegation, it also dragged Bohs back into the mire. It is still unlikely Bohs will finish 11th as for that to happen they'd need to lose and have UCD and Bray both win but they'll still be worried. UCD's defeat to Shamrock Rovers left them ahead of Bray by only 2 goals difference. On the last day Bohs travel to Drogheda, UCD travel to Shels and Bray host Dundalk. Bray are still the favourites for the play off but they've given themselves every chance to stay up now.

4) Derry in pole position for fourth


Michael Rafter will be hoping to win on Friday and then cheer on Sligo the FAI Cup looking for that last Europa spot - David Maher / SPORTSFILE

Derry City's point in Inchicore keeps them ahead of Shamrock Rovers as they battle for fourth position and a potential Europa League spot. Derry play Limerick in the Brandywell on Friday knowing a win will see them clinch it. Rovers host Sligo Rovers (who may have an eye on the FAI Cup final the following week) needing a win and a Derry slip up.  Rovers clinched their 3rd cup yesterday, beating Pats in the Leinster Senior Cup final. If Derry win next week, they'll miss out on Europe for the second year running.

5) Mervue United continue to scare the FAI


While the FAI continue to deny that Mervue will be denied a place in the Premier Division, there's no doubt that they don't want them there.  They want Galway to be a one club county and that means Mervue and Salthill making way (or merging). On Friday night they beat Longford Town 1-0 in the first leg of the promotion play off so the FAI are left to sweat for another week. The teams meet again on Friday with with winners playing the Premier Division's 11th place finsiher.

Only one more week to go in the League and we have some articles looking back over the season coming up this week.

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