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5 Things To Look Out For In The Final Week of The Airtricity League

5 Things To Look Out For In The Final Week of The Airtricity League
By John Dodge Updated

It's the 33rd week of action and the 2 most important issues have been settled; St Patrick's Athletic are champions and Shelbourne are relegated. Here's what we're looking forward to tonight;

1) Who'll finish in the relegation play off spot?

Will we have one last great moment from Bray's Jason Byrne? - David Maher / SPORTSFILE

Bray Wanderers (at home to Dundalk) currently sit behind UCD (away to Shelbourne) because their goal difference is 2 behind. Effectively they've to better UCD's result tonight to leapfrog them and secure premier Division football for 2014. Such a scenario was unthinkable 2 weeks ago as Bray had gone 15 games without a win before beating Limerick and Bohemians to give themselves this final day decider. If UCD and Bray both win, a Bohemians loss (away to Drogheda) would bring Bohs into the play off but it's unlikely all 3 results will pan out that way.

2) Who'll get 4th and the opportunity to cheer on Sligo Rovers in the cup final?

At least one of Ronan Finn and Barry Molloy will be cheering on Sligo in the cup final - Barry Cregg / SPORTSFILE

Derry City (home to Limerick) lead Shamrock Rovers (home to Sligo) by a point in the race for 4th position. Apart from a small difference in prize money, 4th place becomes important if Sligo Rovers win the FAI Cup as it becomes a Europa League spot. Derry and Rovers will both be disappointed by how their seasons have played out but a European spot will definitely be of some consolation. Rovers need to better Derry's result to claim it.


3) Will Mervue United continue to stick two fingers at the FAI?

The FAI have issued conflicting statements this week. They have said that Mervue will not be part of the Premier Division next year as they'll be part of the new "Galway" club and they've also said that should they win tonight they'll partake in the play off final. There may be further flip-flopping from the FAI so most of the League's officials will be hoping Longford Town overturn a 1 goal deficit in tonight's home leg so the FAI can take the easy way out. The winners will face one of Bray, UCD or Bohs.

4) Can Dundalk confirm 2nd place?


Stephen kenny haas banished all talk of his 2012 season with Shamrock Rovers - Oliver McVeigh / SPORTSFILE

It's been a remarkable season for Dundalk. Driven by a rejuvenated Stephen Kenny and the skills of Richie Towell, they've come up just short after challenging for both major prizes until recent weeks. With most of the squad already signed up for next season, they'll be hoping to stay ahead of Sligo and finish in the top 2 for only the second time in over 20 years.

5) Does anyone care what happens in Cork?


In 2 weeks Anto Flood won a league title, became an internet star with Jack Cummins and won league player of the month. Yesterday he confirmed he's moving to Australia as he takes some time away from the league - David Maher / SPORTSFILE

Cork City play host to the champion St Pats in the only game that has no real relevance to the league table. Cork may need a result to finish in the top half but compared to Europe or relegation, it matters little. Pats will still be celebrating their league title and for several they'll know it'll be their last game for the club. They're sure to receive a warm ovation by travelling fans.  One man who'll definitely be more emotional than usual is referee Alan Kelly. The Cork man is usually precluded from refereeing in Turners Cross but in a nice gesture, the league have appointed him there in his last game before he joins the MLS.

Whatever happens, enjoy the games!



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