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5 Things We Learned From Week 14 of the Airtricity League

5 Things We Learned From Week 14 of the Airtricity League
By John Dodge Updated
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Week 14 of the Airtricity League isn't over yet as tonight Setanta Sports resume their LOI coverage by showing the Louth Derby between Drogheda United and Dundalk but here's our take-aways from the weekend action.

1) St Pats keep rolling

Killian Brennan has scored in the last 3 league games for St Pats - Ray McManus / SPORTSFILE

Limerick have provided tricky oppositioion for eveyone in the league this year and their only 4 defeats (prior to Saturday) were by one goal.  They pushed St Pats hard for the first 40 minutes on Saturday but once they conceded the opener their was no going back.  Pats record in the last 13 games is 10 wins, 3 draws, scored 27, conceded only 3. They've won the last 7 in all competitions.  As ever with Pats, it remains to be seen how they can combine a league title challenge with European and Cup ambitions. Nearest challenger Derry and Sligo are still involved in their 4 main competitions too though.

2) Jason Byrne really keeps rolling

On Saturday night Jason Byrne scored 4 goals in Bray Wanderers' 5-4 win over UCD in Belfield to soar past the 200 LOI goal mark and now stands on 202.  That's second only to Brendan Bradly on the all time charts.  7 of Byrne's 10 league goals this season have come in the past 2 games as Bray hit a rich vein of form.  The former Bohs and Shels man is now hoping he can reach 200 goals in the Premier Division as Bray drag themselves towards mid table.  In the last 10 games of the first series, Bray lost 9 and drew 1.  So far in the second series, they've won 4 and drawn one (at home to Sligo). A remarkable turnaround by any standards.

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3) Cork City are now in trouble

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The pressure on Tommy Dunne is building fast - Barry Cregg / SPORTSFILE

Cork Cty siffered their 4th consecutive home defeat yesterday in Turner's Cross against Shamrock Rovers.  Tommy Dunne's side are now on 17 points, level with Bray and only 3 ahead of Bohemians and UCD.  While Shels remain 8 points adrift at the bottom, there's now a 4 way fight to avoid that relegation play off place. Cork's only win in the second series was away to Bohs.  Bohs themselves picked up a great point away to Sligo.  It seems to be a  feature of Aaron Callaghan's side that they can raise themselves somewhat for 'bigger games' but they youngsters need to find consistency if they're to survive this dogfight

4) Sligo need goals quick

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Before Sligo played St Pats on the 19th April they had won their opening 8 games, scoring 19 goals.  Since then they've won only once, scoring only 6 goals.  They've now failed to score in the last 4 league games.  With Anthony Elding missing another two league games due to suspension, Danny North's return could be crucial.  The Englishman played the last 20 minutes on Saturday but couldn't help break Bohs down. Aaron Greene, so effective as a wide player this sesaon, played up front and Sligo missed the creativity of Greene, Raf Cretaro and Lee Lynch. Sligo are the team looking forward to the mid-season break most.

5) Derry move into second place and are slightly under the radar.

Derry City managed to beat Shelbourne to move past Sligo and into second place. Derry's season lacks a signature win or any of the long run runs that can be associated with Pats or Sligo so they may not have recived as much attention as the top 2 (or Shamrock Rovers for that matter) but Declan Devine's team won't really mind as long as they keep pulling out wins.  With Rory patterson continuing to show he's the league's top striker, Derrty are always in every game.

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After tonight's game there's only one more week until the teams take their mid0season break.

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