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5 Things We Learned From Week 21 Of The Airtricity League

5 Things We Learned From Week 21 Of The Airtricity League
By John Dodge

A huge weekend of action in the Airtricity League.  Here's our take-aways.

1) Dundalk are for real

Patrick Hoban opens the scoring against Shamrock Rovers - Paul Mohan / SPORTSFILE

In Friday's preview we asked would a Dundalk win convince some of the doubters and it most certainly has. Saturday's press was full of glowing praise for Stephen Kenny's men has they beat Shamrock Rovers 3-1 and moved to within a point of the league leaders. 3 of Dundalk's next 4 games are against teams in the bottom 5 too.

2) It was never going to be plain sailing for Pats.

The signign of Daryl Kavanagh shows Liam Buckley understands he needs more firepopwer - David Maher / SPORTSFILE

A scoreless draw for St Pats at home to Drogheda on Friday night showed that bookmakers making them odds on favourites was a little premature.  Despite Shamrock Rovers form this season, Pats will dread next week's trip to Tallaght as they've only won once their since the ground opened. Of course if they do win, bookmakers will move them back odds on again.

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3) Sligo Rovers have Derry City's number

There might only be a point between the sides but Sligo have beaten Derry 3 times this season. Derry must've thought their luck was changing with the award of a second half penalty but Gary Rogers' brilliant save denied Rory Patterson. Sligo went on to win 2-1 and on such margins are leagues won and lost.

4) Bohs are in the deepest trouble.

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Bohs 3-1 loss at home to UCD (and results elsewhere) left them 2 points adrift at the bottom. After a trip to Cork next week, Bohs then face 3 of the top 5.  They could be even further cut off by that stage.  Bohs have only picked up 8 points at home all season and if they've any change of survival that has to improve quickly. In the other relegation battle, Bray and Shels played out a 1-1 draw, with Shels the happier side having come from a goal down.

5) League of Ireland management isn't a long term career

Tommy Dunne is the only manager to have worked at Cork City under the present fan run board - Brian Lawless / SPORTSFILE

Cork City parted ways with Tommy Dunne following their loss to Limerick at the weekend.  The defeat left Cork 4 points off the relegation play off position. Dunne's sacking leaves only 2 managers who are more than 2 years in their current position, and only one who's more than 3 years at it. UCD's Martin Russell has been working with them since 2009 and Mick Cooke with Drogheda since 2011.  Everyone else was appointed last year or this.

Today sees Cork City play KIlbarrack Utd in a re-arranged FAI Cup tie as well as the first EA Sports Cup semi final between Drogheda and Derry.

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