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The Greatest LOI Recap In The World: Derry Are This Year's Rovers

The Greatest LOI Recap In The World: Derry Are This Year's Rovers
John Dodge
By John Dodge
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It’s week 7 and we’re already in scheduling hell. Well, not hell, but mild annoyance for writers of weekly wrap ups when there’s games scheduled for Monday and Tuesday. We can’t really leave it until Wednesday, so here’s a round up of what we noticed since we last wrote.

Derry 2022 are Shamrock Rovers 2021

Derry City are unbeaten and have won their last 5 games. Half of their 6 wins have come courtesy of injury time winners including last Friday’s win in Dalymount over Bohs. That win is the only cameback win by any club this year. 10 of their 13 goals this season have been scored in the second half including both in Monday’s win away to UCD.  When Shamrock Rovers were getting late, late winners in 2021, most pundits proclaimed it as the “mark of champions”. Are Derry City on their way to a first league title this millennium? They’re 6 points ahead of Shamrock Rovers and their next 4 games are against lower half teams…

Shamrock Rovers are still the bookies favourites

The bookies still make Rovers the odds-on favourites to win the league. It’s clearly still early in the season but Rovers would have been relieved to pick up their first away win of the season against Harps on Friday. After playing Damien Duff’s Shelbourne on Friday, Rovers have a tricky set of fixtures with games against Pats, Dundalk, Bohs and Sligo. April is huge for Rovers and their title defence.

Pressure mounts on Keith Long

In our last Premier Division round up we mentioned that Bohemians’ form had led to some of their supporters questioning what direction the team is heading in. Friday’s late defeat to Derry has increased that pressure. It wasn’t the result, per se - as Derry can beat anybody, it was yet another second half collapse from Bohs. They’ve held the lead against Dundalk (twice – draw), Harps (draw), UCD (draw) and now Derry (loss) already this season.  They’ve Sligo Rovers away tonight before a trip to Drogheda on Friday. Is it too early to call that a must win game?


Damien Duff’s Shelbourne come out fighting



Duff’s a spiky character. Even casual viewers of his appearances as an RTE pundit knew that. He wasn’t afraid to criticise players on TV so maybe his spirited defence of Kameron Ledwidge after their win in Sligo might seem a little off, but regardless he got the team to battle hard for him. They’re still struggling to create but Shels have only conceded once away from and when they don’t feel like they have to chase a game they’re clearly well organised. Their next four games include trips to Derry and Dundalk. They’ll need that fighting spirit for both those games too.

Not much change in the First Division

Champions-elect Cork City ground out a win in Wexford, Galway United ground out a win at home to Cobh Ramblers while Waterford ground out a 1-1 draw at home to Longford. They’ll be disappointed with the point but a late, late equaliser is always welcome.  Congrats to Athlone Town who got their first point of the season on Friday. Great goal by Thomas Oluwa too.

Welcome to the world of asterisks, WNL*

The Women’s league had a potentially momentous weekend. On Friday night Peamount United showed their class by thumping Wexford Youths 4-0 to stamp their class on the whole league. On Saturday it was revealed they’d played an ineligible player against Sligo and their 6-0 win became a 0-3 defeat. It ended up a great day for closest rivals Shelbourne as they beat Sligo 1-0 with a Keeva Keenan goal. Shels went into Saturday 6 points behind and ended it on top of the league on goal difference.


Some snippets to look for next weekend

Stephen O’Donnell returns to Richmond Park on Friday night. Pats were not happy about how he left and RTE cameras will be there. A win for Dundalk will see them move ahead of an inconsistent Pats team. Sligo suffered their first defeat of the season last week. Let’s see how they fare with out leading scorer Aidan Keena who went off injured. Galway need a win at home to Wexford to keep pace with Cork City. The women’s league is on an international break. Time for Peamount to get their papers sorted...

SEE ALSO: The Greatest LOI Recap In The World: No Premier, No Problem


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