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5 Things We Learned From The Opening Night of the Airtricity League Season

John Dodge
By John Dodge
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1) It looks like business as usual for Sligo Rovers

A goal for new striker Anthony Elding gave the Airtricity League Champions all 3 points in Derry. They're unbeaten there in 6 years. If Elding can replace Mark Quigley's goals until the return of injured Danny North then Sligo could well repeat last year's excellent start. As we mentioned yesterday, Sligo won 8 and drew 3 of the first series of games. Their next 6 games are Bray (H), Dundalk (A), Limerick (H), Bohs (A), UCD (A) & Shels (H). With respect to those clubs, there's every reason to think Sligo could remain unbeaten throughout that spell.

2) Shels are who we thought we are.

In our pre-season preview we mentioned that Shels would likely break records for red cards. Against Bray;



Bray won 1-0 thanks to a goal from former Shels hero Jason Byrne. It could be a long, long season for Shels fans


3) Dundalk will likely improve under Stephen Kenny


Despite Shamrock Rovers' Gary McCabe having his penalty saved, Dundalk held their own according to most reports of this scoreless draw. Last season Dundalk only had 2 clean sheets all season (excluding play offs) and none since April.  It was defensive frailties that led to Kenny losing the job at Rovers last year, so he'll be very happy with the clean sheet. Judging by this tweeted picture, it seems they didn't deserve to concede the penalty either.


4) Pats have learned how to beat Drogheda


Shane McFaul scored his first goal in 3 years as Pats beat Drogheda 1-0, something they couldn't do in 5 games last year. He seemed happy

Pats major problem was goal scoring, particularly from midfield. This is a good start. We don't know if the watching Giovanno Trapatonni was suitably impressed.

5) The good vibes continue at Bohs.

New season. New sponsor. New promotional campaign (see poster above). Bohs fans may not have been too confident about their on-field performances this season, but the majority will have been happy with their best off-season in a while. Kevin Devaney got the winner in a 2-1 win at home to UCD. These sides meet again on Monday in the EA Sports League Cup too.

Limerick and Cork City face off in the first LOI game to b played in Thomond Park tomorrow. The game is live on RTE 2 with a 5.15pm kick off.



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