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6 Things We Learned From Week 4 In The League Of Ireland

6 Things We Learned From Week 4 In The League Of Ireland
By John Dodge Updated

Week four? Are we really a month into the season already? We’re at a weird point of the season already with some teams playing six games with others having had only two outings.

Anyway, enough of us questioning how time works. Here’s some things we learned.

There could be a genuine title race in the Premier Division

Shamrock Rovers are still the bookmakers’ favourites, but they’ve returned a single point from their three away games so far in Derry, Dundalk and Inchicore. The win over Bohs on Friday night was crucial.

St Pats are top after three successive wins (with clean sheets) followed two consecutive defeats in the last double-game weekend. Derry City and Sligo Rovers are only a point behind Pats with a game in hand.

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It was a nice weekend for Rovers’ challengers as they all faced the bottom three twice (or at least that was the plan until UCD v Derry was called off…).  Next weekend sees Derry host Pats while the battle of the Rovers takes place in Tallaght. Both games will tell us a lot about the title chances of four clubs.

There could be a genuine title race in the First Division

A huge win for Cork City (in front of another huge crowd) over Waterford on Monday night left both clubs on ten points, with Galway United’s win over Treaty bringing them to the same tally. City have only conceded once in five games but that was in a 1-0 defeat at home to Galway.

Galway remain undefeated and have a game in hand over the other two.  It’s a month before any of these three play each other again and we fully expect them to be clear of the rest by then.

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There could be a genuine title race in the Women’s National League

OK, this is a stretch just so we could work the three headlines in.

The big game of the weekend between Wexford Youths and Shelbourne was rained off which left Peamount United and DLR Waves to pick up their second wins and top the way-too-early-to-count table. Stephanie Roche with the pick of the goals this week in the WNL.

Strikers are like gold dust

It was a big weekend for lead strikers this week. Eoin Doyle scored in both games to get his Pats league tally up and running. Jamie McGonigle scored twice for Derry in the win over Drogheda. Pat Hoban got his 100th goal for Dundalk and Aidan Keena added to his burgeoning reputation with a cracking hat-trick in Sligo Rovers win over Finn Harps.

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There could be a genuine race for the golden boot…

Great keepers are like gold dust

Alan Mannus has played a huge role for Shamrock Rovers in both of their recent title winning seasons. Last year St Pats great season owed a fair amount to the on-loan Vitezslav Jaros and it looks like they’ve unearthed another loaned gem in Joseph Anang from West Ham.

It is no exaggeration to say Dundalk’s goalkeeping situation last year was disastrous. So, if new signing Nathan Sheppard can continue at the level he’s started at, they’ll have solved a huge problem. His save on Monday from Aaron Greene’s header was spectacular.

In this league, flair players are NOT like gold dust

We have tons of them and thankfully, we now get multiple clips each week as they try to top each other in the outrageousness stakes. We mightn’t be suitable for broadcast TV, but this league is alive on social media.

Enjoy Chris Forrester and Stephen Mallon from week four.

Let's hope week 5 is kinder with the weather and the pitches improve slightly. The growing crowds deserve the best product we can offer.

SEE ALSO: Rejuvenated Jimmy Dunne Is Putting Himself Firmly Into The Ireland Conversation

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