Shamrock Rovers focus on Oriel Park clash to start new competitive phase

The rivalry between Dundalk and Shamrock Rovers was only just beginning to take off before the pandemic shutdown pushed club Louth in another direction.

Fter battled for the 2019 title and FAI Cup final, a five-goal thriller in Tallaght, with a miraculous goal from Jordan Flores and the stunning winner Jack Byrne, fueling the appetite for bigger battles.

However, an extended downtime has accelerated Dundalk’s descent to chaos under former president Bill Hulsizer, thus allowing Rovers to win their first championship under Stephen Bradley.

While the Lilywhites managed to beat the Rovers’ double dream in the tight Aviva Stadium final in late 2020, they are living in constant turmoil as Bradley’s side reclaim their crown. surname.

However, Dundalk still won both encounters at Oriel Park, and with Stephen O’Donnell back on the ledge under new ownership, there’s a new sense of stability. even if a tournament challenge this semester falls short of realistic expectations.

What is guaranteed tonight is a huge welcome for the Hoops, even though they’ve all been there and done it while this is the first taste of this game for a good number of O’s team. ‘Donnell.

“There’s a couple of new players out there that none of us might know,” admitted Rovers defender Lee Grace after the man’s performance in Friday’s win over Bohemians. “I know boy Steven Bradley (Dundalk Scottish winger whose name has sparked interest in Tallaght) has received player of the month.

“We’re doing our homework over the weekend and I’m sure they will too. We will be ready for it. ”

The older Bradley had a spell with O’Donnell at Arsenal and they share the same agent as former colleague Graham Barrett. He is not surprised by O’Donnell’s decision to leave St Patrick’s Athletic and respects what he is trying to do with the M1, pointing out that some old equipment remains.

“They have a really good spine,” he said. “Andy Boyle, Greg Sloggett, Robbie Benson, (Pat) Hoban. I think they will be a real few for everyone this season. As the season goes on, they will get stronger and stronger. They remind me of Stephen (Kenny)’s old team (in their style)”.

Dundalk was just minutes from Shelbourne ahead of Friday’s win before being awarded a penalty that gave Damien Duff’s side a point. Duff took Shels down the street to face the Bohs at Dalymount this evening, with Keith Long furious that a free-kick was not awarded to his team in Tallaght.

His partner Shels is pleased with where his team is after five games, even if they have struggled in terms of creating opportunities.

“I am very happy,” said Duff, who has presided over one win, two draws and two losses. “Of course, I am a dreamer and (he allowed himself to think) ‘We have a chance to do this and that.’ All I said all the time was: ‘We have to stay awake.’

“It was a big plan. Ideally you do it in a beautifully sophisticated way of playing the ball, but as you saw from Friday’s goal, it’s a bit more industrial. But I’m more than happy. I think the boys were great. I just think they’ll get stronger and stronger and feel like participating in the tournament more. ”


Bohemians v Shelbourne
(Dalymount Park, 7.45)

Team news: Bohs welcome Promise Omochere back from suspension, while Shels is protected on Jack Moylan and Mark Coyle’s health.
Points worth mentioning: It’s been a fun game for Damien Duff’s Shels as the Bohs can be at the level they desire – they’ve been competing to find some players all winter – so this should shed some light their level of intimacy.
Odds: Bohemians 5/6, Shelbourne 3/1, Draw 23/10
Reference: Rob Harvey
Verdict: Draw

Derry City v Drogheda United
(Ryan McBride Brandywell Stadium, 7.45)

Team news: Michael Duffy hopes to feature in his first appearance since his return to the club but doubts always hang around Patrick McEleney and Matty Smith while Chris Lyons, Seán Brennan and Luke Heeney missed Drogheda.
Swap Points: Derry has the Friday off after their trip to UCD is postponed and if they are to challenge for the title this semester, they need to effectively leverage the resource advantage they had first Kevin Doherty’s football team.
Odds: Derry 1/2, Drogheda 5/1, Draw 14/5
Referee: Neil Doyle
Verdict: Home team wins

Dundalk v Shamrock Rovers
(Oriel Park, 7.45)

Team news: Brian Gartland and Dave McMillan should be in the frame for Dundalk but Daniel Kelly is a doubt and Darragh Leahy is close to returning. Rovers hope Ronan Finn is okay after being forced to leave Friday’s derby with cramps.
Swap point: How will Dundalk’s young rookies from the UK respond to a request to face what fans see as their main rival? It was a test.
Reference: Damien McGraith
Odds: Dundalk 11/5, Shamrock Rovers 23/20, Draw 10/21
Verdict: Draw

St Patrick’s Athletic v UCD
(Richmond Park, 7.45)

Team news: Jamie Lennon is the Saints’ injury problem, while the students are still without Michael Gallagher.
Points worth mentioning: UCD had fun in the play-off finals at this venue in November and is likely to set up to cause problems for the home team but Tim Clancy’s team should weather any disruptions. Any fatigue from Friday’s game against Finn Harps.
Reference: Ray Matthews
Odds: St Pat’s 3/10, UCD 15/2, Draw 7/2
Verdict: Home team wins

Sligo Rovers v Finn Harps
(The Showgrounds, 7.45)

Team news: Rovers goalkeeper Ed McGinty is recovering from illness so there will be a late call on whether to use him.
Swap Spot: Ahead of Friday’s trip to Tallaght, Bit’O’Red could set up a big week with a win here. So far, the Harps have not had a consistent performance and they need to break the cycle.
Odds: Sligo Rovers 4/5, Finn Harps 16/5, Draw 10/10
Referee: Ben Connolly
Verdict: Home team wins Shamrock Rovers focus on Oriel Park clash to start new competitive phase

Fry Electronics Team

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