The latest entry in our weekly column features impressive wins for Cork City, Shamrock Rovers, Dundalk, Waterford, and UCD.
Bohs suffer first defeat
Cork City ended Bohs’ unbeaten start with a 2-0 win at Turner’s Cross.
Goals from Conor McCarthy and Dan Casey in each half sealed an impressive victory for John Caulfield’s men on home soil.
Bohs lost their 100% record in last week’s 1-1 draw with Derry City, and have suffered their first league defeat of the season at the hands of the Leesiders, who had yet to win a league match at home before Friday’s triumph.
Daire O’Connor went close for the hosts with a fine solo effort in the 17th minute, and Danny Mandriou had an excellent chance to fire Bohs into the lead four minutes later.
McCarthy then headed Cork into the lead in the 23rd minute; the centre half jumping to head home O’Connor’s brilliant delivery.
Amazingly, his header was Cork’s first home league goal of the season, and it was McCarthy’s defensive partner who doubled the Munster club’s advantage in the second half.
Mandriou squandered another big chance for the visitors before the interval, and Graham Cummins thought he’d added a second for Cork before the linesman’s flag cut any celebrations short.
It remained 1-0 at the interval, but it took the Leesiders just five minutes to grab a second after the break.
Dan Casey fired a swerving shot past James Talbot from 25 yards after substitute James Tilley – who replaced the injured Daire O’Connor in the 43rd minute – rolled a free kick to the defender.
Bohs rarely threatened to turn the game around, and the full time whistle heralded an excellent win for the hosts at Turner’s Cross.
Roy of the Rovers
Shamrock Rovers eased past Sligo Rovers with a comfortable 3-0 win in Tallaght.
Daniel Carr, Ronan Finn, and Jack Byrne scored the goals for the Hoops, who have maintained their spot at the top of the table.
Byrne was superb throughout, and his performance has subsequently the talented midfielder a late call up to the Republic of Ireland senior squad.
The home side dominated from the outset but had to wait until the 39th minute for their breakthrough.
Dan Carr headed home Byrne’s corner to give Stephen Bradley’s side a deserved lead.
Byrne laid another on for Carr before the break, but this time the striker was unable to find the back of the net.
Skipper Ronan Finn added Rovers’ second in the 64th minute, forcing the ball past Mitchell Beeney after being picked out in the box by Aaron Greene.
Byrne added a third with a beautiful curling effort with eight minutes remaining as the league leaders cruised to an emphatic win over Liam Buckley’s side.
The Dublin club are now four points clear at the top of the table.
Dundalk win in Derry
Dundalk are rediscovering their form.
The Lilywhites produced an impressive 2-0 win over Derry City at the Ryan McBride Brandywell Stadium on Friday night.
Peter Cherrie made a superb stop to deny Pat Hoban’s close range header in the 25th minute, but was unable to prevent the visitors from taking the lead 12 minutes later.
Dundalk ‘keeper Gary Rogers had been forced into a smart save himself minutes earlier, tipping Barry McNamee’s free kick behind for a corner.
However, it was Dundalk who took the lead after a fine team move.
Hoban headed Michael Duffy’s cross into the path of Sean Murray, and the summer signing’s volley from 10 yards flew past Cherrie.
Ally Gilchrist missed a golden opportunity to draw Derry level a minute before half time, but the defender drove his shot over the bar after a loose ball in the box fell at his feet.
Dundalk were then awarded a penalty four minutes after half time, with Cherrie taking down Hoban in the area.
The Dundalk striker found the bottom corner from 12 yards, and Dean Jarvis almost added a third minutes after coming on for Murray.
The Candystripes were unable to find a way through the Dundalk defence, and Vinny Perth’s side came away from Derry with a valuable three points.
Drinan double for Waterford
An Aaron Drinan double handed Waterford a 2-0 win over St. Pat’s on home soil.
The Ipswich Town loanee opened the scoring at the RSC with an 18th minute header before scoring his second shortly after the hour mark.
St. Pat’s almost took an early lead, with Waterford’s Maxim Kouogun clearing Dean Clarke’s goalbound effort off the line.
Kevin Toner was perhaps lucky to stay on the pitch after a poor challenge on Bastien Héry, and it was from the resulting free kick that Alan Reynolds’ men took the lead.
Kevin Lynch’s in-swinging free was cleared as far as Drinan, whose header towards goal somehow eluded everyone and nestled in the back of the net.
Drinan scored his second with a calm first-time finish after great work from JJ Lunney.
Brandon Miele’s strike from distance struck the post as the Saints tried to halve the deficit, but the flag went up when Mikey Drennan banged in the rebound.
Waterford saw the game out to seal their second win of the season.
UCD leapfrog Fin Harps
UCD were comfortable 3-0 winners against Finn Harps in Dublin.
The victory sees the students leapfrog Harps in the table, with the Donegal club now bottom of the Premier Division.
A Timmy Molloy goal and a Richie O’Farrell brace – all of which came in the second half – sealed a deserved win for the hosts; their first of the season.
UCD had plenty of chances in the first half, but had to wait until the 61st minute until the scoreboard reflected their dominance.
Molloy reacted quickly in the box to convert the rebound after Ciaran Gallagher saved Yoyo Mahdy’s shot.
Captain Gary O’Neill set up O’Farrell for UCD’s second 10 minutes later, and the latter found the bottom corner with a smart finish.
O’Farrell scored his second with seven minutes remaining, exchanging passes with Mahdy before finding the net at the second attempt.
This was more like it from the Dublin club, who will now look to bridge the gap to eighth placed Sligo, who are three points above them.
Ollie Horgan’s newly promoted Finn Harps are now bottom having collected just two points so far this season.