Football | The Bohs are back in town

David Smith

Bohemian FC have qualified for European football for the first time since 2012.

A scoreless stalemate against St. Patrick’s Athletic was enough to secure a place in Europa League qualification for the Gypsies next season.

Bohs played most of the last half hour with 10 men after James Finnerty was shown a second yellow card, but held on to seal a crucial point.

Keith Long’s men are now third in the Premier Division on 57 points after 35 games, with St. Pat’s currently in fifth on 49 points, having played a game less.

The Inchicore club will now go head to head with Derry City – who sit in fourth place on 51 points after 35 games – on Tuesday night for the final Europa League qualifying place.

It was St. Pat’s who almost took an early lead in the fourth minute, but Bohs ‘keeper James Talbot reacted sharply to deny Gary Shaw in the box.

At the other end, Aaron Barry failed to meet Keith Ward’s well-worked free kick with a meaningful connection, squandering a decent opportunity for Long’s men.

Chris Forrester tested Bohs ‘keeper James Talbot with a free kick midway through the first half, after Finnerty was booked for wrestling with Shaw.

Forrester then forced Talbot into a brilliant save in the 42nd minute with a powerful effort from distance, but the opening 45 minutes were largely devoid of clear cut chances for either team.

Unsurprisingly, there was a tempestuous edge to the clash, with each side accumulating three yellow cards in the first half.

Ciaran Kelly forced Talbot into another save four minutes into the second half as Stephen O’Donnell’s home side pushed for a breakthrough.

Finnerty then put more pressure on Bohs with a rash tackle on Shaw in the 62nd minute, which saw him booked for a second time.

Bohs defender Derek Pender cleared Rhys McCabe’s effort off the line as St. Pat’s threw everything at the Gypsies, but Long’s young team held out for a share of the points.

The ecstatic travelling supporters invaded the pitch at full time to celebrate the end of the club’s European drought.

The Bohs are back in Europe.

Elsewhere, Cork City made it back-to-back wins with a 1-0 win over rivals Dundalk at Turner’s Cross, with Dáire O’Connor netting the winner for the Leesiders in their final home game of the season.

Finn Harps beat Waterford 1-0 in Donegal to bag their first win since August, and will now play the winners of Drogheda and Cabinteely in the promotion-relegation play-off.

Shamrock Rovers also picked up an impressive 3-0 win away at UCD.

Author Profile

David Smith
David is a 27-year-old journalist from County Meath.

He has previously worked for RTÉ and Australian Associated Press, and has been published by publications including The Irish Times, The Guardian, The Telegraph, ESPN and Fox Sports.