LOI – Derry Aim To Spoil Pats’ Title Party


The end is nigh as two games remain and for the first time in 14 years St Patrick’s Athletic have clinched the league title in style. The Supersaints will be presented with the coveted trophy on Friday night and the club hierarchy will be aiming to quickly tie down their players to new contracts to give them the best possible chance of retaining next season.

Elsewhere there is still much to play for. Dundalk are aiming to pip Sligo Rovers to second place while Bray Wanderers will look to secure the point that will relegate Shelbourne or even a victory that will have UCD and Bohemians anxiously looking over their shoulders.

Bohemians –v- Bray Wanderers    7:45 

Ninth versus eleventh here as Bohemians host relegation battling Bray Wanderers at Dalymount Park.

After the 1-1 draw with Dundalk last week, Bohemians have guaranteed their safety for another season. They enter this game hoping to do their Dublin rivals Shelbourne a favour by preventing Bray from getting the result that will send them down.

Bray Wanderers enter this game knowing that if they avoid defeat they will avoid automatic relegation. A positive result will give the Wicklow side at least a chance of surviving via the relegation play-off. If they win both their remaining games then Bray may just avoid that altogether. Whether they will or not, only time will tell.

Prediction: Draw

Dundalk –v- Cork City    7:45 

After the disappointment of losing out on the title Dundalk take on Cork City at Oriel Park.

Dundalk will feel extremely disappointed upon losing out on the league championship. They pushed St Patrick’s Athletic for a long time, but eventually ran out of steam. But upon reflection Stephen Kenny and his players will feel extremely proud of their achievements this season and will feel better prepared to go after the league next year. Right now they will focus on securing second place.

Like their opponents, Cork City will also look to finish on a high. So far they have matched last season’s finish of sixth place and added seven extra points to their tally. They will now look to establish sixth place and start early preparations for next year.

Prediction: Home win

St Patrick’s Athletic –v- Derry City    7:45

Newly crowned Champions St Patrick’s Athletic welcome Derry City to Richmond Park.

Goals from Greg Bolger and Anthony Flood gave St Patrick’s Athletic the win they needed to attain their first League title in 14 years as they beat Sligo Rovers 2-0 last weekend. With the most goals scored and the fewest conceded all season its unsurprising the Dublin club are in the position they are in. Liam Buckley and his players will be determined to finish the season in style starting with a win against the Candystripes on the night they get presented the league trophy.

After being in the chase for the league for much of the season, Derry City will be disappointed with how their title challenge has petered out. They will look to get one up on the new champions with a win here, but mostly Derry are just playing the season out.

Prediction: Home win

UCD –v- Shamrock Rovers    7:45 

Relegation threatened UCD take on Shamrock Rovers at the UCD Bowl.

Still facing the prospect of a relegation play-off UCD can secure their safety with a win here. The students will seek to take full advantage of their home field advantage against a team playing out the season. Manager Martin Russell will feel his side are good enough to get the points they need, now all the team has to do is go out and prove it.

Shamrock Rovers will be disappointed with their season. It was clear from quite early on that they would never find themselves in a position to challenge for the league. Trevor Croly and his side will use this season as a learning tool and a stepping stone to a much improved Shamrock Rovers side next season. A win here will go a long way to showing that.

Prediction: Draw

Sligo Rovers –v- Drogheda United    7:45 

A rehearsal for the FAI Cup final here, as Sligo Rovers take on Drogheda United at the Showgrounds.

After the disappointment of losing out on the league last week, Sligo Rovers turn their sights towards the FAI Cup final on November 3rd. Sligo will look to put down a marker here and defeat their cup opponents, while their players will be looking to show manager Ian Baraclough why they deserve a starting place.

Like their opponents, Drogheda will be hoping to gain a huge psychological advantage with a victory here. The Louth side will be seen as the underdogs going into the final and will be seeking a result that will give pause to that thought.

Prediction: Home win

Image courtesy of St Pat’s captain Conor Kenna.

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