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Dublin: 18 °C Saturday 23 June, 2018

Five things we learned from the League of Ireland this weekend...

The chasing pack need to keep the pressure on Shamrock Rovers this week.

Bohemians' Danny Joyce was shown a red card for this tackle on Richie Ryan of Sligo Rovers.
Bohemians' Danny Joyce was shown a red card for this tackle on Richie Ryan of Sligo Rovers.
Image: INPHO/Morgan Treac

1. More than a Wee victory for Drogheda

ONLY ONE PLACE to start this week and that is at Oriel Park where Drogheda United ended a 13-year wait to defeat local rivals Dundalk in the top tier.

Goals from Daniel Corcoran and Philip Hand gave Mick Cooke’s side just their second win of the season, despite a late consolation goal from Daniel Kearns.

Of further importance is the fact Drogs picked up a very important three points to move clear of Galway United at the foot of the table.

Dundalk, meanwhile, can redeem themselves somewhat tonight as they welcome a St Patrick’s Athletic team that have looked unbeatable in the league the past few weeks.

2. Galway now adrift

The Tribesmen find themselves three points behind Drogheda after another defeat, this time at home to high-flying Bray Wanderers, who moved into second place thanks to strikes from the sensational Conor Murphy, John Mulroy and Stephen Last.

Worryingly, Galway’s goal difference after 17 games is -34 and at present their goals scored per game ratio is below 0.5.

As mentioned on countless occasions at this stage, whoever strengthens most in the transfer window – which is now opened – will stay away from the bottom spot and, therefore, the dreaded relegation play-off.

3. Six-shooting Hoops on song

Shamrock Rovers knocked UCD for six at Belfield on Friday night and another win over Derry at Tallaght this evening will see the champions move six points clear at the top.

It promises to be a fascinating duel; the top-scorers in the Candystripes facing the meanest defence in the country but there’s no doubt which side go into the game in the better form.

The Hoops hammered the Students, with Gary Twigg scoring another two goals to bring his total up to eight goals despite missing a large portion of the campaign to the date with injury.

4. Candystripes need to keep pressure on

As predicted on Friday, there was very little separating St Patrick’s Athletic from Derry at Richmond Park, with the Saints keeping their unbeaten run going to 10 league games.

When both sides met earlier in the season it finished 1-1, and it was the same against as Danny North equalised for the home side after Stephen McLaughlin had given Derry the lead.

Still, it was a game that both sides needed to win to keep the pressure on Rovers, making tonight’s game even more important for Derry, seeing as they could find themselves eight points off the pace with a defeat.

5. Limerick to splash cash for Behan?

The transfer window is now open and already there is already an interesting story brewing – in the first division.

Denis Behan, released by Hartlepool United last month, looks set to sign with Limerick despite interest from former club Cork City.

The plot thickened over the weekend when City manager Tommy Dunne suggested Limerick were offering Behan a huge sum of money.

“I spoke to Denis today and it looks like he’s going to sign for Limerick. To be honest, what Limerick are paying him the likes of Shamrock Rovers would find it hard to compete with,” Dunne said.

“I don’t know where they’re getting their money from, you talk about the 65% rule with regard to turnover, they’re getting 300 people through the gate and they’re able to dish out that sort of money.”

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