Shelbourne’s Jack Moylan celebrates after the game. Ciaran Culligan/INPHO

England-bound Moylan bows out in style as Shels seal top-4 finish

Damien Duff’s side must now hope St Patrick’s Athletic win next weekend’s FAI Cup final to secure a European spot.

Drogheda United 2

Shelbourne 4

Barry Landy reports from Weavers Park

SHELBOURNE’S EUROPEAN dream lives on, now depending on whether St Patrick’s Athletic can claim the FAI Cup next weekend. They secured a fourth-place finish in the league with a second-half comeback helped by Luke Heeney’s 49th-minute dismissal.

They arrived at Weavers Park knowing fourth place — and possible European qualification — was in their hands. A win over Drogheda United would have secured it, regardless of what Dundalk or Bohemians could muster elsewhere.

Damien Duff’s team were in deep trouble at half-time, two goals down as Drogheda hit them twice through an Adam Foley brace.

The latter of those was a thing of beauty and a very late contender for Goal of the Season. It was some consolation on the night for Drogheda United who capitulated in the second half after Heeney’s sending off.

Will Jarvis and Paddy Barrett added goals to the irrepressible Jack Moylan’s double as Shels did what they needed to. Now, their fate is out of their hands. If St Pat’s win the cup next Sunday, Duff’s men will be heading for the continent next summer in the Uefa Conference League.

Among the interested spectators were Lincoln City executives Jez George and Liam Scully, with Shels’ talisman Moylan playing his final game for the club ahead of moving to the Imps on 1 January.

The midfielder arrived on Boyneside in contention for the Premier Division’s Golden Boot. He was one of four players tied on 13 goals going into the final round of fixtures and with something to play for, he was keen to sign off in style.

That he did but not before Shels were given an almighty scare by Drogheda. Foley’s double in the first half seemingly had their Euro hopes in tatters.

His first came after a slight touch on Dayle Rooney’s cross from the left. It rolled onto the foot of the post and over the line. His second strike is a very late contender for the season’s best.

A stunning volley from his boot has been seen a few times at Weavers Park this term. Rooney’s free was cleared to Foley and his shot flew past Kearns. It was an extraordinary hit.

Heeney’s second-half dismissal four minutes after the restart helped Shels, undoubtedly. He received a second yellow for a foul on Jarvis. But Moylan had already halved the deficit with a smart finish moments earlier.

The game changed with the numerical advantage on Shels’ side. Jarvis curled in an equaliser minutes later and then Moylan showed goalscoring instinct to give his team the lead.

Everyone stopped expecting a foul to be given against Shane Farrell. No whistle came and the midfielder screwed the ball past Wogan. Barrett, not liked in these parts given his Dundalk connections, completed the scoring with a header.

Duff’s party wasn’t spoiled in the end. The sides have developed a bitter rivalry over the last two seasons, stoked by some of the managers’ comments about Drogheda’s ex-Shels contingent. That made their win all the enjoyable. It might yet get better.

Drogheda United: Andrew Wogan; Luke Heeney, Conor Keeley, Evan Weir, Aaron McNally (Jamie Egan, 76); Gary Deegan, Matthew O’Brien; Adam Foley (Darragh Noone, 66), Darragh Markey (Warren Davis, 66), Dayle Rooney; Kyle Robinson (Jarlath Jones, 52).

Shelbourne: Conor Kearns; Tyreke Wilson, Paddy Barrett, Gavin Molloy, Shane Griffin (Luke Byrne, 84); JJ Lunney, Mark Coyle, Harry Wood (JR Wilson, 90+1); Shane Farrell (Evan Caffrey, 81), Jack Moylan, Will Jarvis (Jad Hakiki, 90+1)

Referee: Eoghan O’Shea

Your Voice
Readers Comments
This is YOUR comments community. Stay civil, stay constructive, stay on topic. Please familiarise yourself with our comments policy here before taking part.
Leave a Comment
    Submit a report
    Please help us understand how this comment violates our community guidelines.
    Thank you for the feedback
    Your feedback has been sent to our team for review.

    Leave a commentcancel