Morgan Treacy/INPHO The Lilywhites were at their rampant best yesterday.
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Can anyone stop Dundalk? This weekend's SSE Airtricity League talking points
Plus, more contentious refereeing decisions and Sligo’s struggles.

Updated at 19.00

Who, if anyone, can stop Dundalk?

AS THE FIRST series of games comes to an end, now is an apt opportunity to reflect on the 11 games so far. Could Stephen Kenny’s Dundalk build on their title success? Or struggle to maintain the high standards set in a record breaking season? Those questions have been answered in resounding style.

Unbeaten this season, the Lilywhites have proved themselves a team for the big occasion with wins against Cork City, St Pats and Bohs. Complacency isn’t an issue. They don’t tend to drop points against inferior sides either. It’s difficult to see where Dundalk are going to slip up, if at all. Oriel is a fortress where they’ve dropped just eight points since 2013.

- Barry Landy

Contentious decision the decisive moment for Galway

Galway United fell behind when Stephen Walsh was penalised halfway through the first period for handling in the area. Killian Brennan duly converted the resulting spot-kick and that set the wheels in motion for St Pat’s as they went on to record a comfortable victory.

As soon as referee Jim McKell pointed to the spot he was surrounded by Galway players frantically protesting that he had made the wrong decision.

Tommy Dunne has already expressed his disappointment at some of  the officiating so far this season and he will surely have more to say regarding this incident.

- Jason Byrne

Mikey Drennan celebrates scoring the first goal of the game with Keith Fahey Donall Farmer / INPHO Mikey Drennan was the match winner for Rovers on Friday Donall Farmer / INPHO / INPHO

Rovers far from convincing despite three points

Ahead of a crucial tie in Inchicore next Friday, nothing but a win would suffice against Drogheda, but the lacklustre approach in the final third from Shamrock Rovers will surely be something Pat Fenlon will be concerned with.

Having had so much of the ball in the second half, several poor deliveries from wide areas, and an all round subdued approach when in and around the penalty area, meant some home fans were heading for the exit with just under a quarter of an hour left to play.

It was interesting that Fenlon chose Gavin Brennan to play on the left of what was, for the most part, a front three. With the likes of Gary McCabe, Kieran Marty-Waters and Sean O’Connor, who are all well capable of playing in that position, on the bench, Brennan made no impact.

Meanwhile, Brandon Miele, who was on the right, was the standout performer, and he definitely looks like a player who has a bright future ahead.

For Johnny McDonnell, it was another disappointing result, which followed a poor 3-0 loss to Longford at home the week before. Winning two games early on in the season provided them with a cushion, but taking just two points from a possible 27 in their last nine outings means they need to find some kind of form, and fast.

- Simon Walsh 

Sligo’s struggles continue but time on Heary’s side

Sligo Rovers’ dreadful start to the season has surprised many, and with Cork City lying in wait next week, they could be waiting another long time for their second win of the season.

One would think that Heary should be under pressure, but with a good squad accumulated, there is no doubt they can turn things around. But it remains to be seen whether they will.

For Limerick, a last minute goal to earn a point against another struggling team could be their turning point. They are still waiting for their first win of the season, but this could just give them the boost that they so badly require.

- Jessica Farry

Padraig Sutton Donall Farmer / INPHO The league's referees are constantly under the microscope Donall Farmer / INPHO / INPHO

Referees again in the spotlight

Although Longford took a point from Saturday’s game against Derry, the Premier Division new boys will feel they were on the receiving end of a harsh call.

Conor Powell’s first-half dismissal took the sting out of the game on an evening when free-flowing football was difficult to come by anyway given the awful conditions. Naturally, the hosts were upset with referee Ben Connolly for brandishing the red after Powell’s challenge on Mark Timlin.

The uncertainty surrounding these decisions needs to be addressed after the game by the officials. Fans, players and managers will always be upset when decisions are made against their team but without clear reasoning the referees will continue to be on the receiving end of abuse.

The relationship between the fans and the referees is as frail as ever and the best way to start to repair things is being honest and upfront.

- Michael Spencer

Seamus Coleman made a very generous donation to help a former LOI striker battling cancer

The league champions managed a whopping EIGHT goals in their mammoth win today

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