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Quigley on Monday – League table at Easter is a surprise

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The Premier Division table certainly made for surprise viewing after the Easter round of matches. No Shamrock Rovers at the summit, no Dundalk. Instead there was a three-way tie on seven points between Sligo Rovers, St Patrick’s Athletic and Finn Harps.

Pats came out on top in the Dublin derby against Bohemians at Dalymount Park. Two Dublin derbies in three games for Pats, and a four-point haul from them [they drew away to Shamrock Rovers on opening day]. Sligo won away to promoted Longford, while Finn Harps lost their 100% record but remain unbeaten after a draw away to Drogheda at Head In The Game Park. While the three teams at the top remain unbeaten, it must be pointed out that Shamrock Rovers remain unbeaten too; with four points from their opening two games, Rovers have a game in hand.

This coming weekend St Pats face Derry in Inchicore in a top versus bottom clash. Also on the horizon is the ‘Battle Of the Rovers’ in Sligo; Shamrock Rovers – strengthened by their victory this weekend over Dundalk – will be looking to move up the table but won’t find it easy against Liam Buckley and The Bit O’Red.

Down in the First Division, Cabinteely lead the way with a 100% record. A fine win over Cork at Stradbrook was a real statement of intent for the season; although they fell away last season after early promise, they will want to keep the momentum going this term, right till the end.

Good Friday was certainly a good Friday for anyone who got to see Shelbourne host Bray at Tolka Park. Got to see the stream I mean, although I have to admit to hanging around Tolka with my son Blaise before kick-off, looking to sneak in. Maybe that’s something I’d have done when I was Blaise’s age; at this stage of my life I was content to just show Blaise how I’d have done it [around into Cian Park Industrial Estate, across the river and over the wall of the Riverside Stand].

Coming from Bray and being a lifelong Wanderers fan who happens to live beside Tolka, the game is usually a favourite of mine on the calendar when Wanderers and Shels are in the same division. Although it felt strange watching a game on screen that was happening down the road, the game was thoroughly entertaining, with a feast of goals and the spoils shared. Two sides who will certainly be in the promotion mix come October.

Brian Quigley

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