Posts Tagged ‘soccer’


Jodi Stand

I had not ventured to Dalymount Park in Dublin for many years. I used to watch Bohemians in 1967/78 and remember some great occasions when Ireland played internationals in front of a packed crowd. I had been once I think since the new Jodi stand was erected. On Friday night (15th October) I found myself queueing to get into the ground, a bit like the old days. I thought I would end up with Bohs supporters in the “shed” behind the goalmouth. In fact this is the territory of away fans, in this case Sligo Rovers. I joined hundreds of them singing and applauding their team in an FAI Ford Cup semi-final. The atmosphere was great and the Red and White Army did everything they could to boost the players as they attacked into the goal they stood behind in the first half. Sligo had a couple of chances but it was scoreless at half-time.

As the RTÉ Sport report described it (new window) Rovers went very close to opening the scoring on 11 minutes when Romauld Boco shrugged off Powell to get on the end of Matthew Blinkhorn’s excellent cross. Boco chipped the advancing Murphy but sent his effort over the bar.  Boco got a shot on target on 14 minutes but Murphy dived to his right and saved well. In the second half Rovers enjoyed a superb spell of pressure with twenty minutes remaining, with excellent passing football and creativity. They were rewarded for their effort with the winning goal on 75 minutes when Gavin Peers got his head to Richie Ryan’s corner and sent the ball into the net. So the westerners secured their place in this year’s final at the Aviva stadium next month. Their opponents will not be known for another few days as Shamrock Rovers and St Patrick’s Athletic drew 2-2 in the other semi-final. The Sligo fans went away happy and on this display their team will probably be considered favourites in the final. I thought Friday night’s game was a great advertisement for Irish soccer. I also hope Dalymount will continue to witness many many more years of football. But it will require more money to be spent on the stadium to update the facilities around the ground.

Sligo Rovers fans celebrate a 1-0 victory over Bohs



Pre-match warm-up

I went back to the new Tallaght stadium a week ago (October 9th) expecting to see Shamrock Rovers moving to secure their first League of Ireland title since 1994. Sporting Fingal had other ideas and spoiled the fun for the Rovers fans who for most of the match were solidly behind the Hoops.

Teams line out

Rovers went ahead after 13 minutes, missed a 2nd half penalty and looked like holding the lead until the last 15. The visitors took control and a series of defensive errors saw Rovers concede two goals just before the final whistle. So Fingal went away with three points and Bohemians took the opportunity to topple Rovers from the top. Rovers had been hammered 5-1 away to Dundalk and suddenly their title hopes appear to be evaporating. No doubt manager Michael O’Neill will be taking them in for a good talking to before their final two league games. One thing I enjoyed about the game was to see the crowd pouring in to watch Irish soccer on a SATURDAY for a change, when no English Premiership matched were neing played.

Hoops prepare

There were more signs today of Rovers’ weariness when an own goal in the 90th minute meant that St Patrick’s Athletic managed a 2-2 draw in the FAI Ford Cup semi-final. The replay will be next Tuesday at Inchicore and the winners meet Sligo Rovers in the final. I watched them defeat Bohemians 1-0 last Friday at Dalymount Park and they played well.

Come on the Hoops



I made my first visit to the new stadium at Tallaght recently to watch Shamrock Rovers. As a schoolboy I used to watch the Hoops at Glenmalure Park in Milltown, a ground with a great history. It adjoined our school rugby pitches. I can remember the great atmosphere there, patricularly during cup games against teams such as Waterford. Apart from an odd visit to Tolka Park during the long period when Rovers were homeless, I had not seen them play for many years. I arrived five minutes late and by that stage Rovers were a goal up against UCD, a side which only developed after my time at Belfield. There was a great atmosphere at the ground and the pitch and stadium looked well. Rovers went on to win 4-1. Whoever said that Monday night soccer wouldn’t work? It was a great advertisement for Airtricity soccer. I also went to the “Hunky Dory” stadium in Drogheda for the first time recently where the students were once again the visitors. The home side won by a solitary goal. The crowd was not big but the supporters (both sets) were enthusiastic and did their best to create some atmosphere. It’s the only pitch I know where one of the goals adjoins a garden wall and house extensions. Unlike the great space in Tallaght. It’s good to see Rovers again at the top of the league.

I intend to pay a return visit some time to see them in action. Come on the Hoops!