League of Ireland round-up: Shamrock Roves, Dundalk and Bohemians end season with wins

Sadou Diallo will miss next week’s FAI Cup final after a red card I the defeat to Dundalk at the Brandywell.

he Derry City midfielder reacted angrily to a punch from Dundalk’s Robbie McCourt just 20 minutes into the game, with both players red-carded. It is a huge blow for Diallo and Ruaidhri Higgins ahead of next week’s showpiece against Shelbourne at the Aviva Stadium.

It was Dundalk who struck first and it was a brilliant strike from former Derry City player Keith Ward. The home side failed to clear the ball sufficiently from a corner and when it came to ward on the corner of the penalty area, he drilled the ball back through a crowd of players past the unsighted Brian Maher and into the net.

The game exploded into controversy on 20 minutes as both teams were reduced to ten men.

When the game resumed, Dundalk should have made it 2-0 when David McMillan went through on goal, but he was denied by a huge save from Maher, who kept a dishevelled Derry City in the game.

A half hour passed before City really tested Peter Cherrie in the Dundalk goal, Dummigan feeding the ball through for James Akintunde, but the goalkeeper was out quickly to charge the shot down.

City started to look more threatening as half time approached, and Joe Thomson was on the end of every chance that came his way, the midfielder snatching at a cross from Boyce, before trying to place a shot moments later, only for Cherrie to save comfortably .

Derry labored to get back into the game in the second half and they should have had their equalizer with jut seven minutes remaining. Andy Boyle slipped on the edge of his own area and Joe Thomson pounced to set up substitute Jamie McGonigle, but the striker shot wildly over the bar wit just Peter Cherrie to beat.

DERRY CITY: Maher, Boyce, Lafferty (Coll 71′), S McEleney, McJannet, Dummigan, Thomson (McEneff 83′), Diallo, Graydon, Kavanagh (Patching 57′), Akintude (McGonigle 71′).

DUNDALK: Cherrie, Macari, Gartland (Boyle 80′), Leahy, McCourt, Ward (Bradley 71′), Lewis, Hauge, Adams, Martin (O’Kane 63′), McMillan (Hoban 71′).

REFEREE: Rob Hennessey

UCD 0 Shamrock Rovers 2

Shamrock Rovers rounded off their title-winning season with a routine win at a packed UCD Bowl.

Aaron Greene and Simon Power got the goals as the Hoops propelled themselves to a club-record tally of 79 points for the season.

And it took just six minutes for the Hoops to open the scoring.

Lurking on the edge of the six-yard box, Greene latched onto Ferizaj’s cushioned header, before comfortably striking the ball into the bottom-right corner.

And Greene nearly got a second on the quarter-hour mark, but for Kian Moore, who pushed his headed effort onto the post.

Rory Gaffney came close 15 minutes later. However, Moore was again on hand to stop his low effort.

Thinking ahead to Friday’s crucial promotion/relegation play-off against Waterford, Andy Myler opted to make four changes – including his goalkeeper – at the break.

And, truth be told, the second period was better for the students, as Tobi Jinad and Johnny Haist worked tirelessly to produce a series of counter-attacks.

Largely though, the game continued at Rovers’ pace – even if Bradley’s forces lacked the clinical edge required to rack up the goals this late in the season.

However, Power did finally wrap up the game – and the season – with his finish seven minutes from time.

Standing on the edge of the box for a corner-kick, the midfielder was well-placed to intercept a short clearance and smack a deflected shot into the back of the net.

UCD – Moore (Healy, 46); Corish, Duggan, O’Brien, Todd (Gallagher, 46); Higgins (Nolan, 60), Brennan (O’Connor, 46), Norris, Caffrey (Keaney, 46); Hait, Jinad.

Shamrock Rovers – Pohls; Lopes, Grace, Gannon; Finn (Lyons, 75), Kavanagh; Hoare, Ferizaj (Emakhu, 68); Seredeniuk (Farrugia, 75), Greene (Power, 68); Gaffney (Tetteh, 68).

Referee Tomney

Bohemians 3 Sligo Rovers 1

Declan Devine got his first win as Bohemians manager as his side finished a frustrating season with a flourish against a luckless Sligo Rovers at Dalymount Park.

Bohemians started on the front foot, James McManus having an effort cleared off the line before Liam Burt arrowed a drive inches over 17-year-old debutant Conor Walsh’s crossbar.

Walsh then hastened outside his area to clear from Declan McDaid, who looked in on goal from skipper Conor Levingston’s lob over the top.

But it was Tadhg Ryan at the other end who had to make the first save of the night, tipping over the bar from Aidan Keena.

Ryan was there again minutes later to push away Keena’s drive with Eanna Clancy’s follow-up frantically blocked.

Bohs then finished the half strongly to edge in front from an own goal right on 45 minutes.

Walsh failed to gather Kris Twardek’s cross, which struck the far post and entered the net off 18-year-old Clancy, on his full league debut.

If that was unfortunate, Sligo could have few complaints when falling further behind four minutes into the second half.

Jordan Flores floated a free kick into the area where defender Rory Feely rose unchallenged to head to the net.

Sligo were inches from a response, Max Mata bouncing a header from captain Greg Bolger’s free over off the crossbar.

Back at the other end, Walsh went full stretch to push a James Clarke shot round a post before the Bohemians did score again on 61 minutes.

Jordan Doherty’s over-hit center was brilliantly turned back across goal at the end line by McManus for Clarke to head home.

Keena got Sligo’s consolation goal on 75 minutes, his shot squirming under Ryan to make it 18 for the season for the division’s leading scorer.

Bohemians: Ryan; Doherty (Doran, 90), Feely, Kelly (C. Byrne, 54), Flores; Levingston, McManus; Twardek (McCormack, 90), Clarke, Burt (Adewale, 90); Varian (McDaid, 19),

Sligo Rovers: Walsh; Horgan, Pijnaker, Clancy, Kirk (O’Sullivan, 6); Bolger, McDonnell (Keogh, 70); Liivak (Heaney, 84), Keena, Fitzgerald; Mata.

Referee: Damien MacGraith (Mayo).

Drogheda United 2 Finn Harps 0

Drogheda United ended their Premier Division season with victory over already relegated Finn Harps but with long-term question marks over the funding of the club still remaining.

Darragh Markey’s early goal, and Dayle Rooney’s late strike, meant United ended a comfortable season, one in which they were never in danger of demotion, with a win but Kevin Doherty’s program notes focused heavily on the continued efforts of chairman Conor Hoey to secure long -term external funding.

If Waterford join Cork City getting promoted to the top flight for 2023, United could find themselves as the only part-time outfit in the division next year. Regardless, the club expects to find it doubly difficult to repeat their season of relative comfort again.

The winning goal was scored inside five minutes. Darragh Noone’s cross was flicked into the path of Markey by a Harps defender. The midfielder composed himself before finding the net. Remarkably, it was his first league goal of the season.

Ollie Horgan had begun the season hoping that his team would be in with a chance of survival on the final day. Last week’s defeat to UCD put paid to that notion and their customary late season fight wasn’t much in evidence at Head In The Game Park.

They improved in the second half but Rooney’s close-range header went wide of the post and both Markey and Darragh Nugent were denied by the frame of the goal. Ethan Boyle twice went close for Harps – first seeing a header cleared off the line. After the break, his top corner-bound cross needed to be clawed away. Rooney did find the net in the final minute of normal time.

DROGHEDA – Steacy (Pagel, 74); Noone, Quinn, Cowan (Ralph, 90+2), Massey (Arong, 90+2); Deegan, Nugent; Grimes (Topcu, 32), Markey, Rooney; Brennan (Molloy, 90+2).

FINN HARPS – McKeown; Nicolson, Tourish, Slevin; Rainey, Boylan (Duncan, 82), McNamee (Duffy, 87), Boyle; Rudden (O’Donnell, 71), Timlin (Siaj, 82); Mihaljevic.

REF – D Dunne

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