Ageless Byrne strikes again
BRAY WANDERERS TRAVELLED west to earn themselves a draw at the Showgrounds on Saturday afternoon and once again the Seagulls had their veteran striker to thank.
Early in the second half, full-back Iarfhlaith Davoren failed miserably to clear a long ball and 34-year-old was onto it like a light to capitalise on the mistake and clinically find the back of the net with his second touch.
It was Byrne’s 12th league goal of the campaign and the decision by Pat Devlin to bring him back to the club he began his career with has proved an inspired one.
Sligo a little sluggish
Sunday saw an opportunity for the Bit O’Red to open up a six-point gap on St Pat’s wasted. Credit is due to Bray, however, who caused problems on the wings with Kieran Marty Walters particularly lively. Ian Baraclough has done a fine job since replacing Paul Cook and, with Shamrock Rovers struggling to find consistency this term, Sligo remain odds on to win their first Premier Division title since 1977.
They haven’t been in full flow recently though and hopefully the three new arrivals can add that bit of freshness needed.
Kenny under pressure
After the 4-0 mauling at the hands of Bohemians last weekend, Stephen Kenny could really have done with a win against St Patrick’s Athletic to get the critics off his back on Sunday but it wasn’t to be.
Hoops defender Craig Sives was on target for the home side and you would have fancied Gary Twigg to put the result beyond doubt but the Scot was kept out by a brilliant stop from Brendan Clarke. As has been the case on a couple of occasions this season, a late lapse in concentration allowed former Rovers defender Pat Flynn to take the ball down at the back post before unleashing a superb finish.
His managerial pedigree is unquestionable but, now eight points off the top, the pressure continues to mount for Kenny, who was again booed by some sections of the crowd at the final whistle.
More misery for Lilywhites
Not only are battling crippling debts off the field, Dundalk suffered a 4-0 defeat to Shelbourne on Friday night. Sean McCaffrey’s side couldn’t catch a break at Tolka Park and after Philip Gorman’s double and another from Kevin Dawson, defender Ben McLoughlin had the misfortune of putting the ball in the back of his own net.
While the scoreline may have flattered Alan Mathews’ side, the Lilywhites are only two points off bottom side UCD and have just one league win in two months. Sean McCaffrey was quick to stress the importance of keeping their financial problems and what happens on the pitch apart afterwards. With the club going up for sale today, let’s hope they can find adequate investment sooner rather than later.
Bohs deserve credit
Even the most optimistic of Bohemians fan would not have predicted the hammering they gave Shamrock Rovers.
One week on, the Gypsies travelled to Turner’s Cross to take on Tommy Dunne’s Cork City, who were unbeaten in eight games. And despite going behind to a Daryl Horgan goal and being under the cosh for large spells of the game, Bohs showed character to push on in the final minutes and were awarded an injury-time penalty when Derek Pender was upended by Kevin Murray and Keith Ward belted home from the spot.
For a side who were tipped by some as favourites for the drop at the start of the campaign, Aaron Callaghan deserves praise for the work he has done at the Phibsborough club.