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19th Feb 2022

League of Ireland round-up: Shamrock Rovers and St. Pat’s weather storm

Luke Jennings

The League of Ireland is back!

The 2022 League of Ireland season got underway as Storm Eunice was in full effect. Finn Harps V Drogheda United getting called off meant there were three games on display in the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division on Friday.

Jack Byrne’s creativity dismantles UCD.

Shamrock Rovers beat UCD 3-0 in Tallaght Stadium in front of a bumper crowd of 5,232. The Irish international proved too strong for the students as he registered two assists in the first half.

UCD started strong through the threat of Ireland under-21 Liam Kerrigan but two Alan Mannus saves kept the game at 0-0. Rovers class eventually took over as Sean Hoare, Danny Mandroiu, and Graham Burke goals sent the Hoops joint top of the table.

Byrne’s return to the league was one of class as he controlled the tempo of the match throughout which included a sublime assist for Mandroiu in the 45th minute.

Damien Duff falls short on managerial debut.

St. Patrick’s Athletic won 3-0 away to Shelbourne in front of a sold-out crowd at Tolka Park. The RTร‰ cameras were live in Drumcondra to show Damien Duff’s first game in charge. Tim Clancy’s men proved too much against The Reds.

Shels saw an early Dan Carr goal ruled out due to offside. It was a game of attacking nous as St. Pat’s capitalised on Duff’s sides’ inexperience to get their title charge underway.

The scoreline was harsh on Shels as they created opportunities of their own. Saints fans chanted “you’re getting sacked in the morning” to the former Premier League winner as the action concluded.

League of Ireland

Encouraging signs from Stephen O’Donnell’s Dundalk.

It was a cold night in Oriel Park as Derry City held Dundalk to a 2-2 draw. The Lillywhites had the lead twice but failed to hold onto all three points as Stephen O’Donnell took charge.

It’s a new era in Dundalk as an array of changes was made during the off-season from ownership to playing staff. There were nine starts handed out to new signings by O’Donnell. Only seven players in the 20 man matchday squad were involved in the same fixture on the last day of the 2021 campaign.

Dundalk lost four starting players to Derry in the off-season. However, the Lillywhites will be disappointed not to have won on Friday. It’s a youthful squad now at Dundalk as Steven Bradley on loan from Hibernian got a goal and man of the match on his league debut.

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