In case it wasn’t clear, the reason I’m writing more about the League of Ireland recently is connected with my pieces for Lovely Left Foot and a commitment to have a greater interest in my native league. Limerick is the nearest club to me, and while I by no means claim to be a stalwart fan of the club, it is only natural that I should choose to make them a focus.
Second game down and a bad loss away to Waterford. Limerick made more than enough chances to win the game, but fluffed all but one, hitting the woodwork twice. Waterford were content to sit back and hit Limerick on the break, doing so with gusto in the second half.
The result really shouldn’t be seen in too harsh a light though. Waterford were well beaten by Wexford last week, but such a result often spurs squads on in following fixtures. It must also be noted that, based on last seasons standings, away to Waterford is Limerick’s hardest fixture.
A bit more accurate in front of goal, and Limerick will cruise past most opposition in this league. That small section of the support (observed through message boards and forums) that are calling for Scully’s head seem wildly off the mark to me. This season is still very young. An away tie to Mervue is next, another tricky prospect, but nothing that Limerick cannot overcome with a little bit more confidence and accuracy in front of goal.
Also of note is Limerick’s luck in the League Cup draw, one of two clubs in their pool (the other being St Pats) to receive a bye into the next round. Semi-finalists last year, this is certainly a competition that Limerick will want to leave their mark on.
Elsewhere, expected wins for Shelbourne over Bohemians in this weeks Dublin derby, while Derry trounced Bray 4-0 in Wicklow and Sligo beat UCD. St Pats eased to a 2-0 triumph away to Dundalk, whole the champions survived an early scare at home to Monaghan to win 3-1 by the end, rarely breaking a sweat. Big shock goes to Drogheda who came from two down to beat Cork City 3-2. It was Cork’s first Premier League home game in three years, and the wide variety of players out through injury and suspension is still having an effect, or at least the Leesiders will hope that is the problem.
Still a bit too early to be offering real analysis of results and standings just yet though.
In the First Division, Wexford Youth’s couldn’t continue where they left off against Waterford, forced to share the spoils with SD Galway after a 1-1 draw. Salthill need just another eight points to have a better season than last. Longford are the only club with a 100% record left, beating Athlone 2-1 while Finn Harps got the better of Mervue in a seven goal thriller, 4-3 the result. As with the Premier Division, it is still just a bit early to be talking about trends and standings.