On Friday, one Irish club is being pulled into the vortex.
Following a tense and nervy first leg on Tuesday night, Dundalk and Waterford United go into their final match of the season knowing that rich awards awaits one while a catastrophe awaits the other. The 2-2 result in that game, with the away goal rule not in effect, leaves both teams with everything to play for.
Because of the current state of the league, it is simply the biggest promotion/relegation play-off match in years. The team that leaves the RSC on Friday contemplating life in the First Division next year, memorably dubbed “the graveyard” by club chairmen who have had to endure it, will know that they face at least one year among mediocre opposition in a tier that is struggling to stay together with poor crowds, lack of attention and a sense of aimlessness as to its direction from the FAI. It is no exaggeration that the future of the losing club, through the likely hit in finances, will actually be in very real peril. With a league containing as few as six teams potentially, the loser will face hard choices and deep regret.
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