The self-proclaimed best league in the world is back after a long winter, which spawned plenty of change, most notably the career move for Stephen Kenny that sees his successful spell at Dundalk turn into a future as Ireland boss.
So, before you start dusting off the scarves and googling how to get to the stadiums, lets recap on the league’s opening matchday.
Bohemians 1-0 Finn Harps
After a lot of new signings during the offseason, the Northsiders relied on the old faithful to get them over the line against the Donegal outfit. Harps started the game by taking a foothold in the game. The only goal of the game came five minutes before half time when Keith Buckley set up Daniel Corcoran who put the ball in the net. Bohs would continue to take hold of the second half and hold on to all three points.
Derry City 3-0 University College Dublin
An excellent all-round performance gave Derry have comfortable result in the Brandywell against last year’s second division champions. It was 1-0 at half time with Derry having the better chances in the first half, and the candystripes added two more goals in the second half thanks to a Liam Scales’ own goal and a score from striker Eoghan Stokes. A good performance by Derry, while UCD travelled back to Dublin in need of a reshape.
Dundalk 1-1 Sligo Rovers
It was Vinny Perth’s first match in charge of Dundalk after Kenny left for the Irish under 21’s, and the Lilywhites looked positive with a penalty early on, however it was saved by Rovers keeper Edward McGinty. McGinty had an outstanding game as Dundalk would have won easily if he wasn’t on his A-game. Dundalk’s Patrick Hoban, in particular, was left frustrated as a number of his shots were saved. Both goals came either side of half-time thanks to Jack Keaney for Rovers then Sean Murray for Dundalk. Towards the end Dundalk had some chances but nothing of note; and it ended with a point apiece, Dundalk being the more disappointed of the two with the result.
St. Patricks Athletic 1-0 Cork City
Ireland Manager Mick McCarthy was in attendance for this game as St. Pats got a perfect start to the new season against one of the title favourites. Pats were given a penalty on the half-hour mark after Conor Clifford was fouled by Sean McLoughlin, Mikey Drennan stepped up to score. The start of the second half was a fiery one as Cork’s Conor McCormack and Pats’ Kevin Toner both received bookings early on. In the end, Pats were victorious with a promising performance, a delighted crowd in Inchicore no doubt.
Waterford 1-2 Shamrock Rovers
Shamrock Rovers left it late to grab the win in Waterford. The hosts were in front after Kevin Lynch put a free kick from 25 yards out into the top corner. Aaron Greene scored in the equaliser in the second half for the hoops, and Ethan Boyle scored in the 92nd minute after he headed the ball in from a corner, giving the delighted Rovers squad 3 points to bring back to Tallaght.