Monday, 12 October 2009

End of season skirmishes

Well its nearly all over but both the Premier and First Divisions are looking like going down to the wire. With nothing settled its all to play for.

So lets take a look at how the last few weeks are shaping up:

Shamrock Rovers - 66 pts

Shamrock Rovers run in:

  • Sat 17th Oct Drogheda Utd (H)
  • Tue 20th Oct Cork City (H)
  • Fri 23rd Oct Dundalk (A)
  • Fri 30th Oct Galway Utd (H)
  • Fri 6th Nov St Pats Ath (A)
Bohemians - 64 pts

Bohemians run in:

  • Fri 16th Oct Cork City (A)
  • Tue 20th Oct St Pats Ath (H)
  • Fri 23rd Oct Galway Utd (A)
  • Fri 30th Oct Sligo Rovers (H)
  • Fri 6th Nov Bray Wanderers (A)
So, with a 2 point advantage and 3 out of 5 games at home, you would have to say that Shamrock Rovers are most definitely in the driving seat and at 4/6 best price, you can see that the books' agree.

However, its been many years since Shamrock Rovers have been in this position, in fact they have only just got to the top of the league two weeks ago when beating Bohemians at the foot of the Dublin Mts in Tallaght Stadium. Its been a long season for Rovers and an even longer one for top marksman Gary Twigg who arrived in Tallaght halfway through the Scottish Season. He has been struggling with fitness for a number of weeks now and while Rovers were able to look to Dessie Baker last weekend against Derry to get that all important goal, it is vital that they can keep Twigg fit for the 5 remaining games.

Bohemians on the other hand have been there and done it all at this stage. Knocked off top spot two weeks ago they responded in emphatic fashion with a 4-0 demolishion of Drogheda Utd last Friday (9th Oct).

Shamrock Rovers have to face three sides battling for survival in Drogheda, Galway & St Pats. Bohemians must play four, the three above and then travel to the Carlisle to face a Bray side who have already accounted for them at Dalymount this season.

It must be said that its Shamrock Rovers to lose, no question and if they can win the next two games, which are at home, then the momentum will be unstoppable at that stage.

Tuesday, 19 February 2008

First Division Betting

A guide to the minefield of First Divison Betting

9/4 Dundalk
3/1 Waterford Utd
4/1 Shelbourne
10/1 Sporting Fingal
16/1 Limerick 37
20/1 Longford Town
50/1 Kildare County
66/1 Monaghan Utd
66/1 Wexford Youth
80/1 Athlone Town

A rough guide to whats generally available on the high street.


Their early season form last year had most people asuming they would go up last year but an in different spell mid-season saw both Cobh & Harps over take them. They've made some decent signings particularly the five from Shamrock Rovers, lots of experience. They have let Philly Hughes go and have lost last years top scorer Shaun Williams as his loan spell has ended. They start the season as most firms favourite.

Verdict: A watching brief for me.

Waterford Utd.

Waterford had a good enough squad last year to really challenge for the First division title, unfortunatley they were in the Premier division due to Shelbourne's demotion. They havent been overly busy in the tranfser market and with a largely settled side, Gareth Cronin will be happy that his squad will be able to challenge for top spot this year.

Vedict: Champions in waiting.


I think its fair to say that Dermot Keely has done an excellent job is steering the club through what had to be a very difficult season for all involved with Shelbourne FC. A new season brings with it new challenges and for Shels it is to get back where they belong, in the top flight. There has been a massive triming of the squad that was put toghether last year to keep the club afloat and in fairness looks to be a farily good side. There is a good mixture of youth and experience. Shelbourne will have a say in how this title is decided.

Verdict: Play-offs.

Sporting Fingal

The new kids on the block. They have a good manager in the shape of Liam Buckley. They have also been very busy with Transfers obviously, and have a good deal of experience with the likes of Steve Williams, Chris Deans, Robbie Doyle etc. Its impossible to know how these will all gel and what sort of support they will garner but its exciting to have a new club, albeit at the expense of losing Kilkenny City. Most layers have taken the cautious approach and kept them at a reasonable short price.

Verdict: Top half if all goes well.

Limerick 37

Ultimatley a very dissapointing season last year for the then "Newist Club". They never really challenged. With new investment in the club it will again be very interesting to monitor affairs at the club. They dont appear to have changed much on the field so its hard to make a case for how the same side can challenge this year. Kevin Waters has left to join Waterford and presumably has taken his goals with him.

Verdict: If anything futher away for me this season, mid-table.

Longford Town

A year to forget for Longford, although good news this week that they have at least obtained a first division licence which implies that off the field they are in good health. The majority of the squad from last season have moved on, which is understandable considering the talent the club possesed. The six points lost to accounting irregularities eventually cost them Premier divison status last year. The club have brought in a number of Junior & Intermediate players so its difficult to asses them until the season kicks off. It would be a suprise if they mounted a challenge.

Verdict: Its all about surival.

Kildare County

Kildare havent really had much to shout about in the last few years and I dont think they will have much to horse about this year. None of their pre-season signings excite me terribly. Kildares best finish in the last five years had been 4th and this current crop of players is not as tallented as the 2004 side.

Verdict: Bottom half.

Monaghan Utd

Monaghan posses a decent enough squad without being world beaters, they will look to improve on last years 8th position. I cant see them mounting a challenge but should be above Athlone and Wexford.

Vedict: Bottom half.

Wexford Youths

Appear to have much the same side as last year, possbily a year older and wiser. Mick Wallace's experiment will continue in much the same fashion as last year. Possilby a bit of second season blues. I cant make any case for why they should be any better than last year.

Verdict: Same again.

Athlone Town

Quite enough on the transfer front for Athlone and after a season that promised much last year they seem just as far away from success as ever. They have one of the nicest grounds in the league but that counts for nothing if your not challenging. The club has had some financial difficulites to deal with recently so its probably just about survial in the short term.

Verdict: Same again.

Best of luck....