Saturday, November 27, 2010


It is time for me to pick my Player of the Month for October, Goal of the Season, my Player of the Year 2010 and my Team of The Year.
First up is my player of the month for October. My 3 nominees are;
1) Chris Shields (Bray Wanderers)
2) Ciaran Kelly (Sligo Rovers)
3)Gary McCabe (Sligo Rovers)
I have chosen these 3 because;
Chris Shields- had the courage and bravery to take the penalty to keep Bray up after scoring an own goal.
Ciaran Kelly- quite obvious really, only time i have ever seen a keeper save 4 penalties and this happened to be in a cup final and in front of 36 thousand people.
Gary McCabe- scored an absolute cracker of a goal versus Drogheda.
My Player of the month for October is .................................  CIARAN KELLY
My goal of the season was an absolute peach. You`ll all remember it as a piece of team quality from UCD. The goal itself was scored by 
Ciaran Kilduff but my word it was unbelievable. The ball didn`t appear to touch the ground for about 10 seconds and when it did it was in the back of the net!
My player of the season is the majority of everyone elses player of the year. This of course is 
RICHIE RYAN. He was lucky to get a contract at the start of the season with Sligo and he paid them back magnificently. A string of game-controlling performaces helped Sligo to third in the league, winning the Leage Cup and getting them to the FAI Cup final which he was unfortunately suspended for.
And lastly my team of the year:
    Powell                       Murray                               Kenna              Bermingham
    Dennehy                    Ryan                                   Turner            McAllister
                                     J.Kelly                                Ndo

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Shorthall signs for pats

Brian Shorthall has signed for St patricks Athletic after 5 years at belfield with UCD .He is sured to be missed after being a first team regular for 5 years the ballyfermot native met up with  St pats .

Growing up in Claddagh Green, a lot of my family and friends would have been Pat’s supporters and as my local team I would gone down to see them a fair bit. My uncle Christy O’Sullivan is involved with managing one of the underage teams at the club and some of my family are more excited than me about joining the club!”

“From the age of 6 to about 18, I played with Cherry Orchard and then Pete Mahon signed me for UCD and I played under him for four or five years before playing under Martin Russell for the last two seasons at Belfield.”

“To be honest Pete would have been the main factor for me in joining Pat’s. He’s been very good to me in my career and I don’t think there’s anyone in the game who wants to win as much as he does.”

“My main position is centre half but I can play right or left full and last season I ended up playing across the back. I enjoyed my football at UCD, the concentration was very much on playing football, getting the ball down, keeping it and playing without any fear.”

“I always enjoyed coming to Richmond Park, at UCD Ian Bermingham, Derek Doyle and myself used to look forward to the fixture even though we’d be getting plenty of stick from our neighbours and friends down here. I suppose over the years it was often said that UCD were the club’s bogey team and I know my uncles never liked making the trips out to Belfield so hopefully I can play a part in reversing that one!”

“Last season Pat’s were a very strong unit, very solid and hard to breakdown and it wasn’t until the final quarter that they faded from the top. One or two other clubs at the moment might have more spending power and resources but I think Pat’s will still be challenging for honours next season and my main focus will be to nail down a starting position in the side”.

The other good news for Pats fans today is that James O’Brien has put pen to paper on a new deal that will see him line out again for Pats next season.

Thanks for reading . Josh

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Cook Extends Sligo Contract!!!!

Paul Cook has signed a new contract with his FAI Ford Cup winning side Sligo Rovers.

In what was one of the most successful season in Sligo history the club are delighted that Cook has signed a new two year deal.

So far Paul Cook led Rovers to success in the EA Sports and FAI Cup finals as well as qualification for the Europa League twice in a memorable three and a half year period with the club so far.

Sligo Rovers chairman Dermot Kelly said: “It’s a huge thing for the club to get Paul to sign a new deal. We feel it is a statement of intent by Sligo Rovers that we want more trophies and more success at The Showgrounds.

It‘s a boost when you consider we had to hold off rumblings interest from other clubs in Paul. We feel he is the best coach in the league and that obviously sits in our style of play of playing good football. It’s fantastic for the relationship we have with him. “We both agreed towards the end of the season that to avoid distraction we would hold off until the conclusion of the campaign. We gave our word and now we’re delighted to finalise the issue.”

Sunday, November 14, 2010

FAI Cup final 2010 Preview

Cup final day is finally upon us!!!! Its the very last day of the domestic season as the two Rovers collide in the brand new Aviva Stadium. So far there has been over 25,000 tickets sold which is great and the game is also been shown live on RTE 2. Here is my preview of this afternoons game...

Sligo Rovers Vs Shamrock Rovers = Shamrock Rovers are looking to secure the double but first they must overcome Sligo Rovers who many people consider to play the best football in the league. Their fantastic passing game hasn't been seen in the league for a number of years. One thing is for certain is that any neutrals or people who don't regularly attend league of Ireland games will certainly find themselves more attracted to domestic football in the future. I predict the score will end 3-2 to Sligo.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Rising Star Of The Week: Craig Sexton (Bohemians)

Craig, you currently play for the Bohemians A team and occasionally in the first team, how do u find Bohs?
I love it at Bohs; I’m a lifelong Bohs fan so it’s just great to be a part of it all as a player.

And how do you like the set-up? Is the A-Team (No pun intended) much different to the first team training etc?
I love the set up we have great coaches and great facilities so it’s always good. There is a slight difference because there are different coaches but training is enjoyable with both teams

Yeah and who are the most colourful in the dressing room? As in who would be jokers etc
Alot off good characters in both teams... Bucko is always up for having a 
laugh and is a funny fella

And who do you get on most with at the club?
I wouldn’t say there is just one person, we’re all a close group of players and we all get on very well

Okay now let’s get onto the pitch now, you played against Celtic in a friendly recently, how did it feel to be on the pitch with some of Scotland’s best players?
Yeah was a great experience to be playing my 1st game with the 1st team and for it to be against Celtic also

And were you happy with your performance? 
Yeah I wasn’t too disappointed with how I played just a great bit of experience for me really

And you were involved in squads for the huge games against Rovers and Dundalk, was that a steep learning curve?
Yeah it’s a huge learning experience being involved with the 1st team but to be involved with such big games was a bit more added pressure but great to 
be involved in as a lifelong fan

And were you disappointed you couldn't make your competitive debut against Dundalk, obviously Barry Murphy was playing on what was in hindsight 1 leg
I had no problem not playing just great to learn from all the 1st team lads. I think Barry knew it was the last game and knew he would get through the game and he played excellent for the type of injury he had

And now lets talk about the season overall, 3 finals for the clubs men teams, 3 silver medals were you disappointed with the teams finishes?
Yeah as young lads we were all very disappointed but we knew also we had a brilliant season our managers Eddie and Larry were really happy with the season because at the club its not about winning at our age in the club its just all about development and trying to make the step up to the 1st team

Okay and do you reckon that with a lot of players leaving Bohs, players like yourself may get a better shot in the first-team next year?
I don’t really know what’s going to happen to be honest... it would be great if I could and it is a dream of mine but another year or two in the reserves would help me gain some more valuable experience

Okay and we're almost out of time so our last question is.... if the club could sign any young lad who is on a free at the moment, who would you pick?
There is alot of good young players coming trough its hard to pick one out but I think ill have to say Gary Shaw from bray has been very impressive... I really noticed him when he scored a great goal against rovers recently

We would like to thank Craig for his time and Donagh for the interview

Friday, November 12, 2010

Home based U21 Squad announced

Noel King has announced a home-based Irish U21 squad for an upcoming challenge game against Gerry Smith’s amateur side on Saturday 20th November 2010 at 14.00hrs in the AUL Complex.

This is what the U21 boss had to say about deciding to call up all home based players, “We have organised this game so that I can have a look first hand at the home based players who qualify for Ireland Under 21’s. We don’t have competitive Under 21 games until next year so I want to use this time to speak with the player and to collect as much information as I can to build the strongest squad possible. I could have brought a squad of 30 in but I want to give these players a chance and we have plenty of time to see all the players on our list over the next few months. I would love to see one, two, or any number of home based players do the business and force their way into the squad and this is their chance.”

Here is the 18 man squad:

Republic of Ireland Under 21 Home based Squad
Ger Hanley Mervue United FC
Kevin Burns Waterford United FC

Enda Stevens Shamrock Rovers FC
Andy Boyle UCD AFC
Shane McEleney Derry City FC
Roberto Lopez Bohemian FC
Ciaran Nagle UCD AFC

Lee Dixon Bohemian FC
Paul Corry UCD AFC
Graham Kelly Bray Wanderers FC
James O’Brien St. Patricks Athletic FC
Jake Kelly Bray Wanderers FC
Keith Ward UCD AFC
Daniel Kearns Dundalk FC
Gary Burke Bohemian FC

Aaron Greene Bohemian FC
Chris Shields Bray Wanderers FC
Paddy Madden Bohemian FC

Well done to all the players called up many will have never played for Ireland before and this is a fantastic idea for Noel King to call up these LOI players.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

LOI Promotion/relegation Review!!!!

Bray Wanderers are now officially going to be in the Premier Division next season. Their status as a top-flight team was secured when they beat Monaghan 7-6 on penalties after the score was 1-1 after 120 minutes. It was 0-0 after the regulation 90 minutes so the game was forced to extra time where both teams scored late on to force the game to penalties. Bray Wanderers stayed in the Premier Division while Monaghan United stayed in the First Division.

Here us the full match report:

Bray Wanderers 1 Monaghan United 1

(after extra time)

(Agg 1-1)

Bray win 7-6 in penalty shootout.

Chris Shields was villain turned hero as Bray Wanderers kept their place in the Premier Division for a sixth season with a penalty shoot-out victory in the second leg of the premotion/relegation play-off at the Carlisle Grounds.

The Bray striker had the misfortune to concede a goal in the 119th minute when deflecting a Don Tierrney shot into his own net. Goal celebrations by Monaghan supporters led to a perimeter wall collapsing which held up play for several minutes.

Incredibly Bray were level in the second minute of added time of extra time when Shields crossed from the right for winger Jake Kelly to fire home an equaliser when it seemed his team were destined for the First Division.

In the resulting penalty shoot out Bray prevailed 7-6 - and who was the man to fire home the vital last spot kick - that man Shields.

Monaghan had an early chance when a Philip Hughes cross from the right was deflected just over his own bar by Bray defender Adam Mitchell.

Winger Cathal O'Connor then clverly skipped past Dane Massey only to see his cross from the right spilled by Seagulls 'keeper Brian Kane with Adam Mitchell completing the clearance.

Bray did have an opportunity on 13 minutes when striker Shane O'Neill cut in from the left and fired in a shot from the edge of the box well taken by 'keeper Gabriel Sava.

Then Danny O'Connor had another chance when shooting straight at Sava from 20 yards after O'Neill had created the opening on the right. Monaghan had a let-off on 37 minutes when a cross by Dean Zambra was nearly put through his own goal by defender Brian Gartland after a mix-up with 'keeper Sava.

Danny O'Connor went close to breaking the deadlock five minutes before the interval when he let fly from 30 yards only to see his effort brilliantly pushed over by the alert Sava after Shane O'Neill had carved open the visitors' defence.

Shields then set up a chance for Massey on 48 minutes when cutting in from the left he fired straight at Sava on a difficult playing surface that had cut up badly after torrential rain at various stages of the game.

The unmarked Alan Byrne wasted as easy chance to break the deadlock for Monaghan on 61 minutes when heading over from ten yards after a cross from the right by Sean Brennan.

Then Cathal O'Connor supplied a perfect ball to the overlapping Shane Grimes on the left only for the defender to see his effort brilliantly pushed round the post by 'keeper Kane.

Bray striker Chris Shields missed a glorious chance to win the game late in normal time when firing past from 12 yards after a probing Daire Doyle cross from the right. Then an angled shot from Jake Kelly on the left was pushed away by Sava.

Both teams look tired in extra time and that was no surprise in the energy sapping trying conditions although Bray did go close on 111 minutes when jake Kelly had a 15 yard effort brilliantly blocked by Sava after a Shane O'Neill effort was blocked by Paul Whelan.

Then game all that late drama with Monaghan grabbing what they thought was the winner in the 119th minute when a Barry Clancy corner on the left allowed Brian Gartland to get in a shot which hit the post. From the rebound, Don Tierney's effort was deflected into the roof of the net by bray striker Shields.

Goal celebrations from the Monaghan supporters caused a wall to collapse and the game resumed after four minutes and sensationally Bray were level in the second miute of added time.

A Shields cross from the right put Sava under pressure and Jake Kelly was able to fire home from close range in the crowded goalmouth.

Then came that agonising penalty shoot-out with Shields turning from villain to hero when firing home the decisive last kick to keep Bray in the Premier Division for a sixth successive season. It was jubilation for Bray and heartbreak for Monaghan.

Bray Wanderers - Kane; Doyle, Mitchell, S.O'Connor, Massey; Zambra (Shaw 93), D.O'Connor,

Dempsey, J.Kelly; Shields , O'Neill.

Monaghan United - Sava; Whelan, McMahon (McCrossan 72), Gartland, Grimes; C.O'Connor (Hanaphy 86), Byrne, Tierney, Clancy; Brennan (Bermingham 75), Hughes.

Referee - Declan Hannay (Dublin).

Thanks for reading. All that is left for this season is the Cup final which will be a great finale to an exciting LOI season.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Monday Nights Play Off Game Preview

The final game of this years play offs takes place tomorrow night in the Carlisle grounds.

Bray Wanderers take on Monaghan in the Second leg of their Promotion/Relegation play off. The first leg up in Monaghan finished scoreless so whoever wins the game in Bray will be playing in the First Division next season. This game could also go to extra time if it is level after the 90minutes and if neither team has managed to take the lead by ht end of extra time we could even be set or penalties. Bray’s last home game saw them secure a good draw against now league champions Shamrock Rovers; the Wicklow outfit will be hoping to continue their fantastic end of season form. I predict that this game will finish with Bray snatching a 2-1 extra time win over Monaghan!!!

Thanks for reading and best of luck to both teams.

Review of Weekends play off games

There were two play off games taking place over the weekend.

The first of those games took place on Friday night between Monaghan United and Bray Wanderers in the First Leg of their Promotion/relegation

Here is my opinion of Friday night’s event…

Monahan United 0-0 Bray Wanderers

This result will favour Bray because they now get to welcome Monaghan back to the Carlisle Grounds. Whoever wins that game will be in the Premier Division next season. Monaghan now face a very tough game but I’m sure they will be up for it and that they will hopefully bring a lot of supporters down to Wicklow on Monday night.

Here is the official match report!!!!

Monahan United 0-0 Bray Wanderers

It ended with honours even in the first leg Airtricity League Premier Division promotion/relegation play-off at Gortakeegan.

But Bray's goalkeeper Matt Gregg will miss Monday's second leg at the Carlisle Grounds after an 89th minute sending off.

The former Bohs, UCD and Dundalk stopper was dismissed for taking down Monaghan sub Daragh Hanaphy just outside the box.

United bossed the first half but failed to capitalise. After on-loan Derby County player Graham Kelly flashed a shot narrowly over the cross-bar as early as the fourth minute, the Ulster border side were up in arms just 90 seconds later.

From a long ball over the top, Philip Hughes chased down along with the covering Danny O'Connor. Matt Gregg raced off his with the ball rebounding off Hughes. As the ball ran clear and the goal open, the striker appeared to go down under pressure from the Wanderers keeper.

But instead of awarding a penalty or a free for a dive, referee Damien Hancock waved play.

Hughes and Gregg were in the thick of the action again in the 11th minute.

From Karl Bermingham's flick on, Hughes tried his luck with an audacious 50-yard effort. But Gregg scrambled back to to claw the ball out just yards from the goal-line.

United had another glorious chance in the 18th minute. Gabriel Sava's free was flicked on by Hughes. And Sean Brennan got between Danny O'Connor and Dane Massey only to flash his 16-yard half volley wide of the target.

Bray finally came to life in the 21st minute. Released by Shane O'Neill, Jake Kelly beat the

offside. Blocked off by Gabriel Sava, the winger's shot was chested off the line by Paul Whelan at the near post.

But within moments at the other end, Grimes whipped in a left wing cross. It fell to Hughes who drilled wide back across the face of goal. The second half failed to live up to the hectic action in period.

It wasn't until the 74th minute that either side threatened. Hughes went close to adding to 21 goals this season when evading the attentions of Danny O'Connor. But skewed his 15-yard attempt into the side netting.

Monaghan United: Sava; Whelan, McMahon, Gartland, Grimes; Brennan (Hanaphy 53), Tierney, Cathal O'Connor (Costigan 85), Byrne, Bermingham (McNeill 65 mins); Hughes.

Bray Wanderers: Gregg; Doyle, Shane O'Connor, Danny O'Connor, Massey; Zambra, Dempsey, Graham Kelly (Shaw 69), Jake Kelly; Shields, O'Neill (Kane 90).

Referee: Damien Hancock (Dublin)

The other play off game took place on Saturday evening when Salthill Devon beat Cobh Ramblers 2-1 in Galway.

Here is my opinion of the game that saw Salthill Devon stay in the First Division for another years.

Salthill Devon 2-1 Cobh Ramblers

Salthill won this tie 3-1 on aggregate over the two legs. Salthill finished bottom of the First Division but still showed that there is a big difference between teams in the First Division and teams in the A Championship.

Here is the official match report from Galway!!!!

Salthill Devon 2 - 1 Cobh Ramblers

Salthill win 3-1 on aggregate

A splendid encounter, packed with opportunities, eventually ended with a deserved Salthill

Devon success as the Galway outfit avoided relegation to the Championship.

Prompted by the smashing Robbie Porter, who nudged Devon into an eight minute lead, the home side were then forced to deal with a gutsy Cobh Ramblers revival.

Cobh enjoyed plenty of possession in the third quarter and carved chances with Jamie Murphy equalising in the 55th minute.

Devon custodian Ronan Forde made several decent saves during Cobh’s late assault before Devon substitute Ciprian Straut bagged a last gasp winner.

Early on Emlyn Long and Mike Quirke’s charges were in control with man of the match Porter

slotted home after only 8 minutes.

The midfielder could have doubled Salthill’s advantage moments later, but crashed a shot wide from just outside the area.

Salthill remained in the ascendancy until the interval, but Dave Hill’s Cobh responded following the break.

Murphy examined Forde’s reflexes within seconds of the restart and Salthill were being forced to defend deep.

Cobh left full Peter Nolan slung over a cross for Murphy, who squeezed a delightful effort into the back of the Salthill net on 55.

There was no shortage of goalmouth incident as Pierce Donoghue shot wide for Cobh, while Victor Collins failed to convert two gilt edged opportunities.

Republic of Ireland under 19 international Daryl Horgan was immense for Salthill on the right constantly probing, but Colins wasn’t firing in attack.

Forde had to be smart to deny Shane Geasley as the final whistle loomed, but Salthill finished with a flourish.

Collins provided the assist for fellow mid season recruit Straut in stoppage time, though, as Salthill closed the deal.

Salthill Devon: Forde; C Horgan, Geraghty, Whelan, O’Leidhinn; D Horgan, Quirke (Straut, 70), Porter, Gaffney (O’Reilly, 85); McBrien; Collins.

Cobh Ramblers: Deasy; Hastings (Dowling, 62), Collins, Meade, Nolan; Donoghue, O’Shea,

O’Hanlon, Spillane (O’Flynn, 72); Murphy, Geasley.

Referee: J Grimes (Dublin).

Thanks for reading and the preview for the last of the play off games will be up next!!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Paul Keegan Becomes New PFAI Chairman

Bohemians Midfielder Paul Keegan has been appointed new chairman of Ireland's Professional Footballers Association

He was announced yesterday to be taking the place of Stephen Rice after Rice's appointment with the FAI and seems very happy with the honor. After his appointment he had this to say: “It is a tremendous honour to become the Chairman of the PFAI. I have firsthand experience of the difficulties facing the players nowadays, having faced problems at Leeds United, Drogheda United and now Bohemians. I know what an important role the Union plays in these situations and I’m delighted to be able to play my part.”

Keegan has already represented Irish footballers on that infamous night at the AVIVA Stadium when he captained The "Airtricity" League of Ireland selected XI against Manchester United as well as captaining Bohemians who finished second in the league at different points. 

Keegan in Action against Sporting Fingal
Thanks to E.Lennon

General Secretary Stephen McGuinness said “Paul is a model professional and one of the top players in the league. He is the ideal figure head for our Association and I look forward to working with him and the new committee in the year ahead.”

The new PFAI Management Committee is as follows: 

Chairman – Paul Keegan (Bohemian FC)
Treasurer – Stephen Paisley (Shelbourne) 
Dan Murray (Shamrock Rovers) 
David McAllister (St Patrick’s Athletic) 
Gary Twigg (Shamrock Rovers) 
Eamon Zayed (Sporting Fingal) 
Brian Gartland (Monaghan United) 
David Freeman (Longford Town) 
Liam Burns (Dundalk) 
Ollie Cahill (Sporting Fingal) 

Ciaran Kilduff interview

1.Ciaran use (UCD) shocked the league last year when use bounced straight back up from the first division did you believe at the start of the season that you could beat the likes of Shamrock rovers and pats?

Yes we did. We played Rovers in the Fai Cup last year and gave a good account of ourselves. We had a tough and rigourous pre-season program which I feel was essential and worthwhile. We were also within 10 minutes from beating Bohemians in the 1st round of games so lookin back now we could have had a few more so called "scalps" to our name.

2.What were the team’s ambitions at the beginning of the season?

Safety was obviously a neccessity, but after the first period of games I feel Europe was a realistic prospect..

3.You’re the third top goal scorer in the airtricity league with 14 goals this season, could you even of dreamt of that at the start of the season?

Well to hit double figures was main primary goal at the beginning of the season. But if im honest looking back I could and should have had a few more goals. This team will always create so sometimes I have the easiest job on the pitch..

4.You came to UCD from Kildare county at the start of last season did you ever imagine things would go so well for you?

I actually got relegated from the 1st division with Kildare County so to win it the following year was a greatly welcomed reversal of fortunes. I hoped things would go as well as they did but cant believe it worked out as well as it has..

5.When you made the switch to UCD last season was there any other options open to you?

Not really. I left Shamrock Rovers for college reasons and UCD was the obvious club which would accomodate me. After getting in contact with Martin it was an easy decision.

6.You were linked with a move to Kilmarnock during the July transfer window with so many League of Ireland players moving overseas did you think about leaving UCD?

Not even once. I am contracted to UCD for this season so I never even thought about any of that speculation.

7.You’re a real fans favourite at UCD have the fans been a source of inspiration to your form this season? 

Obviously yes!! I miss the drum dow to tell the truth..

8.Use went through a patch of poor form in the summer months during this period was the morale amongst the squad low and did use believe you could get out of it?

We always kept the morale high.. A few of the more "senior heads" like Shorty and Billy kept the spirit high and Martin and Aaron and the entire coaching staff kept reminding us that we just had to do the simple things right and enjoy playing football..

9.Use have beaten Shamrock rovers, Pats and Galway in the past weeks has the dressing room been buzzing in the past few weeks?

Ah yeah obviously and deservedly so. Wardy has began banging them in so ya cant help but be delighted for him. But I also think Dave Macs goal against Pats really marked a turning point in our season. It was great to get him back. But yeah hopefully we can keep this morale boosting run of form going until the end of the season.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Preview of Friday's Play Off game!!!!

There is one game taking place in the play offs tomorrow night.

The first game is Monaghan United Vs Bray Wanderers. The kick off is at 7.45pm.

This is the 1st leg of a two-legged affair. The winner over the two legs will be playing in the Premier Division next season while the looser will be put in the First Division for next year. Bray being the Premier Division team in this tie will be expected to win this game but Monaghan have proven that they are well capable of taking on Premier Division teams as they have played Sligo Rovers twice and only loss by one or two goals. So because Monaghan are at home I’m going to back them for the win!!!

I predict that this game will finish 3-2 Monaghan as I feel there are definitely goals in this tie!

There is only one tie taking place so that concludes this review. Thanks for reading!! Gareth

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

LOI Play Off Reviews!!!!!

There were three promotion/relegation play off games taking place last night!

Galway United 1-0 Bray Wanderers; here is my opinion on the night’s events

Galway picked up the win that would keep them in the Premier Division for next season. Karl Sheppard was the man that scored the goal for the home side that secured their Premier Division status. Bray were favourites going into this game due to their recent good form but they came up short against the club that finished eleven points ahead of them. Bray now have a relegation play off game against Monaghan, which they must win to stay in the division.

Here is the match report from that game:

Galway United 1

Bray Wanderers 0

Karl Sheppard struck the only goal of a thrilling Terryland Park game as Galway United preserved their top flight status.

It proved to be a thrilling contest in the west as Galway ruled vast chunks of the contest with Republic of Ireland under 21 international Seamus Conneely the star performer.

Galway, who made 10 changes from the side that had drawn with Drogehda United at Hunky Dorys Park, were keen to involve the returning Stephen O’Donnell at every opportunity.

But Bray were determined early on moving the ball forward quickly and they carved a decent third minute chance.

Dane Massey’s deep cross found Gary Shaw, but the imposing striker was unable to direct a header on target from 12 yards.

As the half evolved Galway became more confident and composed as Conneely provided the midfield industry.

The Tribesmen’s passion was rewarded in the 16th minute when Karl Sheppard swept home an opportunistic goal.

Derek O’Brien’s head connected with a Jamie McKenzie cross and though Matt Gregg saved Sheppard netted from the rebound.

The remainder of the first half was well controlled by Conneely, who supplied the midfield guile as Galway went in ahead at the interval.

Galway created chances after the restart too and a mazy O ’Brien dribble nearly ended with a goal, but the busy wide man shot wide.

Then a sweeping Galway move involving substitute Tom King and O ’Donnell saw the ball switched to O’Brien, who blazed over.

In the closing stages Bray’s Adam Mitchell was sent off on 82 for a foul on Sheppard while O’Brien also saw red in stoppage time for kicking the ball away.

Galway United: Ryan; Sinnott, McKenzie, Meynell, Walsh; Curran, Conneely, O'Donnell, O'Brien; Molloy (King, 72, Keane, 90), Sheppard.

Bray Wanderers: Gregg; Doyle, Mitchell, Webster, Massey; G Kelly (Tresson, 77), D O'Connor, Dempsey, J Kelly; Shields (O'Neill, 46), Shaw.

Referee: D Hancock (Dublin).

Waterford United 1-3 Monaghan United; here is my opinion of the action last night. Monaghan finished in third place in the First Division table four points behind Waterford but they still manage to comfortably overcome their hosts who are now stuck in the First Division for another season!! Monaghan go on to play Bray in a promotion play off game, if they win they will be promoted to the Premier Division if they loose they will be stuck in the First Division for another year!!!

Here is the match report from that game

Waterford United 1 Monaghan United 3

Philly Hughes scored a brilliant double as Monaghan beat Waterford for a fourth time this season to make the promotion/relegation play-off final against Bray Wanderers.

Despite having made two good early stops, a mistake by Blues' keeper Kevin Burns gifted Monaghan the lead on 28 minutes.

Burns failed to hold a corner and Monaghan defender Aidan Lynch headed against the bar and then followed up to force the ball home.

Hughes then doubled the lead with his first goal on 58 minutes with a stunning header from Barry Clancy’s cross.

Liam Kearney hooked home from skipper Kevin Murray’s header to give Waterford hope on 65 minutes.

But Hughes sealed the win on 84 minutes with a terrific 25-yard free-kick which game Kevin Burns no chance.

Monaghan host Bray in the first leg at Gortakeegan on Friday with the second leg at the Carlisle Grounds on Monday.

Cobh Ramblers 0-1 Salthill Devon; here is my opinion on how Salthill picked up a victory over Cobh Ramblers. The First Division side Salthill Devon picked up the massive home win against Cork side Cobh Ramblers. It isn’t that long ago that Cork were in the Premier Division. There is still another leg to come in this game. That game will be played on Saturday!!!

The match report from that game is below!!!

Cobh Ramblers 0 Salthill Devon 1

Dave Hill’s “A” Championship side Cobh remain very much in contention as they travel to Drom on Saturday night in the second leg of this promotion/relegation play off, despite failing to make home advantage pay at St. Colman’s Park.

Cobh just about edged possession in the first half, but still trooped off to what proved the match winning goal at the interval.

That came on 35 minutes when Devon striker Mikey Gilmore latched onto a cross from the right to shoot past Ramblers' keeper Stephen Deasy.

That’s for my review of the play off games. Thanks for reading! Gareth

Rising Star Of The Week: Gary Burke (Bohemians)

Bear in mind this video was shot on friday night after the Dundalk Game