Bohemians to host Shamrock Rovers as 2018 season kicks off with a bangTue, Dec 19 2017
Bohemians will host Shamrock Rovers in what promises to be a ferocious opening to the 2018 League of Ireland calendar on Friday, February 16th.
Last year's Dublin derbies were fiercely contested affairs and Dalymount Park is sure to be packed to the rafters for what could be one of the final derbies at the venue before its renovation.
The Hoops will host Dundalk in their first home game the following week in what will be the mirror image of the opening couplet Stephen Bradley's side faced a year ago.
The champions Cork City will begin their title defence with a trip to Richmond Park to face St Patrick's Athletic.
The last time the sides faced each other, days after City had secured the title, the Saints mounted a spectacular comeback from 2-0 down to win 4-2, a result that ultimately helped them escape relegation.
For the first time in four years, Dundalk won't kick the league off as champions, but they will play host to a Bray Wanderers side without a manager and who could revert to amateur status.
Waterford's first game after a decade outside the top flight will see them host Derry City, while Sligo Rovers will look to avenge last season's opening day 5-1 defeat to Limerick at the Showgrounds on Saturday.
A week later, on February 23rd, the First Division will kick off with two relegated sides, Drogheda United and Finn Harps, quickly reunited with a meeting at United Park.
The other relegated side, Galway United, will host Athlone Town at Eamonn Deacy Park while UCD is the venue for the first Dublin derby between the Students and Shels.
Cabinteely will host Wexford in a re-run of their first-ever League of Ireland clash upon joining the league three years, with the clubs' fortunes very much reversed in the years since.
Finally, Saturday night will see the league's two most sartorially-gifted managers, Neale Fenn of Longford Town and Stephen Henderson of Cobh Ramblers, face off at City Calling Stadium.
SERIES NO. 1
Fri. 16 February Bohemians v Shamrock Rovers Dalymount Park 7.45 pm
Fri. 16 February Dundalk v Bray Wanderers Oriel Park 7.45 pm
Fri. 16 February St. Patrick’s Athletic v Cork City Richmond Park 7.45 pm
Fri. 16 February Waterford v Derry City R.S.C. 7.45 pm
Sat. 17 February Sligo Rovers v Limerick The Showgrounds 7.45 pm
SERIES NO. 2
Fri. 23 February Bray Wanderers v St. Patrick’s Athletic Carlisle Grounds 7.45 pm
Fri. 23 February Cork City v Waterford Turner’s Cross 7.45 pm
Fri. 23 February Derry City v Sligo Rovers Brandywell Stadium 7.45 pm
Fri. 23 February Shamrock Rovers v Dundalk Tallaght Stadium 8.00 pm
Sat. 24 February Limerick v Bohemians Markets Field 6.30 pm
SERIES NO. 1
Fri. 23 February Cabinteely v Wexford Stradbrook 7.45 pm
Fri. 23 February Drogheda United v Finn Harps United Park 7.45 pm
Fri. 23 February Galway United v Athlone Town Eamonn Deacy Park 7.45 pm
Fri. 23 February U.C.D. v Shelbourne The UCD Bowl 7.45 pm
Sat. 24 February Longford Town v Cobh Ramblers City Calling Stadium 7.30 pm
SERIES NO. 2
Fri. 2 March Athlone Town v Cabinteely Athlone Town Stadium 7.45 pm
Fri. 2 March Shelbourne v Drogheda United Tolka Park 7.45 pm
Fri. 2 March Finn Harps v Longford Town Finn Park 8.00 pm
Fri. 2 March Wexford v U.C.D. Ferrycarrig Park 8.00 pm
Sat. 3 March Cobh Ramblers v Galway United St. Colman’s Park 7.45 pm
A full list of 2018 League of Ireland fixtures can be seen here.