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The ninth series of games in the Airtricity League started and concluded on Friday night with all ten games running their course in one evening. It was a slow evening on the goals front as the count crept to just 21 goals compared to the previous two weeks tally of 32 and 31.
In the Premier Division, Sligo's early kick-off against St Pats produced a 1-1 draw although Christy Fagan's missed penalty, Sergio Ramos style, at the death will have resulted in a tormented night's sleep for the Saints faithful.
Shamrock Rovers had the opportunity to capitalise on the Bit o'Red's lost points, but a ten man Derry City side ended Hoops hopes of a climb to the summit when David McDaid tapped home on 77 minutes resulting in a share of the spoils. Rovers fans will feel they won the wrong game this week against Derry as a spirited 2-0 in the Setanta Sports Cup in the Brandywell still seen the Dubliners exit the cup.
With the top two drawing, Drogheda United had the opportunity of a positional move in the league table, but as with the two Rovers, they also could only manage a 1-1 draw against UCD. A late goal from Alan McNally giving the Louthmen a share of the points.
So the top five teams in the Premier division managed 1-1 draws. At the foot, the bottom two wrestled it out and Bray emerged the victors, a 1-0 win moving them into a matching points total with UCD and Cork City. The latter registering a 2-1 win over Shelbourne in Tolka Park.
Bohemians left Oriel Park for a spin down the M1 with all three points in the bag, whilst leapfrogging Dundalk in the process.
In the First Division, Longford Town continued apace with a 2-1 win in the Irish El Classico against Athlone Town. Mervue United registered their first win of the season at the expense of Finn Harps however their Galway neighbours SD Galway still search for the elusive victory in the league. Wexford Youths two goals were unanswered by Salthill as they move to the foot of the table.
In the only other First Division game, Waterford United's about turn from the start of the season continues with a 1-0 win away to Limerick who have now lost three of their first nine games. It puts them second in the table but four points behind Longford. Early days still but the preseason favourites will be expected to bounce back against Mervue United next week.
Airtricitiy League Week 9 In Pictures
Airtricity League of Ireland Premier Division Table
Airtricity League of Ireland First Division Table
Be sure and tune into Extratime.ie over the weekend for all the reaction to the games
Gareth Penrose is the Owner of Extratime.ie. You can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on twitter at @garethpenrose
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