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Date: Fri. Mar. 10 2000
Venue: RSC
Premier Division
Galway happier
after drama

Waterford Utd. 0 Galway U. 0

A disappointing encounter at the RSC ended in stalemate as neither side had the penetration to put daylight between themselves and the bottom.
However, the home side will welcome the point more than Galway as a victory for the Westerners would have seen them climb a place above the Blues.
As it is, Waterford are now fifth from bottom, five points clear of danger while Galway are a place below and still not fully in the clear.
Waterford made a bright start and almost took the lead after just three minutes.
Galway 'keeper Eddie Hickey made a superb save to keep out Alan Kirby's stinging free kick after Stephen Grant was fouled on the edge of the box.
Hickey was in action again minutes later, this time smothering a close-range effort from Brendan Markey.
Galway's first attempt on goal came after 20 minutes when Michael Devine plucked Gorman's dangerous cross out of the air.
Karl Gannon went on a surging run for the Blues soon afterwards, but Griffin failed to connect with the low cross.
Griffin then turned provider, putting in a near post cross that just eluded the in-rushing Kirby.
Waterford finished the half on top but a blistering drive from Markey just flashed over the bar.
The Blues continued to press forward in the second half and a sweeping move involving Gannon and Kirby combined to release Markey but his rising shot just cleared the bar.
Galway replied with a dipping volley from Coleman that just looped over the top but the game then took a dramatic turn when Galway's captain Scott Morgan received a red card after a burst up with Gannon.
So often before the team with ten-men has gone on to defy the odds and one minute later Galway were desperately unlucky not to take the lead when a powerful 35-yard free kick from Gareth Gorman rebounded off the crossbar.
And the visitors almost snatched victory at the death when substitute Sean Malee turned in the box but his low shot forced a diving save from Devine.
© Irish Independent [http://www.independent.ie]

TEAMS:
Waterford United:
Devine, Smith, Riordan, Whittle, Frost, Gannon, Reynolds, Kirby, Griffin, Markey, Grant. Subs: McGrath for Reynolds (51), O’Brien for Smith, Woods for Markey (72).

Goals: none.

Galway United:
Hickey, Neary, Morgan, O’Connor, Foley, Sheridan, Keane, Keogh, Lavine, Coleman, Gorman. Subs: Donnellan for Coleman (76), Clery for Keane (82), Malee for Keogh (87).
Goals: none.


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Date: Fri. Mar. 10 2000
Venue: Tolka Park
Premier Division
Cruel night for Cork
as Reds run riot

Shelbourne 4 Cork City 0

Dermot Keely is long past cakes and candles and Pat Fenlon celebrates his fantastic opening goal at Tolka Park  [© Irish Times]could have done without the whole of Tolka Park being informed on the public address system it was his 46th birthday last night.
But his pre-match grimace was replaced by a grin as Shelbourne turned on the championship swagger to give their manager the sort of present he coveted more than anything else - three points. Not many teams take Cork City to the cleaners but Shels had them bagged, tagged and put in their box by on the back of a scintillating first half performance.
It revived echoes of the Reds' masterful display in Turner's Cross before Christmas which marked a turning point in the fortunes of both clubs.
Since then City's season has been in free fall while Shels have climbed onwards and upwards. With six games to go, they only have to keep their heads and the title is theirs.
After adopting a safety-first strategy for the first half of the season, they have opened up with a double-fisted barrage of punches which has left opponents battered, breathless and bemused. So it was with City in this clash who had no answer to the speed of thought and mind of Shelbourne Under Keely, players such as Owen Heary and Richie Baker have blossomed, others such as Stephen Geoghegan and Dessie Baker have been rejuvenated.
Shelbourne's Dessie Baker shields the ball from Cork's Declan  Daly   [© Irish Independent] The elder Baker seemed set to leave Tolka as Keely's patience was stretched but he knuckled down to muscle his way back into the team this season. For several weeks he has been bubbling; last night he erupted.
After Pat Fenlon fired the Reds in front with a 25-yard left-foot exocet into the bottom corner just past the half hour, the Baker man assumed centre stage.
First, he danced away down the right flank, leaving City skipper Declan Daly in his slipstream before clipping a precise pass back from the end line into the path of Stephen Geoghegan. The right-foot hammer left City gasping for air.
A minute before the break, Baker again burst into a gap on City's left side. As he cut in at pace, he had the perception to look up and see that James Keddy had got first run on Colin O'Brien.
The perfectly weighted delivery teed-up Keddy to sweep the ball imperiously past the overworked Phil Harrington.
The goal capped an 11-minute spell of soccer wonderland from the Reds, with Baker at the hub, and left City in a heap.
Dave Barry, on his final visit to Tolka as manager, gambled by playing Ollie Cahill as a central striker but the ploy back-fired as City, even with the wind to spur them on, faded after a lively start during which Mark Herrick clipped the crossbar and Derek Coughlan headed a whisker wide.
Gradually, City were exposed on their left flank where Gareth Cronin and Stephen Napier foundered against the 'terrible twins' of Heary and Richie Baker.
By the time Barry yanked off Napier, put on the wily John Caulfield and switched Cahill and Cronin back to where they should been from the start, the game was beyond the visitors.
To be fair, the familiar routine prompted an improved second half performance from City and Caulfield was unlucky when a goal-bound drive beat stand-in 'keeper Danny O'Leary but not the vigilant Paul Doolin.
But Shels, ever threatening, added a touch of gloss in the 74th minute as Harrington dithered after coming to meet Cronin's back pass and Richie Baker, the Artful Dodger in a red jersey, nipped in for the fourth.
For City's veterans, the season can't finish quickly enough; for Shels the prospect of a first ever League/FAI Cup double continue to burns brightly.
© Irish Independent [http://www.independent.ie]

TEAMS:
Shelbourne:
O’Leary, Heary, McCarthy, Scully, D. Baker, Doolin, Geoghegan, R. Baker, Fenlon, Keddy, Hutchinson, Subs: Campbell for Doolin (77 mins).

Goals: Pat Fenlon 32, Stephen Geoghegan 35, James Keddy 44, Richie Baker 74.

Cork City:
Harrington, Napier, Daly, Coughlan, Cronin, Freyne, C. O’Brien, Cahill, Morley, Herrick, Subs: Caulfield for Napier (half time), L. O’Brien for Herrick, Hill for Coughlan (both 82 mins).
Goals: none.


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Date: Fri. Mar. 10 2000
Venue: Dalymount Park
Premier Division
Dalyer Drama
a sad sight

Bohemians 0 Shamrock R. 0

Football hooliganism sadly reared its ugly headBohs Manager Roddy Collins trys to keep calm after Rovers fans invaded the Dalymount pitch [© The Examiner] at Dalymount Park when a group of senseless idiots did their best to wreck this Dublin derby.
For most Dubliners, the meeting of Bohemians and Shamrock Rovers is the real Dublin derby as Northside meets Southside and, not surprisingly, it's a high-security match.
Unfortunately, the best-laid plans of both clubs, their security consultants and the Gardaí were no match for around 20 to 25 idiots who discarded their colours and paid into the Shed end where the younger Bohemians fans were watching the game.
The game was only four minutes old when there was a charge by these so-called Shamrock Rovers fans which caused the Bohs youngsters to flee onto the safety of the pitch.
Thankfully, the fencing which used to surrounded the Dalymount Park pitch was removed at the start of this season because there was the possibility of a Hillsborough-type situation given the fear which the young Bohs fans felt on this night.
Referee Gerry Perry wisely stopped the game immediately and took the players off the pitch for 22 minutes until calm was restored and the Bohs fans were able to return to the Shed end.
Gardaí arrested one supporter who made a lunge at a Shamrock Rovers player but thankfully no injuries were reported afterwards.
Bohemians secretary Gerry Cuffe explained that his club had done everything possible to prevent trouble in the days leading up to the game.
"We had meetings with the Gardaí, security company and Shamrock Rovers and we adhered to the letter of the law with the security regulations that they asked for,"he said. "Unfortunately, 20 to 25 idiots, who are not football supporters, paid into the Bohemians section in a pre-meditated move to cause trouble," added Cuffe, who also said that Bohs would be carrying out a complete review of their security arrangements.
Not surprisingly, given the lengthy stoppage, both teams took a long time to get into any sort of rhythm and it took 27 minutes after play resumed for the game's first real chance to be created.
Marc Kenny slipped in Graham Lawlor but his shot was blocked by the legs of Michael Dempsey.
With Bohs needing to win to keep their title challenge alive, the second-half was an immense improvement but it was Rovers who carved out the better chances early on.
Jason Colwell fired a 25-yard shot against the crossbar and Dempsey took two attempts to deal with a long-range free-kick from Kenny.
Rovers should have had a penalty when Pascal Vaudequin appeared to pull back Sean Francis as he prepared to pull the trigger but referee Perry waved their appeals away.
Roddy Collins shoved on Derek Swan, Tony O'Connor and Maurice O'Driscoll in the hope that their experience would inspire Bohs but it proved fruitless and the title appears to well and truly on its way to Tolka Park.
© Irish Independent [http://www.independent.ie]

TEAMS:
Bohemians:
Dempsey; Vaudequin, Maher, John, Brunton; Byrne, Hunt, Caffrey, G O'Connor; R Kelly, Harris. Subs: T O'Connor for Vaudequin (53 mins), Swan for Harris (61 mins), O'Driscoll for G O'Connor (70 mins).

Goals: none.

Shamrock Rovers:
O'Dowd; Brazil, Purdy, Palmer, Dunne; Kenny, Colwell, Tracey, Woods; Francis, Lawlor. Subs: Stewart for Francis (73 mins).
Goals: none.


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Date: Sun. Mar 12. 2000
Venue: Brandywell
Premier Division
Cool McCaul
outdoes Drogheda

Derry City 2 Drogheda U. 1

A superb individual goal by Derry City substitute Darren McCaul at the Brandywell all but doomed Drogheda United to First Division football next season rough medicine for the Co Louth outfit, who only won promotion last term.
Ten minutes from time, with the teams deadlocked at 1-1, McCaul, who was introduced to the game as a 54th minute substitute, controlled Gary Beckett's long pass down the right and skipped past the challenge of Drogheda left-back Gerry Boyle and burst clear into the penalty area.
Goalkeeper Gareth Byrne charged off his line in a bid to force McCaul wide, but the young City midfielder calmly sold him a dummy before pulling the ball back and drilling it low into an empty net.
Drogheda, with only three wins from their 27 league games to date, were rocked in the ninth minute when left winger Johnny McIvor gave Derry the lead.
Liam Coyle successfully challenged in midfield for the ball before freeing Gary Beckett on the right. Beckett fired across a low cross into the goalmouth and McIvor, rushing in from the left, side-footed the ball into the net.
Colm Murphy prevented Derry from increasing their lead with a 21st minute goal-line clearance after Beckett's anglehad beaten 'keeper Byrne.
Three minutes later skipper Peter Hutton came to Derry's rescue when he cleared Mark Byrne's shot from under the crossbar.
Drogheda's hopes of presenting manager Eddie May with his first win since he took control at United Park last December received a boost when they equalised in the 29th minute. James Impey challenged defender Darren Kelly for Greg O'Dowd's corner kick and the ball rolled to Darren O'Keeffe, whose powerfully struck drive from 12 yards took a slight deflection on its way to the net.
© Irish Independent [http://www.independent.ie]

TEAMS:
Derry City:
Platt, McCallion, McLaughlin, Hutton, Kelly, Doherty, McCready, Hegarty, Coyle, Beckett, McIvor. Subs: McCaul for McCready (56 mins); Quigley for McIvor, Taylor for McLaughlin (82 mins.)

Goals: Johnny McIvor 9, Darren McCaul 81.

Drogheda United:
G Byrne, A Murphy, Boyle, Foley, Maher, O'Keeffe, McDonald, C Murphy, Impey, O'Dowd, M Byrne. Subs: Butler for M Byrne (60 mins).
Goals: Darren O'Keeffe 27.


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Date: Sun. Mar 12. 2000
Venue: Belfield
Premier Division
Harps are held
by 10-men of UCD

U.C.D. 1 Finn Harps 1

Gavin Dykes is learning his trade as a football manager Finn Harps' Gerard McGranaghan and UCD's Ciaran Martyn tussle for possession at Belfield [© Irish Independent]the hard way, having been thrown in at the deep end and told to keep Finn Harps in the Premier Division without a lifebelt full of money.
At the start of the season he accepted Charlie McGeever's offer to become the club's assistant manager and saw it as a chance to get a foot on the management ladder while still continuing to play.
McGeever's sudden departure, after Harps had lost six of their first seven league games, saw Dykes promoted quicker than he could have ever imagined and now he finds himself embroiled in a relegation battle that seems set to go to the wire.
Last weekend Harps bowed meekly out of the FAI Harp Lager Cup when they were soundly beaten at home by Galway United. That led to some hard talking and tough decisions from Dykes in the days leading up to this game against UCD at Belfield.
Centre-half Declan Boyle was relieved of the captaincy as Dykes felt the weight of responsibility was affecting his performances, with Fergal Harkin taking over the armband.
Goalkeeper Brian McKenna was dropped in favour of Gavin Cullen and Shane Bradley came in for Dykes, who admitted that he wasn't right mentally for the game following the death of a friend overnight.
Harps' pre-match huddle suggested that they were up for it and, when they took the lead after 11 minutes, things were looking as bright as their fluorescent yellow jerseys.
A cross from the left by Harkin caused panic in the UCD defence and Robert McAuley's attempted clearance was charged down by Bradley, causing the ball to rebound past Barry Ryan into the corner of the net.
Harps biggest problems this season have been at the back they have consistently leaked goals and it took UCD only 28 minutes to find a way past Cullen, February's Opel Player of the Month, Ciaran Martyn, sweeping home a disputed penalty kick.
The decision to award the penalty left Harps feeling acutely paranoid. It was one of those decisions that always seem to go against a team struggling at the wrong end of the table as referee Jimmy O'Neill penalised Boyle for pulling Ken Kilmurray's shirt when Brian Mooney floated in a corner.
If referees are about to start applying the letter of the law for pulling and pushing at corner-kicks then stand-by for an avalanche of penalty kicks in the coming weeks.
Both sides had chances to win the game, with Mulligan spurning four excellent opportunities while, at the other end, Kilmurray and Glen Fitzpatrick squandered gilt-edged chances.
The game's remaining talking point was the harsh dismissal of UCD defender Clive Delaney in the 80th minute for a second yellow card. His first booking seemed unwarranted and the second foul appeared to be an accidental trip on Harps sub Kevin McHugh.
Harps were unable to press home their numerical advantage in the final minutes but, after spending the entire game on the edge of the technical area roaring non-stop advice, Dykes professed satisfaction.
"I'm happy that, today at least, there was a wee bit of honesty, a wee bit of passion and the players came off the field tired which they haven't done in recent weeks," he said.
© Irish Independent [http://www.independent.ie]

TEAMS:
U.C.D.:
Ryan; McLoughlin, Delaney, McAuley, Mahon; Mooney, Kavanagh, Martyn, Martin; Fitzpatrick, Kilmurray. Subs: Bennis for Fitzpatrick (77 mins).

Goals: Cíarán Martyn (pen.) 28.

Finn Harps:
Cullen; Boyle, Bradley, Minnock; Kenny, Mohan, Harkin, Tierney, McGranaghan, Mulligan, Turner. Subs: McGrenaghan for McGranaghan (63 mins); McHugh for Turner (78 mins).
Goals: Shane Bradley 10.


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Date: Sun. Mar 12. 2000
Venue: Showgrounds
Premier Division
Saints fight back
to earn point

Sligo Rovers 2 St. Pat's. A. 2

Relegation-threatened Sligo Rovers ended their 11-hour goal famine at the Showgrounds but still had to settle for a share of the spoils against St Patrick's Athletic.
Sligo belied their lowly league position with a sparkling first half performance and looked to be on course for their first win since January 3 when they led 2-0 at the interval.
But what a transformation there was in the second half as Pat's came out with all guns blazing to produce a thrilling revival.
Sligo made most of the running in the first half and the visitors had a number of narrow escapes early on, most notably in the 16th minute when a close range effort from Sean Flannery beat Trevor Wood but came back into play off the crossbar.
Sligo's pressure finally paid off in the 18th minute. And the goal that ended their drought was certainly worth waiting for as Conor O'Grady produced an effort that would be a candidate for goal of the season. Gaining possession 25 yards out from goal, the young midfielder despatched an unstoppable shot into the roof of the net.
Another of Sligo's local teenagers, Sean Flannery, grabbed his side's second goal in first half injury time. Ian Lynch played a hopeful pass up the middle and, when Stephen McGuinness failed to make proper contact with the ball, Flannery nipped in to beat the advancing Wood with a cool finish.
Pats looked to be out of it at that stage but they got the breakthrough they needed two minutes after the restart when Packie Lynch forced the ball home in a crowded goalmouth after Sligo had failed to Trevor Molloy's corner.
That was the signal for an all-out attacking policy for the Saints and Sligo had to endure a number of anxious moments before the long-threatened equaliser arrived in the 73rd minute.
Substitute Liam Kelly, who had been on the pitch for only three minutes, was upended in the area by Ross McGlynn and Molloy made no mistake from the resultant penalty. Molloy almost grabbed what would have been a controversial winner in the last minute. Sligo put the ball out of play to allow an injured player to receive treatment and, when play resumed, the St Pat's striker overhit the ball as he sportingly played it back to Sligo goalkeeper Nick Brujos, who did marvellously well to tip it off the crossbar.
© Irish Independent [http://www.independent.ie]

TEAMS:
Sligo Rovers:
Broujos, Rossiter, Lynch, Byrne, McLynn, Charles, Gilroy, Birks, Flannery, O'Grady, Moran. Subs: Shannon for Flannery (65 mins); Marshall for Gilroy (71 mins); Oates for Moran (80 mins).

Goals: Conor O'Grady 18, Seán Flannery 45.

Saint Patrick's Athletic:
Wood, Burke, Lynch, Byrne, Osam, McGuinness, McCarthy, Molloy, McNevin, Russell, Drew. Subs: Kelly for Drew (68 mins); Broghan for Russell (80 mins).
Goals: Pakie Lynch 47, Trevor Molloy (pen.) 73.


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