Rumori di Spogliatoio

...and then there was one!

Angelo PalmeriComment

'Rumori' tries to bring coverage of as many continental leagues as possible.

For the SSE Airtricity League (or also known as 'League oif Ireland') we are counting on the insider look of Keith O'Dwyer

Keith has worked for several years at the Irish club Sligo Rovers as he was the Club Promotion Officer and Secretary. He is now a volunteer within the club and the match commentator for local radio, Ocean FM.

'Radio Ireland' will bring stories and inside look from the Irish football realm.

The curtain came down on league action in the SSE Airtricity League with the culmination of the last round of Premier Division games last Friday night.

All eyes were on one game in Oriel Park as second place side Dundalk hosted the league leaders Cork City with the stage set for a dramatic encounter.

Cork led by one point but Dundalk had beaten the Leesiders in their two previous encounters.

The game was a sell out and to cope with the demand for tickets Dundalk had to put in temporary seating.

I was there myself on the night and there was a great buzz around the ground and a cracking atmosphere, with both sides anticipating a league win for their respective sides. 

It was goal-less at the break but Cork had the best chance of the  first half a free kick from Billy Dennehy that beat the wall and the keeper but hit off the foot of the post. Three minutes into the second half and Dundalk scored through their captain Stephen O'Donnell. It was a fitting reward for O'Donnell who was just back after having missed six months of the season due to a cruciate ligament injury. Once Dundalk went ahead Cork's gameplan unraveled and they had to play a more open game which left them exposed and a second goal from Brian Gartland sealed the title for the Lillywhites. 

That 2-0 win means that it was 10th league title overall for Dundalk but it was their first win in 19 years. There were great scenes of celebration in Oriel Park but for me the celebrations felt confined as after the game the team celebrated with supporters in their clubhouse and it continued that way over the weekend. 

I found it a contrast to when I was involved with Sligo Rovers and we won the league in 2012, the whole city and county celebrated and there was an open top bus reception as well as an open civic reception. Along with other receptions in different towns throughout the county of Sligo. Still I'm sure that matters little to the supporters of Dundalk. Already though they are finding out how hard it will be to retain the title as their star midfielder Richie Towell left after the game for a week's trial with English Championship side Cardiff City which will include a game against Chelsea's reserve side. 

Dundalk's title was celebrated also in Italy by their fan based in Venice, Jacopo. He travelled a week earlier just to see Dundalk levelling at Bray

Dundalk's title was celebrated also in Italy by their fan based in Venice, Jacopo. He travelled a week earlier just to see Dundalk levelling at Bray

In the relegation battle Bray Wanderers officially secured their top flight status as they drew 1-1 with Athlone Town, a result that relegated Athlone. UCD finished in the play-off position thanks to their 1-0 win against Drogheda United. This secured them a promotion/relegation tie against First Division side Galway United. Their first leg was played on Monday night with Galway winning 2-1. The return game is on Halloween Night in Eamon Deasy Park in Galway and the Tribesment will be favourites to finish the job.

Shamrock Rovers wrapped up their season with a 1-0 win against Limerick. Derry City were beaten 2-1 by Bohemian F.C. And St. Patrick's Athletic won 4-1 away against Sligo Rovers. Over the weekend Bohs announced that Owen Heary had left his post in Dalymount and he has since been appointed Sligo Rovers manager on a two year contract. He will be hoping to restore fortunes in the Showgrounds. This Sunday sees the showcase of the domestic season with the FAI Ford Cup final in the Aviva Stadium as St. Patrick's Athletic take on Derry City in what is a repeat of the 2012 final which Derry won after extra time. St. Pat's are the favourites and should win but I have a sneaky feeling that Derry will repeat their 2012 heroics!

Until the next time,

Keith O'Dwyer