The Championship continued in the New Year with promotion challengers Aston Villa crushing visitors Bristol City by five goals to nil in the late Villa Park kick-off this afternoon. Conor Hourihane and Scott Hogan both started and scored for the victors. Second place Derby County (Richard Keogh) were held to a one all draw by visitors Sheffield United (Enda Stevens, Samir Carruthers) while Preston North End (Daryl Horgan) went down to a three two home defeat by Middlesbrough (Darren Randolph, Cyrus Christie) at Deepdale. Sunderland (John O’Shea, Darron Gibson, Aiden McGeady) also went down to a one nil home defeat by Barnsley at the Stadium of Light.
The Premier League continued on Sunday afternoon with West Bromwich Albion scoring a hotly contested penalty in added time to earn a one all draw with visitors Arsenal at the Hawthorns. James McClean was introduced from the bench on seventy two minutes and the Arsenal goal has been credited to him following a significant deflection of a Sanchez free kick.
In the Premier League, Harry Arter passed a late fitness test and was introduced as a late substitute for AFC Bournemouth who defeated visitors Everton by two goals to one this Saturday afternoon. Fit again James McCarthy started for the first time this season but was withdrawn at half-time. Newcastle United had Ciaran Clark back in defence but injury ruled out Rob Elliot for the scoreless draw with visitors Shane Duffy and his Brighton & Hove Albion colleagues at St James Park while Burnley duo, Kevin Long and Jeff Hendrick started while Jonathan Walters was an unused substitute in the scoreless draw at Huddersfield Town. Shane Long and his struggling Southampton colleagues travelled to face Manchester United in the late kick-off and earned a point with a scoreless draw.
The Championship continued on Saturday afternoon with Barnsley scoring a late equaliser against Reading (Paul McShane) at Oakwell while Leeds United ( Conor Shaughnessy) lost to the only goals at Birmingham City. Mick McCarthy’s Ipswich Town (David McGoldrick, Adam McDonnell) went down to a two one defeat by Derby County (Richard Keogh) at Portman Road while Middlesbrough (Darren Randolph, Cyrus Christie) also lost at home to the only goal from visitors Aston Villa (Jake Doyle-Hayes, Conor Hourihane, Scott Hogan). Nottingham Forest (Daryl Murphy) play lost one nil to Sunderland (John O’Shea, Marc Wilson, Aiden McGeady, Darron Gibson) with McGeady the goalscorer. Sheffield United (Enda Stevens, Samir Carruthers) were also defeated by one goal to nil by visitors Bolton Wanderers (Josh Cullen). The late kick-off saw Bristol City suffer an added time two one defeat by leaders Wolverhampton Wanderers (Matt Doherty) at Ashton Gate.
The Championship continued on Friday evening with Cardiff City going down to a very late one nil defeat by visitors Preston North End. Forgotten man Anthony Pilkington was an unused substitute for the ‘Bluebirds’ while fellow injury victim Greg Cunningham returned to the ‘Lilywhites’ starting eleven where he was joined by Alan Browne and Daryl Horgan with Kevin O’Connor unused on the substitute bench. The Den hosted the ‘London Derby’ meeting of Millwall, for whom Aiden O’Brien started, and visitors Queens Park Rangers for whom U21 midfielder Ryan Manning was an unused substitute as his side went down to a one nil defeat.
Group Five of the 2019 European U21 Championship campaign continued with a home double header in Tallaght Stadium against Norway on Thursday the 5th October 2017 which ended in a scoreless draw followed four days later with a four nil victory over Israel on Monday the 9th October 2017 with the goals coming from Harry Charsley and a Reece Grego-Cox hat-trick. Our side then travelled to face Norway on Tuesday the 14th November 2017 where they went down to a two one defeat with the hosts scoring the winner in added time. Jake Mulraney was the scorer of the Irish goal. The next contest is set for the 27th March 2018 when Azerbaijan will be the visitors to Tallaght Stadium.
Our U19 side, guided by Head Coach Tom Mohan, await the draw for the Elite Stage of the 2018 European Championship which is set to take place at UEFA Headquarters in Nyon on the morning of Wednesday the 6th December 2017.
Like their U19 colleagues, our U17 side, guided by Head Coach Colin O’Brien, await the draw for the Elite Stage of the 2018 European Championship which is set to take place at UEFA Headquarters in Nyon on the morning of Wednesday the 6th December 2017.
Our fledgling U15 side, under the guidance of Head Coach Jason Donohue, commenced their international careers with a double header against visitors Poland played on Tuesday the 14th and Thursday the 16th November 2017 at Home Farm FC. The opening contest ended in a two nil defeat with our side earning a one all draw in the second encounter.
Having opened their 2019 World Cup qualifying campaign with two fine away victories over Northern Ireland and Slovakia, our senior women under the guidance of Head Coach Colin Bell, faced the daunting task of European Champions Holland in a third consecutive away encounter in Nijmegen on Tuesday the 28th November 2017.
Injury and a personal situation ruled out six front line players, Megan Campbell, Ruesha Littlejohn, Aine O’Gorman, Claire O’Riordan, Stephanie Roche and Claire Walsh, making an already formidable challenge even more arduous in front of a 12,000 sell-out crowd in the De Goffert Stadium. The team however provided A magnificent defensive display which earned them a goal less draw.
The team will travel to face Portugal in a friendly double header set for the 18th and 21st January 2018 before Slovakia and Holland provide the opposition in two home World Cup qualifiers set for the 6th and 10th April 2018 in Tallaght Stadium.
The draw for the Elite Stage of the 2018 European Championship sees Ireland drawn in Group Four alongside Austria, Spain and Turkey. We will host the mini-tournament from the 2nd to the 8th April 2018.
The draw for the preliminary stage of the 2019 Championship has also been made and we will contest Group Eight with the Faroe Island, Ukraione and mini-tournament hosts Lithuania from the 2nd to the 8th October 2018.
The draw for the Elite Stage of the 2018 European Championship sees Ireland drawn in Group Seven alongside Azerbaijan, Iceland and Germany, who will host the mini-tournament from the 22nd to the 28th March 2018.
The draw for the preliminary stage of the 2019 Championship has also been made and we will contest Group Seven with Albania, Wales and mini-tournament hosts Serbia from the 22nd to the 28th October 2018.
FAI Challenge Cup
The 2017 FAI Challenge Cup Final, a repeat of last year, saw Cork City complete ‘the double’ with a five three penalty shoot-out success over Dundalk, following a one all draw after extra-time in the Aviva Stadium on Sunday the 5th November 2017.
FAI Women’s Cup Final
The Final of the 2017 FAI Womens Cup took place in the Aviva Stadium on Sunday the 5th November 2017 with Cork City WFC scoring the only goal to defeat Shelbourne Ladies.
Group Five of the 2019 European U21 Championship campaign is still in it’s very early stages, but our opening victories over Kosova in Dublin and Azerbaijan in Baku see us head the fledgling points table. Our opening contest resulted in a one nil victory over newcomers Kosova in Tallaght Stadium with Reece Grego-Cox of QPR the goal scorer. Grego-Cox was again on target in Baku with fellow QPR player Ryan Manning scoring twice in a three one victory.
We now enter into a home double header in Tallaght Stadium against Norway on Thursday the 5th October 2017 at 7.45pm and Israel on Monday the 9th October 2017 at 3.30pm before travelling to face Norway on Tuesday the 14th November 2017. Head Coach Noel King has named a twenty four man squad for the upcoming Dublin contests.
The squad includes goalkeeper Kieran O’Hara, named in Manchester United’s extended Champions League squad, Declan Rice who is currently making waves at West Ham United and his club colleague Josh Cullen who is on loan at Bolton Wanderers. Also in the squad are Conor Shaughnessy who is in regular action with Leeds United and midfielder Conor Ronan with Wolverhampton Wanderers. Midfielders, Jake Doyle Hayes of Aston Villa and Dessie Hutchinson with Brighton & Hove Albion have both seen first team action this season while the QPR trio of Olamide Shodipo, Reece Grego Cox and Ryan Manning have all experienced first team action at various stages. Burton Albion loanee Ryan Delaney with Cork City and Trevor Clarke of Shamrock Rovers have both been catching the eye in the Airtricity League and domestic cup competitions this season.
Our U19 side, guided by Head Coach Tom Mohan, began preparation for the qualifying stage of the 2018 European Championship with a home double header against the Czech Republic played on Saturday and Monday the 2nd and 4th of September 2017 at the RSC in Waterford. Ireland secured two one victories in both contests.
Our European Qualifying opponents were Azerbaijan, Cyprus and Serbia and we hosted the mini-tournament in the RSC Waterford and Ferrycarrig Park in Wexford.
Ireland were held to a disappointing scoreless draw by Azerbaijan in their opening encounter but recovered to secure a five nil victory over Cyprus and then secure top position in the group with a three one success over Serbia.
Preparation for the qualifying stage of the 2018 European Championship commenced with an away double header against FYR Macedonia on Friday and Sunday the 1st and 3rd of September 2017. A two nil victory in the opening contest was followed by a scoreless draw in the second match.
Our European Qualifying opponents were Azerbaijan, Bulgaria and Ukraine and we travelled to Bulgaria, who hosted the mini-tournament earlier this month.
Ireland got off to a flying start with a six nil drubbing of Azerbaijan and followed that with a three nil success over hosts Bulgaria before gathering maximum points with a three one defeat of Ukraine.
Star of the show was Norwich City striker Adam Idah who scored three, two and two goals for a total of seven in those matches.
Our U16 side, under the guidance of Head Coach Paul Osam, travelled to Romania and went down to three one and two one defeats by their hosts in two friendly encounters on Tuesday and Thursday the 19th and 21st of September 2017.
The squad next travelled to Belfast to participate in a Quadrangular Tournament where they defeated the hosts Northern Ireland with the only goal, scored by Troy Parrott, on Monday the 23rd October 2017. There then followed a two all draw with Wales on Wednesday the 25th before a two nil success over Scotland on the 27th October ensured that we retained the Trophy which we won in Scotland last year. Matt Everitt and Armstrong Oko-Flex were the scorers in both of those contests.
Our fledgling U15 side, under the guidance of Head Coach Jason Donohue, will commence their international careers with a double header against visitors Poland on Tuesday the 14th and Thursday the 16th November 2017.
Colin Bell, Head Coach of our Senior Women’s international team, continued his tenure in two friendly internationals, a scoreless draw against Iceland in Tallaght Stadium on the 8th of June 2017 followed by a one nil defeat by Scotland in Kirkcaldy on the 7th of July 2017.
Ireland then commenced their 2019 World Cup Qualifying campaign with a two nil victory over Northern Ireland in Lurgan on Tuesday the 19th September 2017. Left back Megan Campbell of Manchester City Ladies created the opening goal with one of her trademark long throws which found the net via the head of a defender and then struck a powerful shot from twenty five yards for the second goal. Campbell is the grandaughter of the recently deceased member of the ‘Dubliners’ Eamonn Campbell.
Ireland followed up that opening victory with another two nil success, against Slovakia in Senec on Tuesday the 24th October 2017. First half goals from Denise O’Sullivan and a deflected shot from skipper Katie McCabe put Ireland in command and they contained their hosts in exemplary fashion thereafter.
Next up is another daunting away trip, this time to top seeds Holland, on Tuesday the 28th of November 2017.
Our Under 19 Women, led by Head Coach Dave Connell, travelled to Austria to compete in a Triangular Tournament in mid September where they drew one each with hosts Austria before losing to the only goal from Hungary in the second contest.
The draw for the qualifying stage of the 2018 European Championship saw Ireland drawn in Group Six alongside mini-tournament hosts Holland together with Estonia and Latvia.
Ireland commenced their mini-tournament campaign with three nil victories over Estonia and Latvia in their opening two encounters, which guaranteed their progress to the next Elite Stage, before suffering a crushing eight one derfeat by the powerful hosts in their final group encounter.
In addition to our senior women, Colin Bell is also Head Coach to our U17 side and his squad travelled to Zenica, capital of Bosnia & Herzegovina where, they secured three victories to top Group Four of the qualifying stage and progress to the next Elite Stage of the 2018 European Championship.
Fixtures Sunday 24th September:- Bosnia & Herzegovina 0-1 Ireland - Romania 1-1 Greece Wednesday 27th September:- Ireland 2-0 Romania - Greece 0-1 Bosnia & Herzegovina Saturday 30th September:- Bosnia & Herzegovina 1-0 Romania - Greece 0-2 Ireland
UEFA Champions League
Following their first leg one all draw in Oriel Park, our UEFA Champions League representatives Dundalk exited the 2017/2018 competition with a two one extra time defeat by Norwegian Champions Rosenberg in the second leg played in Trondheim.
UEFA Europa League
Our 2017/2018 UEFA Europa League representatives Cork City and Shamrock Rovers both exited the competition at the second round stage. Following their one nil home defeat in the first leg, Cork City went down to another one nil defeat by AEK Larnaca in Cyprus while Shamrock Rovers followed their three two first leg home defeat with a two nil defeat by Mlada Boleslav in the Czech Republic.
Despite quite a run-in stutter, Cork City eventually lifted the 2017 Airtricity League title with three matches to spare. The ‘Leesiders’ were followed home in second place by defending champions Dundalk while the third and fourth positions went to Shamrock Rovers and Derry City respectively. The battle to avoid relegation continued to be a dogfight to the end with Sligo Rovers, Galway United and St Patrick’s Athletic battling to avoid the drop on the final fixture day, following the earlier relegation of Drogheda United and Finn Harps. The axe finally fell on Galway United who suffered a four three defeat by Dundalk in Eamonn Deasy Park.
Waterford have won the First Division and will join the Premier Division next season.
FAI Challenge Cup
The 2017 FAI Challenge Cup Final will be a repeat of last year, with Cork City facing Dundalk in the Aviva Stadium on Sunday the 5th November 2017. At the semi-final stage, holders Cork City secured a hard fought one nil success over Limerick in Turners Cross on Friday the 29th September while the second semi-final saw Dundalk and Shamrock Rovers play out a one all draw in Oriel Park on Sunday the 1st October before the ‘Lilywhites’ secured their passage to the final with a four two extra-time replay victory on Tuesday the 10th October in Tallaght Stadium.
EA Sports Cup
The final of the 2017 EA Sports Cup took place in Tallaght Stadium on the afternoon of Saturday the 16th September and saw Dundalk lift the trophy with a three nil victory over Shamrock Rovers.