Shamrock Rovers and Dundalk gear up for ‘tasty old tie’

Tallaght encounter offers both clubs chance to bounce back while First Division kicks off

Shamrock Rovers Greg Bolger challenges Bohemians’ Keith Ward during the Bohs’ 3-1 victory at Dalymount Park on the opening night. Photograph: Gary Carr/Inpho

Shamrock Rovers Greg Bolger challenges Bohemians’ Keith Ward during the Bohs’ 3-1 victory at Dalymount Park on the opening night. Photograph: Gary Carr/Inpho

 

With a point between them after one game and the managers apparently engaged in a mild-mannered war of words, Shamrock Rovers and Dundalk has the potential to be “a tasty old tie”, according to Rovers’ midfielder Greg Bolger.

Bolger, who previously had a spell at Dundalk, spoke yesterday of the added sense of expectation that comes with being at Rovers and Stephen Bradley will know all about that in the wake of last week’s defeat by arch-rivals Bohemians. It is, he insists, way too early to talk about added pressure but clearly both he and former boss Stephen Kenny have that little bit more on the line.

Kenny suggested last week that his rival had “thrown the kitchen sink” at Seán Gannon in their efforts to tempt him to Tallaght but the full-back stayed at Oriel Park. Bradley laughed at it all yesterday, remarking that: “If we threw the sink, they must have thrown the rest of a big kitchen.

“When good players make an approach to you to talk to them, you talk to them; it’s as simple as that,” Bradley continued, making it clear, in the process, that he saw Gannon as the one who instigated the conversation. “But can we match Dundalk and Cork financially? No. That’s as simple as it is.”

Ronan Finn faces a late test on a calf strain ahead of this evening’s game while Trevor Clarke is suspended but Seán Kavanagh could make his debut if his international clearance comes through. Stephen O’Donnell, John Mountney and Seán Hoare miss out for the visitors but Karolis Chvedukas and Brian Gartland could feature after recovering from the flu.

Cork City are without Graham Cummins due to his one-match ban and Josh O’Hanlon is one of those still injured so Michael Howard may get an early look in, having arrived from Preston this week.

Waterford have even later arrivals ahead of the Turner’s Cross game with goalkeeper Lawrence Vigouroux and striker Courtney Duffus arriving on loan from Swindon and Oldham respectively on Thursday.

Sligo, meanwhile, say they are trying to ensure that Patrick McClean, Calum Waters and Mitchell Beeney are all available for the visit of Derry City.

St Patrick’s Athletic travel to Bray for the other top flight game of the evening.

Galway United kick-off the first division campaign as strong favourites for promotion and unbackable ones to beat Athlone Town this evening, something that took Galway manager Shane Keegan by surprise.

“I’m not sure where the bookies came up with that one, Longford and Harps have done well with the squads they have assembled although I wouldn’t say there’s actually a stronger one than ours. I think the division is actually incredibly tight but I can’t wait for the whistle to go on Friday night.”

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