Saturday 16 December 2017

Hurley and Hanlon feature for Shels

Recent happenings at the foot of the Premier Division table could have massive repercussions for some of Co. Wicklow's League of Ireland men.

On Friday evening, basement club Shelbourne got one over free-falling Cork City as they managed a 2-1 victory at Tolka Park.

Stephen Hurley popped up on the left flank for Johnny McDonnell's side and lasted the distance while Adam Hanlon was asked to play in the hole and was only withdrawn in the 95th minute as Shels looked to wind down the clock.

That victory for the Dubliners cut the gap between themselves and deadly rivals Bohemians to a single point. Bohs were also in action that evening but a Patrick Hoban hat-trick downed the Gypsies 3-0. Shane Murray and Chris Lyons both got game time; the former was replaced after 58 minutes by Lorcan Shannon while the latter was introduced for Conor Murphy with 14 minutes remaining.

Lyons couldn't spark a comeback on Friday but he did manage a goal on Saturday when Bohs hosted Derby County. The Bray striker levelled the scores at 1-1 but the Rams went on to record a 1-6 win. That would prove to be Aaron Callaghan's last game in charge of the Dalymount Park club as news broke on Monday evening that he had been sacked by the Bohemiams board. Owen Heary will take over as caretaker manager for the strugglers as they take on Bray Wanderers on Friday at the Carlisle Grounds.

Bohemians plight was worsened on Sunday when relegation rivals UCD pulled further away courtesy of a 2-2 with Drogheda United at the Belfield Bowl.

After ex-Seagull James Kavanagh had handed the hosts a 2-1 lead, Students goalkeeper hit his clearance against Declan 'Fabio' O'Brien and the ball crept over the line, despite the best attempts of Hughie Douglas. Douglas started and finished the match at centre half as UCD moved four points clear of Bohs.

At the other end of the table, Shamrock Rovers closed the gap on Premier Division leaders St. Patrick's Athletic to nine points. Unfortunately, Danny Ledwith played no part as the Hoops picked up a 2-1 success over joint second-placed Derry City.

Ledwith was part of Rovers manager Trevor Croly's plans on Monday though as they advanced to the semi finals of the Leinster Senior Cup. The Arklow man figured at left back and turned in a very impressive display during Rovers' 4-1 win over Dundalk. He linked up brilliantly with left winger Thomas Stewart throughout and had a hand in his side's second. After a corner was cleared back to him, his pass was missed by Stewart but rolled through for Mark Quigley to fire home.

Ledwith has had a frustrating time as of late and Longford Town's strong Wicklow contingent suffered similar emotions this weekend as they were held to a 0-0 draw by Athlone Town.

Gavin Doyle was the only member of the Garden County quintet not to play, with the other four Town men all being handed the full 90 minutes. All was not lost for Tony Cousins' side though as second-placed Athlone Town also drew this weekend, meaning the four point gap remains intact.

Wicklow People

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