Thursday 23 January 2020

Dalymount derby opener for Hoops and Bohs

St Valentine’s Day is the opening day of the 2020 season and a Dublin derby between Bohemians and Rovers is the major draw of the first weekend (stock photo)
St Valentine’s Day is the opening day of the 2020 season and a Dublin derby between Bohemians and Rovers is the major draw of the first weekend (stock photo)

Aidan Fitzmaurice

Shamrock Rovers will begin their bid to finish ahead of Dundalk for the first time since the Co Louth club's rebirth with a cross-city trip to face Bohemians.

St Valentine's Day is the opening day of the 2020 season and a Dublin derby between Bohemians and Rovers is the major draw of the first weekend, while Dundalk begin their title defence at home to Derry City side.

Please log in or register with Independent.ie for free access to this article.

Log In

The Bohs-Rovers Dalymount clash in the FAI Cup last season was sold out a week in advance and with strong season ticket sales already for the 2020 campaign at Bohs, only a handful of tickets will be on open sale to home supporters with Rovers guaranteed to sell out their 900 allocation.

Dublin derbies dominate the opening weeks of the league, with St Patrick's Athletic away to newly-promoted Shelbourne on February 28, a Bohs v Shels clash on March 6, and a test for new St Pat's boss Stephen O'Donnell against his former club on March 27.

Rovers took seven wins and a draw from derbies against UCD and St Pat's last season, but their record against Bohs hampered their title bid, three successive losses before Rovers finally gained a league win in August, followed by an FAI Cup semi-final win a Dalymount.

Shelbourne, back in the top flight, have a tough start to life as a Premier club again, away to Cork City on the opening day, before a game at home to champions Dundalk and then an unwanted Monday night trip to Finn Harps.

The league takes the standard mid-season break from June 13-15, avoiding a clash with the three group games to be played in Dublin at the Euro 2020 finals.

While the release of the fixture list allows managers, officials and player make plans for the season, those involved in the First Division have been left waiting.

Last year the Premier and Division One fixtures were issued on the same day but the FAI are unable to release the fixtures for the second tier until the planned arrival of Shamrock Rovers 'B' is clarified, other clubs opposing their addition to the league.

In transfer news, defender Shane Griffin has left Cork City for St Patrick's Athletic, while Belgian-born Ireland U21 keeper Liam Bossin has joined Cork as a replacement for Tadhg Ryan.

Indo Sport

The Left Wing: Schools rugby special - 'The St Michael’s dream team are the side to beat'

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport