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Twists and turns of title race

March 21

Michael O'Neill (right) laughs off the suggestion that Rovers could be out of the title race already after a loss to Dundalk means his side have taken just one point from their opening three matches. Bohs come from behind to beat Drogheda 4-2 and maintain their 100pc start.

April 9

The maiden Rovers-Bohs meeting of the campaign ends in Hooped joy at Tallaght, with Billy Dennehy securing a precious winner for the hosts, who enjoy victory on their own turf for the first time in 2010.

April 16

Ominous sign of things to come for Bohs, who defend poorly and lose 3-2 to Galway United at Dalymount Park, suggesting a vulnerability which returns to haunt the Gypsies.

May 3

A tempestuous night in Dundalk results in another defeat for Shamrock Rovers, while Bohs grab an injury-time winner over Drogheda. However, from here on, Rovers launch a 17-game unbeaten run.

May 8

St Patrick's Athletic replace Dundalk at the summit with a single-goal win at Richmond Park. Pete Mahon's (left) men retain the lead into the mid-season break, with the table congested.

July 30

Fresh from their Champions League humiliation at the hands of TNS, Bohs have a chance to grab top spot from the Saints, but an injury time equaliser from Dave Mulcahy keeps Pete Mahon's men ahead.

August 8

Rovers, who have just returned from a famous clash with Juventus, thrash Bohs 3-0 in Tallaght to move joint top with St Pat's. Bohs are in real trouble and lose at home to Galway the following Friday.

September 10

After pulling away from St Pat's, Rovers extend their advantage to seven points as they come from behind to enjoy a 3-1 victory in Inchicore. The Saints fall away subsequently.

September 13

Rovers' impressive run comes to an end with a windswept 5-1 reverse at the hands of bogey team Dundalk. Bohs beat Drogheda to move to within four points.

September 21

The gap is back to six after Bohs can only draw in Sligo -- a few days after Rovers comfortably brush Galway aside.

October 1

Both title challengers slip up, with Rovers losing at UCD and Bohs failing to capitalise by only drawing at home to Bray.

October 5

Nothing but a win will do for Bohs when the Hoops visit Dalymount, and Pat Fenlon's (right) side produce their best performance of the campaign to triumph. They reduce the deficit to two points.

October 9

An amazing Saturday of action. Bohs win in Inchicore before Rovers throw away an advantage to concede two late goals against Fingal. Remarkably, the Gypsies are a point clear with two games remaining.

October 22

After a break for cup duty, Bohs travel to Galway and suffer an embarrassing 3-2 defeat. Rovers can't believe their luck, as a 2-0 win over bottom club Drogheda gifts them back a two-point advantage.

October 29

Rovers travel to Bray knowing that a win will make them champions and a draw is enough, unless Bohs beat Dundalk by five clear goals. Is there another twist to come?

Irish Independent