Football | League of Ireland talking points
There was plenty of drama across the Premier and First Divisions on Friday night.
Shamrock Rovers, St. Patrick's Athletic, and Bohemian FC continued their strong starts, but Dundalk and Cork City are still without a win.
There were wins for Shelbourne, Athlone Town, Bray Wanderers, and Drogheda United in the second tier.
We discuss all the main talking points from the second round of League of Ireland fixtures...
Strong start for Rovers
Shamrock Rovers maintained their winning start to the season with a 2-0 win over Derry City.
Dylan Watts opened the scoring for the dominant Hoops in the first half, before a late penalty from the excellent Aaron McEneff sealed an impressive victory for Rovers in Tallaght.
Stephen Bradley’s men had plenty of chances to add to their tally, with the Candystripes struggling to contain the home side.
To add to Derry’s misery, Jamie McDonagh – brought on at half time – was shown a late red card for a rash challenge on Rovers skipper Ronan Finn.
It was another good win for Rovers, who started their season with an excellent away win in Waterford.
The Dublin club are already four points clear of champions Dundalk, and will be dreaming of breaking into the top two this season.
Dundalk draw again
Vinny Perth is still waiting for his first league win as Dundalk manager.
The Lilywhites have enjoyed great success against Finn Harps in recent years, but had to come from behind to secure a 1-1 draw in Donegal.
Dundalk dominated the first half, but found themselves 1-0 down at the interval.
Keith Cowan headed home in the 41st minute to give Harps the lead against the run of play at the break.
Dundalk skipper Brian Gartland headed the visitors level with 20 minutes remaining, but despite a flurry of late chances – including a Sean Hoare effort from close range which struck the post – Harps held on for a valuable point against the champions.
It has been a slow start to the season for the Lilywhites, who are already four points off the top after just two games.
Drennan silences the boo boys
Mikey Drennan scored the winner for St. Patrick’s Athletic for the second week running.
The club’s new signing scored a late goal to gift the visitors a 1-0 win against his former employers Sligo Rovers.
Drennan was booed loudly by the Bit O’ Red fans throughout the game, but silenced his critics with a stoppage time header to win Pat’s another three points.
Like Rovers, St. Pat's have made a strong start to the season, and the acquisition of Drennan is already paying dividends.
GOAL! Mikey Drennan's last gasp goal has given St. Pat's all three points in Sligo. #Sligo #StPats https://t.co/4cgwJWY8hY — The Season Ticket (@_SeasonTicket) February 22, 2019
Leesiders lose again
Cork City's record breaking start to the 2016/17 season feels like a long time ago now.
The Leesiders suffered their second consecutive defeat on Friday night, losing 2-0 to Waterford at Turner's Cross.
Two brilliant strikes from Bastien Hery and Zak Elbouzedi sealed Waterford's first win of the season against a lacklustre Cork side.
Waterford captain Damien Delaney - who played for Cork last season - almost gave the visitors an early lead, and Alan Reynold's side soon took control of proceedings.
Cork did grow into the half as it wore on, but Hery's clinical low drive on the cusp of half time fired the visitors into the lead.
Cork pushed for an equalizer in the second half, with Karl Sheppard's effort cleared off the line, but Waterford doubled their lead in stoppage time.
Elbouzedi produced an emphatic finish into the roof of the net after being picked out by Hery, leaving Cork without a goal or point after two games this season.
John Caulfield's side will need to turn things around quickly if they are to challenge for the title.
FULL TIME at Turners Cross and it's a 2-0 win for the Blues - magnificent performance and a deserved three points. Goals from Bastien Hery and Zack Elbouzedi. — Waterford FC (@WaterfordFCie) February 22, 2019
Two stunning strikes seal Bohs win
Bohs made it six points from six with a 2-0 win away to UCD.
Danny Mandroiu scored an early contender for goal of the season, and Dinny Corcoran produced a delightful finish to seal an away victory.
On the half hour mark, Mandroiu cut in from the left and rifled an unstoppable drive into the top corner to open the scoring via the underside of the crossbar.
The 20-year-old was Bohs' standout player against Finn Harps last week, and shone again on Friday in UCD.
Gooooaaaaallllll#Bohs It's a stunner from Danny Mantriou Its @bfcdublin 1-0 ahead at UCD@ExtratimeNews pic.twitter.com/0JdY6SExoG — John (@John_MooreMOT) February 22, 2019
Corcoran doubled the visitors' lead with a sumptuous left-footed volley from a Daniel Tobin cross three minutes later.
UCD pushed for a way back into the game in the second half but fell short against Keith Long's men.
Shels comeback stuns Galway
Shelbourne overturned a 2-0 deficit to beat Galway United 3-2 in a thrilling First Division match in the west of Ireland.
President Michael D. Higgins in attendance at Eamonn Deacy Park as three second half Shels goals sealed a dramatic comeback for the visitors.
Colin Kelly and Vinnie Faherty scored two wonderful goals for Alan Kelly's hosts, with both players lobbing Shelbourne 'keeper Dean Delaney.
However, three goals in nine minutes from Shelbourne left Galway shellshocked.
Ciarán Kilduff bagged a brace either side of Karl Moore's strike to seal all three points for the Dublin outfit.