Sligo Rovers and Cork City played out a hard fought and entertaining 0-0 draw at Turner’s Cross as the Bit O’ Red edged one point closer to the Airtricity League Premier Division title.
Sligo dominated vast swathes of the game, particularly in the first half, with their slick passing game overwhelming the Rebels at times as Danny Ventre and Raffaele Cretaro missed good chances.
Cork were much better after the break, as former Republic of Ireland international Colin Healy was brought into the fray at half-time. The former Celtic man’s class told as the home side very nearly grabbed a winner when Kalen Spillane’s powerful header smacked off the inside of the post and Joseph Ndo almost bundled the rebound over his own goal-line with 13 minutes to play.
Sligo held out for the draw though, extending their unbeaten league run to 14 matches. Sligo are now six points clear of St. Patrick’s Athletic with three games to play and the title rivals square off next Saturday (13th October, kick-off 3:45pm) at the Showgrounds with the Connacht outfit looking for a win to clinch the title on home soil.
Elsewhere, Shamrock Rovers beat Bray Wanderers 3-1 at the Carlisle Grounds.
The first goal arrived on 17 minutes through a trademark 25 year free-kick from Brennan which gave home goalkeeper Darren Quigley absolutely no chance.
Hoops went two up 15 minutes later when Ken Oman climbed highest to hammer home a header from Gary McCabe’s cross.
The home side deservedly pulled a goal back ten minutes into the second half when Kieran Marty Waters – the hosts main threat throughout – turned on the edge of the box before rolling the ball into the net.
Whatever hopes Bray had of saving the game were extinguished when McCabe made it 3-1 from the penalty spot on 81 minutes and Wanderers had Adam Mitchell (as well as manager Pat Devlin) sent to the stands.
Hoops look to have too much to do at this late stage of the season to finish in the European placings (unless St. Pat’s win the FAI Cup that is) and Bray have already secured Premier Division football for next season.
In the First Division, Waterford United handed promotion and the title to Limerick FC as the Blues lost 1-2 at the RSC to second bottom Mervue United.
Second placed Waterford will now contest the promotion play-off with third placed Longford Town in two week’s time.
Limerick meanwhile will celebrate promotion when they visit Longford’s Flancare Park on Saturday evening (kick-off 7:45pm).