Two games to go and time to recap on what has been a fairly topsy-turvy season for Shels fans. There have been high points and low points, and I appreciate that all fans have different ideas on the outstanding moments of the season. Here however are mine:-
After an encouraging pre-season, we were brought down to earth 3-0 in Cork. Not just beaten, but thumped. However, a huge crowd in Turners Cross augured well for summer football, and crowds stayed relatively high, at least during the warmer months..
The defeat to Hibernians of Malta at home was a sickener. We seemed to have done the hard work with a score-draw away from home and for 90 minutes we bossed them at home, with only Trevor Molloy’s enthusiasm preventing us from scoring. Then Mr. Chukunyere struck. We’ll probably never hear of him again, but his name will go down in Shels’ history.
Pats away in the Cup. Following a home league defeat, we travelled to Richer expecting revenge, only to be robbed in cruel fashion by a bizarre referee. Following hard on the heels of Hibs, it was turning into a summer of discontent.
Rovers away at Tolka in the League. We ran them ragged and couldn’t put the ball in the net. Wes produced one piece of spell-binding skill where he sent four Rovers defenders the wrong way with a dummy.
Bohs at home. To be fair, they destroyed us in the first half, but we pegged them back. Shero set up our first goal, and then was guilty of an unbelievable miss in front of goal that would have given us a point, and taken three points off the difference between us and Bohs.
The second third of the season saw us moving up a gear. It began with a complete destruction of Cork at home. Our superiority was far greater than the 2-1 suggested. Pat’s away was a rollercoaster of a game, notable for Geogo’s great skill in scoring his first and the drama of his late equaliser for the second.
Davy Byrne’s goal against UCD was one of the highlights of the season for me – a screamer from all of thirty yards that the keeper had no chance of stopping. Similar to that Shearer free-kick they’re showing non-stop in England, only from open play.
The victory over Bohs was one of the sweetest games of the season, with Shels becoming the first team to beat them in the league. A very debatable penalty was awarded to us in the first half. A blatant penalty was not awarded in the second. A great team effort and the 2-1 scoreline belied how far ahead we were.
The defeat away to Cork Will someone please tell me what Jim Gannon was sent off for, because nobody seems to know? Another diabolical refereeing decision gives Cork all three points.
Liam Buckley’s enterprising piece of quick thinking ultimately set up Mark Roberts for the only goal of the game against Rovers at Richer. I shouldn’t jeer – for too long there has been too much gamesmanship in football. One piece of sportsmanship hands us all three points!!
And so to last Sunday’s table-topping, Championship decider. A game that could have gone either way, Bohs closed us down throughout the game and never gave us a chance to settle. Ashley Bayes pulls off the save of the season from Ollie Cahill and then lovely Bobby Ryan hits us with a sucker punch.
All in all, it augurs well for next season. We dropped 22 points from our first eleven games and in the end, they proved costly, similar in a way to Bohs last season. However, Pats looked very strong at the end of last year and look what happened to them. But Pat seems to know what he’s doing [Fenlon, not Dolan] so hopefully we won’t suffer the same fate.