Stoppage Time – International Football Blog

Ireland: Five-way battle in exciting title race

Posted in European Football by peterbein on September 13, 2011
Derry City fans

Will Derry City fans have something to celebrate this season?

The title race in the Airtricity League in the Republic of Ireland is reaching a critical stage and looks set to go down to the wire with up to five teams still holding title ambitions.

Derry City (59 points, 30 games) have experienced many difficulties over the last few years but the club is playing well again following their promotion from the First Division (2nd tier) last season. Their title efforts were thwarted slightly last night however, only managing to pick up a point in a 2-2 draw at home to second bottom side Drogheda United, but the point gained provided a little daylight between themselves and the two immediate chasing teams of Sligo Rovers (3-0 winners at home to Bray Wanderers) and Shamrock Rovers (who drew 1-1 with fourth place St Patrick’s Athletic) both of whom have 58 points. Shamrock Rovers, however, will face a very tough end to the season; not only do they have a game in hand in the domestic league and an Irish Cup quarter-final to look forward to but Rovers will also face a major distraction in the form of UEFA Europa League football which begins this week with a home tie against two-time Russian champions Rubin Kazan.

Saint Patrick’s Athletic’s ability to pick up a point against the title favourites has given them hope of a late push as they lie just four points behind Shamrock Rovers. Bohemians Dublin have given themselves an outside chance having won their last three matches in a row. They lie in fifth position with 51 points from 29 games following their Monday night 3-1 win at home to Dundalk but they have arguably the toughest run-in of all of the top sides as they have to face off against Shamrock Rovers, Sligo Rovers and Derry City in their last three games.

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