Pursuit of Excellence – PearceyPlays #FM20 OS6 C2 S2 – Part 53 – Dundalk – May 2024

Nondescript Clipart No. 571

Welcome back to another mad month – I’ve now realised it’s mad because the Euros take a 5-week chunk out of our season – where we look to extend our run of wins and unbeaten run.

We play none of the top 4 this month – Waterford should be our hardest game. Most probably will be Drogheda though 🙂

Cork up first, the second time against them in 4 days in the league.

Jordan Kelly was 2nd and Jenks 3rd in the IPD Player of the Month

Our player Tommy Carlin (On loan at Sligo) came 2nd in the goal of the month.

I win Manager of the Month again.

We are bleeding money away (£500k/month currently) but that sweet European money will sustain us.

A from the board!!! Very Good/Excellent/Excellent Dynamics.

Liverpool play out a 0-0 at home versus Inter in the 2nd UCL Semi 1st Leg.

3rd May 2024 – Cork City (H) – Irish Premier Division

FT Dundalk 3 (O’Malley 1, Jordan Kelly 60, O’Shea 82) Cork City 0 Att 4,500 (225 Away)

We welcome Cork City to Oriel Park – 3-0 back 4 days ago to Dundalk, lets see if we can go even better. Possibly – Steven O’Malley with a lovely side foot finish after just 19 seconds! The key was the ball over by Duffy – pin-point-perfect. Collins hits the bar with a header in the 5th minute. O’Malley picked up another knock (Lots of niggles recently), so Neco Williams came on in the 11th minute. Cork definitely showing more today. We hit the bar again in the 42nd minute… feels like one of those days. But we do go 2-0 up, 60th minute, and its gorgeous. Lovely team play; A Jenks ball sets Duffy free and his cross is pinpoint onto Jordan Kelly’s head 🙂 3-0 in the 82nd – Dara O’Shea (Been moaning about not getting enough game time) pops up to head home a Russell Watts inswinging free kick. Youngster Russell has a wicked cross on him. 3-0 it finishes. 51 games unbeaten.

An absolute goal-fest today – Cobh with a massive win over Longford, only 1 point off of 6th now! Just 3 days to the League Cup Quarter Final versus Drogheda (Nice to be playing 4 games at home in a row from a travel perspective when the games are coming thick & fast).

Our U19’s beat Finn Harps 4-0 – Goals from Sean Brennan (18yo MC), Martin Kenny and a brace from Alan Brady.

6th May 2024 – Drogheda Utd (H) – League Cup Quarter Final

FT Dundalk 2 (McGrath 64, Moran o.g. 67) Drogheda Utd 0 Att 4,491 (216 Away)

Drogheda come into this game sitting 5th in the First Division and in indeterminate form. We should crush them, so have rotated almost totally. As such a pretty disjointed first half – The first highlight saw Casey get a second yellow for Drogheda in the 36th minute. Hopefully we should be able to break them down. Just before half time McCabe limped off with a foot injury. Bugger. We finally break the deadlock in the 64th minute – McGrath, on for a McEleney with a gashed lower leg (Think Drogheda are getting stuck in) with a simple header from a Corrigan (On for McCabe) cross. 2-0 soon after – an oggie – Paul Moran – very unlucky as a McGarvey header (From a Watts free kick) thundered against the crossbar, straight into his face and in. Job done, 2-0, the Semis await.

Derry beat U.C.D. 1-0 in the other Quarter Final today. Chris McCabe out for 4 weeks… Twisted Ankle from a tackle. £4k for the win.

St. Pat’s beat Longford in the only league game on the day. We play Longford next – The Leinster Senior Cup Semi Final in 4 days.

Just the one player in the IPD Team of the Week – Freddy Barton at right-back.

Inter knock Liverpool out of the UCL with a 1-0 win at the Giuseppe Meazza.

Two shocks in the other Quarters of the League Cup – Cork spanked by Bohemians and Shamrock beaten by our affiliate Limerick!

It will be Inter versus Chelsea in the UCL Final as they beat Lyon 1-0 on the night and 3-1 on aggregate.

10th May 2024 – Longford (H) – Leinster Senior Cup Semi Final

FT Dundalk 3 (McEleney 17, Reilly 22, Connolly 29) Longford 1 (Figueira 7) Att 2,437 (66 Away)

We seem to play Longford all the time – Aggregate 13-1 over 3 games this season. They are currently 9th in the IPD table, and no doubt will be in the relegation fight come October. We are very rotated again today. Longford start off the stroinger and go 1-0 up early – Figueira with a tap in after a free kick isn’t cleared. We get back level pretty quickly though – McEleney with a far post header from a Benson cross after a period on concerted pressure. 2-1 Dundalk in short order – youngster Barry Reilly with his first goal for Dundalk with a fine header from a McEleney wide free kick. Consider the bear poked. 3-1 in the 29th – Brian Connolly with a banger of a first time shot , a daisycutter, from the edge of the area from a Benson pass. Not all over though, as Longford have chances to make it 3-2 at the start of the second half. time ticks down though, and we do have the ball in the net in stoppage time, byut Reilly was offside by a few yards. It finishes 3-1, another final 🙂

We will play Shelbourne in the final, after they win a madness of a semi final 5-4 – They were 5-1 up with 6 minutes left, but crept over the line. They are currently 3rd in the 1st Division. The final will be on 28th June.

Shamrock 9 points behind now after playing their game in hand. Waterford next up for us in 3 days.

Our U19’s won 3-0 versus Drogheda – Goals from Jim Collins & a brace from Alan Brady.

13th May 2024 – Waterford (H) – Irish Premier Division

FT Dundalk 5 (McGarvey 52, 80, Jordan Kelly 57, O’Malley 71, Jenkinson pen 76) Waterford 1 (O’Leary 61) Att 3,348 (111 Away)

Waterford arrive at Oriel Park having only won 1 of their last 6 (Longford) and having lost 3-0 last time out (Derry City). We are full strength (Less Taylor who will be back in the next couple of weeks from his Hernia). A slow start, no highlights until the 17th minute. We start to come into the game a bit, with Connor in the Waterford net making a couple of good saves. They get a rocket at half time and it’s 1-0 Dundalk in the 52nd minute 🙂 McGarvey directing the ball in from a yard out from a Kelly header from a Steven O’Malley wide free-kick. 2-0 5 minutes later, a defensive rick by Waterford – an O’Malley corner evades everybody and Kelly taps in at the back post from a couple of yards. Another mistake for the next goal – Ngoy missing a header, O’Leary finishes well. 2-1. Then a rarity – O’Malley sees the keeper off his line and pings it from out wide on the right. 3-1. Both Kelly & O’Malley have scored just as I was about to sub them. 4-1, 76th minute, Jenks with a penalty after Ngoy was fouled by Mandroiu at a corner. A comedy goal makes it 5-1, Waterford dicking about with the ball too much, McGarvey does McGarvey things, dispossessing Griffin who lingered too long on the ball, scoring from close in. Looked like it was going to be a tight one early on! 5-1 it finished.

Shamrock move 6 points clear in 2nd, beating our next opponents Sligo 4-2. 6 of the boys got in the IPD Team of the Week.

Michael Duffy has been called up to the preliminary Ireland Euro 24 squad.

Had a couple of the “Takeover Rumours not to be believed” emails – Think that means there will be a takeover bid soon 🙂

17th May 2024 – Sligo Rovers (A) – Irish Premier Division

FT Sligo Rovers 0 Dundalk 5 (Collins 11, 50, Cullinan o.g. 15, Rea 72, Fofana 87) Att 1,727 (245 Away)

Sligo are currently 7th, in the relegation conversation, but they are always combative and play on a very narrow pitch so these games tend to be tricky. Lots of Dundalk highlights early on. And we take the lead in the 11th minute – Collins heading in an O’Malley cross after a good team move. Sligo were very unlucky for the 2nd – Jenks with a nice shot, horribly deflected past an already-committed Keeper. Harsh. 3-0 in the 50th minute, a Collins tap in volley, all the work done by Duffy – a wonderful run and dribble, putting it on a plate for Tommy 🙂 4-0 in the 72nd – up pops Glen Rea for his first of the season, a header from a Jenks deep free kick. An absolute thunderbastard for the 5th – Fofana in a rare sub appearance walloping it from 25 yards! His first for the club. 5-0 it finished. Levels!

Shamrock drop 2 points at a tricky Waterford – I said they were good – We are 11 points clear, 18 points clear of 3rd. We now need to start thinking about nation building – Get our Academy & Training facilities (Which should complete their first expansion at the end of the month) to the maximum levels so we can supply t he rest of the clubs in Ireland with quality players – allowing them, to compete in Europe, getting all those Coefficient points. Plus if they compete well in Europe they’ll be getting all that European money as well! Cobh Ramblers next up, in 7 days time!! Our first 7 day break in 6 weeks. 23 wins in a row now in all competitions. 7 of the lads make the IPD Team of the Week. We have the top 9 highest Average Ratings in the IPD now!! Jenks iis on 8.14, Steven O’Malley 8.07!!!

Our U19’s beat Athlone 3-1 – goals from Sean Brennan, Pierce Andrews & Martin Kenny.

Ancelotti has just been sacked by Man Utd 🙂 Apparent Graham Potter is favourite to replace him!! Guardiola goes on the same day (Man City)

And I’ve had a few stories about QPR coming in for Colin McGarvey. £2M maybe…

We’ve had the League Cup Semi draw:

We will play our affiliates Limerick at theirs. Could be a tough one. They are top of the First division and haven’t lost a league game this season.

24th May 2024 – Cobh Ramblers (H) – Irish Premier Division

FT Dundalk 2 (Duffy 3, O’Malley 51) Cobh Ramblers 1 (Doherty 59) Att 3,274 (28 Away)

We go into our penultimate match before the break for the Euros with all 1st choicers available, Jake Taylor now back from his injury lay-off. 1-0 in the 3rd minute – great play, a stunning Duffy volley from an O’Malley cross after good work by Neco Williams (Who is getting shirty about the game time he is getting). All Dundalk early doors. 13 shots in the 1st 16 minutes 🙂 Somehow it’s only 1-0 at half time though! O’Malley makes it 2-0 in the 52st minute – a nice header at the back post from a Duffy inswinger. Cobh get one back in the 59th minute, a really nice move and finish by Daire Doherty. We’ve now hit the woodwork 4 times as we go into the last 10 minutes… It finishes 2-1, the closest one-sided game I’ve been involved in I think…

Shamrock sneak past a Finn Harps side that we play next, in our last game before the break.

Our U19’s beat Bohemians 7-0 – 2 players scored, Martin Kenny with a hat-trick & Alan Brady with 4! And 2 of the lads made the IPD Team of the Week.

Our U19’s played again – same result, this time versus Pike Rovers – goals from Jacob Davenport, Fofana, Dan Kelly, Rubarth and a hat-trick from Barry Reilly.

Our Youth & Training facilities have been upgraded. Both now Adequate.

And I’ve gotten my Continental A Licence – Just Pro left 🙂

Then a set-back – McGarvey has broken his toe. 3/4 weeks – Thankfully we don’t have a game for a month after this last match versus Finn Harps.

31st May 2024 – Finn Harps (A) – Irish Premier Division

FT Finn Harps 1 (O’Sullivan 40) Dundalk 6 (Kelly 2, 51, Duffy pen 6, pen 10, 34, Williams 15) Att 1,129 (258 Away)

Bottom versus Top – always tricky, especially away, but we should get the win. 1-0, 96 seconds – Jordan Kelly, an easy finish after great work from Rubarth, playing as a DLF(S). 2-0 in the 6th minute – Duffy with a penalty after Kelly was brought down, again after being freed by a lovely Rubarth pass. 3-0 in the 10th – a second penalty for Duffy after Taylor was clattered. Getting silly now, 4-0, 15th minute, Neco Williams with a beautiful over-the-shoulder Van Basten volley from a Duffy cross. Tek a Boo Son. Duffy gets his hat-trick in the 34th minute, a nice finish after a lovely dribble. 5-0. 5-1 in the 40th – O’Sullivan with a simple finish after a Fitzsimmons shot was parried – Fitzsimmons looks pretty useful. 6-1, 51st minute, Jordan Kelly with a tap in, right place, right time.

A good win for St. Pat’s versus Derry. Right – 2 weeks holiday now for the first-teamers.

Perfect season since the 2nd game – We come back for the Leinster Senior Cup Final on 28th June, I think only Michael Duffy is at the Euros from Dundalk. We will also start getting the UCL Qualifiers – we need that £13M!! See you soon.

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