Welcome back to Co. Louth. This month we have an international break before getting into the games.
We welcome Ajax to Tallaght Stadium for a game that we have a great chance of getting something from. We also have a domestic cup final (League) versus Derry City, an FAI Cup Quarter Final and a few league games.
A+ with the board, Good/Excellent/Excellent Dynamics.
Our U19 beat Finn Harps 3-1, goals from Darragh Walsh (18yo DC) and a brace from Jim Collins.
We’ve had the FAI Cup Quarter Final draw.
Another non-league team, St. Mochtas from Dublin 15. That’s our next game at the end of the international break.
Our U19’s beat Mt. Merrion 3-0, goals from Mark Hanratty, Dan Kelly & Brian Stapleton. Jacob Davenport injured his knee cap and will be out for over a month.
We;ve had a few players involved in internationals. Aidan Hamilton played a half for N. Ireland U21’s in their 5-1 loss to Germany. Joe Holloway scored in Ireland U21’s 5-0 win over Georgia. Tommy Collins, Stevie Moore & Colin McGarvey all played 90 minutes in N. Ireland’s 0-0 draw with Bosnia & Herzegovina. Jim Collins played 75 minutes in Ireland U19’s 4-0 loss to Spain.
Hopefully Conor will be back for the Ajax game. Very doubtful though.
More internationals. Jim Collins played 34 minutes in Ireland U19’s 2-1 win over Croatia. Joe Holloway played 11 minutes in Ireland U21’s 2-0 win over Luxembourg. Aidan Hamilton got an 8.1 in N. Ireland U21’s 5-0 win over Lithuania. And Tommy Collins, Stevie Moore, Barry Reilly & Colin McGarvey all played for N. Ireland in their 2-1 win over Greece, Tommy with a goal (He hit the bar, the Greek defender cleared the ball straight at him and it went in :))
Our U19’s beat Athlone 2-1, both goals from Jim Collins.
15th September 2024 – St. Mochtas (H) – FAI Cup Quarter Final
FT Dundalk 5 (Connolly 13, Reilly 39, 57, 67, Watts 89) St. Mochtas 0 Att 2,375 (15 Away)
We welcome non-league St. Mochtas to Oriel Park. Their Keeper is an orange injury from the start. We take th elead in the 13th minute, Brian Connolly with a back-post header from a McGrath cross. Barry Reilly gets number 2, a header crashing off the underside of the crossbar from another McGrath cross. reilly gets his 2nd in the 57th minute – a header across the Keeper from a Watts corner. He gets his hat-trick 10 minute later, a nice shot of the inside of the post from a Connolly low cross. It’s 5 with a minute of normal time left – Russell Watts with a screamer of a 30-yard free kick. It finished 5-0.
No real shocks, maybe Longford beating Sligo. £33k for the win. 2 big games next, Ajax at Tallaght Stadium & Derry City at home in the League Cup Final.
We’ve had the Semi Final draw.
Cork away, 6th October. We will be playing them twice in 48 hours. 10 games in October currently.
We’ve had a scout report from Ajax – they look a bit stronger than Dynamo Kyiv 🙂
St. Pat’s now in charge of 2nd place as Shamrock draw again. Shamrock went out of the Conference League in the 4th Qualifying round, 1-0 on aggregate to Aberdeen, so only have League games left this season. If St. Pat’s don’t win their next game we are all but mathematically champions (We’re 53 goals ahead of them :))
No Shocks on game day 1 of the UCL Groups. Maybe Ludogorets getting a point versus Porto.
18th September 2024 – Ajax (H – Tallaght Stadium) – UCL Group H Matchday 1
FT Dundalk 1 (O’Malley 11) Ajax 1 (Kenneth Taylor 81) Att 7,233 (3,220 Away)
We welcome an Ajax side who have started off their Eredivisie campaign well – P6 W6. They have a small squad, but they’ve not sold Ziyech in this save. Donny van de Beek went to Milan for £68M in the summer just gone. Just hoping for a good performance from the lads, with Seddon, Duffy & McGarvey all suspended and Conor O’Malley 4 days from finishing his rehab. A good start, the lads on the front foot. And we take the lead in the 11th minute!! Steven O’Malley with a banger, near post top bins, after ghosting past Tagliafico, Assist from Brian Connolly. Ajax have the ball in the net after a corner just before half time, but Oderlund was offside when he got the final touch. 3 players off by a couple of yards. And we nearly go in 2-0 up, a Tommy Collins header tipped over. And it should have definitely have been 2-0 in the 48th minute, a beautiful break ending with a tame Josh Taylor shot with him in yards of space. We get to the last 15 stil 1-0 to the good! Cautious now, wasting as much time as possible. But we can’t quite keep them out. 1-1, 9 minutes left, Kenneth Taylor with a very similar goal to O’Malley’s. Going back to a normal tempo. And if only Collins could header anywhere apart from at the keeper!! Should be winning this, feel like we’re going to lose it now… But we are still getting chances!! But we hold on!! 1-1 versus top-seed Ajax. A great result with the players we had out.
Bayern beating Gent in the other game in the group. Beskitas & Kobenhavn getting good draws in Group G. Bayern next up in the UCL in Munich, so not expecting much from that. £775k for the Draw 🙂 🙂 🙂
The League Cup Final next up for us, versus Derry City, followed by League games versus Waterford and Shamrock to round out the month.
Our U19’s lost 4-1 to Ajax, Adam Donnelly (16yo Non-Player) with the goal.
Lots of goals in the league games, with Shamrock taking back control of 2nd place from St. Pat’s with a game in hand. They can get 24 points, we are 21 ahead. Sligo & Finn Harps played out a madness of a game, Finn Harps scoring 3 goals in 1st Half Injury Time, and all 10 goals being scored by the 63nd minute!
21st September 2024 – Derry City (N – Oriel Park) – League Cup Final
FT Derry City x (Burrows 87) Dundalk x (McGarvey 44, 60) Att 4,500 (2,250 Away)
The League Cup Final is played at Oriel Park, so we’ve been getting home finals for the last 4 seasons 🙂 Derry City are in decent form, a loss to St. Pat’s last time out their first for 7 games so this won’t be easy. Derry start well but we start to pour on the pressure – Jenks hitting the post with a thunderbolt. Derry nearly take us into the break level, but Colin McGarvey scores his 26th of the season in the 44th minute – a back-post header from a Watts corner. And some good teamwork give him his 2nd. 60th minute, Jordan Kelly recovers a ball that has gone free, passes back to McGrath, who’s short cross is headed in by McGarvey from 8 yards. 2-0 Dundalk. Burrows makes it 2-1 late on, a bit of a hames by Ray Moore getting caught well up the pitch. But we see the game out to win 2-1, League Cup winners again.
£21k for the win. £19k paid out in bonuses 🙂
Cobh & Sligo move a point closer to safety with their draw. Shamrock are now 18 points back, 21 points for them to play for but we have 3 games in hand.
24th September 2024 – Waterford (A) – Irish Premier Division
FT Waterford 0 Dundalk 2 (Stevie Moore 29, Reilly 56) Att 1,222 (193 Away)
We arrive in Waterford with them on a good run in the League – no losses in 6 games. We’ve got a strong side out for this one, even with Shamrock up just 3 days after this match. Brian Connolly has been coming on leaps-and-bounds on the left with game experience and always looks dangerous. Waterford giving us a good game, but we take the lead in the 29th minute, Centre Back Stevie Moore with a back-header from just inside the box from an O’Malley deep free kick, top right bins off the bar. Barry Reilly gets the second, amd his first League goal for Dundalk, in the 56th after 2 amazing saves by Connor, from Connolly and McGarvey. The poacher in Reilly having him in the right spot to finish the 2nd rebound. It finishes 2-0.
21 points clear of Shamrock, who we play next, and they have 21 points to play for. We are 49 goals ahead of them… We go to Shamrock next, and can win the title with anything but a loss.
We’ve had a youth intake, and they beat our U19’s 2-1 (AML Brian Noone & STC Michael Hyland with the goals). Let’s not get too excited though!
27th September 2024 – Shamrock Rovers (A) – Irish Premier Division
FT Shamrock Rovers 1 (Sammon 36) Dundalk 6 (Duffy 4, 90+1, Kelly 14, O’Malley 28, McGarvey 68, Connolly 72) Att 4,488 (742 Away)
We could win the title today if we avoid defeat. Shamrock’s form, since going out of the Conference League Quallies at the last hurdle to Aberdeen has been DWW, with a very good 4-1 versus St. Pat’s. We are at full strength for this one. And we go to our second home, Tallaght Stadium, to do it. A superb start from the boys – 1-0 in the 4th minute, Duffy with a smart low volleyed finish after a cross from McGarvey – the animation looks a bit like the cross was a Rabona, but I think McGarvey is just giving it wippage. Big-Game Colin. All over Shamrock like a rash. And then he misses a sitter 🙂 2-0 in the 14th, Jordan Kelly with a tap-in after Duffy’s shot was parried into his path. His 25th of the season. 4 players with over 15 goals now so far this season, and 2 with 15-or-more assists! Kick-off highlight… A decent camera-save by the Shamrock Keeper Leon Pohls (German, Shamrock Player in game since the start of his career, IRL came to Shamrock from Tadcaster of the Northern Premier League in England, after originally coming from Norderstedt in the German 4th Tier (U17’s)…). 3-0 in the 28th, O’Malley with a nice finish across the Keeper from a Taylor cross/pass. 3-1 in the 36th minute, old friend Brian Sammon with a direct free kick. Shamrock look shattered as we go i at half-time 3-1 up. We go 4-1 up in the 68th minute, McGarvey on hand to finish after a botched clearance from a Russell Watts free kick. Very smart work by Duffy for the assist. Connolly makes it 5, another smart finish after a corner isn’t cleared. Duffy makes it 6 with a beautiful low drive from a Connolly cross. It’s now officially a party 🙂 It finishes 6-1 🙂 No title animation though…
Lots of goals – Longford makes the race to safety a tighter one – just 2 points now between Cobh, Sligo and themselves as they beat Sligo and St. Pat’s put 6 past Cobh. St. Pat’s now in charge of 2nd.
Confirmation 🙂 Also Initial budget set at £200k/Week 🙂 6 Titles in a row now for Dundalk.
That’s it for the games this month – We go to Bayern on 1st October at the start of a 10 game month.
A good month – The amazing draw versus Ajax, the league Cup win plus sealing the League Title – Not too bad 🙂
Seven (Five at home) of the eight remaining League games will be played in October, plus 2 UCL Group games and the FAI Cup Semi Final. Got to be looking for a result in Belgium!
Any more news before the end of the month?
Our U19’s beat Bohemians 2-0 with a brace from Jim Collins.
Both Ger Ryan (19yo MC) and Brian Connolly have signed new deals.
Out of nowhere the board have said we can now have 9 first team coaches (From 7) and 2 more Scouts!!!. Thank you kindly 🙂
St Pat’s now 5 points clear in 2nd as Derry cement 4th by beating Shamrock. Cobh now hoping Longford and Sligo don’t get points in their games in hand – looking like 9th will be playing one of Limerick, Shelbourne or U.C.D. That said only 5 points separate 4th and 8th with 3 games left.
Our U19’s lost 3-1 to Bayern – Andrew Carroll (16yo STC) with the goal.
And that’s that – See you next time for a bumper month!