No sleep ’til the end of the season – #FM20 OS8 C2 S4 – Part 81 – Dundalk – October 2026

Just the 9 (possibly 10) games this month)

Welcome back to a busy, busy, busy Oriel Park for October 2026. If we beat Shamrock in the FAI Cup Semi Final I think that will move the St. Pat’s final IPD game into November, but the schedule is a bit of a madness in Ireland when you are a successful club.

Firstly the normal news before Shamrock in the League on the 2nd.

£325k taken at the R.D.S versus Schalke! Nice, the bank balance stands at £55.9M 🙂

Matty Burrows gets the IPD Player of the Month, 3 goals in 3, 7.87 average. Colm McShane comes 3rd. And Burrows dedicates the award to me 🙂 Bless him.

Joe Holloway’s banger versus Limerick get’s him 2nd place in the IPD goal of the month.

I get Manager of the Month. But am just worth a B with the board… And we have Excellent across the board for Dynamics, first time I’ve seen an Excellent in the Team Cohesion I think.

Fifteen players get International Callups for the October games, Vetle Dahl with the chance of a first U21 cap for Norway.

We already have more Coefficient points (4) than we are dropping off for 21/22 (3.625) as a nation, so hopefully should be up to 14th for the 28/29 European campaign, and that extra European spot for 5th in the IPD.

Derry doing what they can to keep in touch with Cork, whilst St. Pat’s hand back control of 4th to Waterford as they only pick up a point versus Athlone.

Our U19’s make it a double by beating Schalke 1-0, 16yo STC Gary Pender with the goal. They have a U19 National League Quarter Final versus Cork in less than 48 hours…

2nd October 2026 – Shamrock Rovers (A) – Irish Premier Division

FT Shamrock Rovers 1 (Pender 90+4) Dundalk 2 (McShane 33, Burrows 45+2) Att 3,366 (612 Away)

Shamrock sit 6th and have had a shocker of a season by their standards. We play them twice in 48 hours, both times at Tallaght Stadium. We start strongly, camped in the Shamrock final third. Shamrock have the ball in the Dundalk net in the 11th minute, but 6 players were offside. We’re not putting the balls away, but a superb shot by Colm McShane does put us 1-0 up. 33rd minute, A goal kick from Shamrock is met by Burrows, who surged forward before laying McShane in, and Colm finished beautifully from the just inside the area, low and hard. Colm should have made it 2 soon after – The Shamrock Keeper saving a 1-on-1. Their danger-man Andrew Moore picks up a knock at the end of the first half, and we find time to make it 2- Matty Burrows with another surging run and fine strike. 2-0 at the break. Shamrock showing a bit more at the start of the second half. Connolly off with a knock to the ankle. The second half drifts a bit, Shamrock having more intent, and they make it 2-1 with almost the last touch of the game – Pender with a header from a corner. It finishes 2-1 – they face our first team in 2 days time 🙂

Cork Need two wins out of their last 3 games to secure 2nd as they beat Waterford, Dundlaker Aidan Hamilton scoring their 1st in a 2-0 win.

Our U19’s beat Cork 2-0 in the National Quarter Finals – both goals from left winger Brian Smith.

4th October 2026 – Shamrock Rovers (A) – FAI Cup Semi Final

FT Shamrock Rovers 0 Dundalk 2 (McGarvey 15, 19) Att 6,373 (999 Away)

We make the 60 mile journey back down the M1 to Dublin – Kick Off is only 41 hours after our League game finished – to face a Shamrock side who will not be able to rotate as we have. I fully expect them to be shattered (And they are without Andrew Moore, who pulled Knee Ligaments against us). Quiet early on, but we take the lead in the 15th minute, Big Col with his 32nd goal of the season, a tap-in as he’s fastest to the ball after a Dave Behrenbeck shot is blocked. And Big-Game McGarvey makes it 2-0 4 minutes later – a lovely header from an O’Malley corner. he’s an absolute monster at this level. 2-0 at the break as the rain starts to hammer down in Dublin. The second half ticks away with little drama. Shamrock keep on pushing, but they are really stretched. But it’s all over. 2-0, we’re in the final 🙂

And we will be playing St. Pat’s – 4-0 up until letting 2 late goals in, so a comprehensive victory. The Final is on the 31st October, so our last League game, also against St. Pat’s, will be just 2 days before, making October a 10-game month… 3 of them versus St. Pat’s 🙂

Now the lads go off on their international travels all over Europe. No injuries please!

Two of the lads, Chris McCabe and Matty Burrows, made the IPD Team of the Week.

We’ve had some international appearances for the lads. At U21 Rimvydas Romanovas played in Lithuania U21’s 7-1 loss to Romania, Aidan Hamilton played for N. Ireland in their 3-1 loss to Sweden and Jim Collins, Evan O’Donovan & Joe Holloway played in Irelands 2-1 win over Albania. In the Full Internationals Neco Williams played a full 90 for Wales in their 2-1 loss to Romania and the N. ireland brigade (David Dallas, Neil Hanna, Tommy Collins, Stevie Moore & Big Col McGarvey) played in their 1-0 win over Kosovo, Big Col with the goal (11 in 28 internationals now).

Our U19’s beat Limerick 2-1 after extra time in the National League Semi Final – both goals (again) from Brian Smith. We play Shamrock in the final.

Bugger – David Dallas has twisted his knee for N. Ireland – 6-8 Days.

The St. Pat’s game in the IPD next up will be my 400th. Current my stats are W279, D60, L60, GF 998, GA 328, GD +670, Win % 69% 🙂

And we’ve had players involved in a couple of full internationals – Neco Williams in Wales’s 1-0 loss to The Netherlands and 6 players (David Dallas, Matty Burrows, Neil Hanna, Tommy Collins, Stevie More & Big Col McGarvey) in their 1-0 loss to georgia, David Dallas picking up the aforementioned knee injury.

Dom Halford got a couple for Waterford in their 3-0 win over Celtic Res in the Tunnock’s 4th Round – They will play Dundee or Crusaders in the Quarters.

And there’s been some U21 matches – Rimvydas Romanovas playing in Lithuania’s 2-0 win over Azerbaijan,. Vetle Dahl getting his first Norway U21 cap in their 2-0 win over Croatia, Aidan Hamilton played for N.Ireland in their 1-1 draw with Kosovo and Jim Collins, Evan O’Donovan and Joe Holloway played in Ireland’s 3-0 win over Kazakhstan.

13th October 2026 – St. Pat’s Athletic (H) – Irish Premier Division

FT Dundalk 2 (Collins 83, Duffy pen 90+1) St. Pat’s Athletic 1 (Brilly 60) Att 3,530 (225 Away)

It’s a tough one today as we are without a few players due to the internationals, suspension & injury. It’s still a pretty useful side though 🙂 Pretty even early on. And it continues so for the rest of the half. 0-0 at the break. St. pat’s take the lead in the 60th minute – Brilly with a tap-in after we fail to clear. Going Attacking, but not feeling it. But we do get back in it, Tommy Collins with a great finish as we press hard. Going for the win. And 8 seconds before 90:00 rolls onto the clock we get a penalty – Duffy going over , a push from Masterson jostling at a free kick. And Duffy takes… 2-1 Dundalk, Bossin guesses right but the penalty is struck too well. We’ve just ground them down in the last 30 minutes. We win 2-1, turned that around really well.

22 points clear, 2 games in hand. And Waterford are back in control of that 4th spot on goal difference. Shelbourne next up in 3 days.

16th October 2026 – Shelbourne (H) – Irish Premier Division

FT Dundalk 4 (McGarvey 18, 37, McShane 29, Taylor 40) Shelbourne 1 (Giurgi 89) Att x (x Away)

Shelbourne haven’t won in 6 games and sit 8th, 8 points clear of Fin Harps in 9th with 12 points to play for, so regardless of tonight they should be pretty safe. It’s a slow start to the game, but Big Col gets his 34th goal of the season to put us 1-0 up, a lovely near-post header from an Astler cross. Colm McShane heads in number 2 11 minutes later from a Hanna free kick. he scores again within a minute, bust was just offside. Big Col gets his 2nd to make it 3-0, 37th minute, another Hanna assist, this time a corner, as Colin heads home unchallenged. Jake Taylor makes it 4 a few minutes later – another one of his 20 yard + bangers. 4-0 at the break. The second half passes by with no urgency from the players at all – Shelbourne get a goal back in the 89th minute (Giurgi, nice shot) and we end up winning 4-1.

Limerick still in with a shout of 8th, they need at least 2 wins from their last 3 games and for Shelbourne to slip up to get out of 9th. Waterford take charge of 4th with a good win over Shamrock – Looks like their season is done. We have Waterford next in 3 days, but we also have St. Pat’s on the last day of the season, so that should cancel out for them both (When we beat them both that is).

And finally the U19’s have won the National League with a 1-0 win in the final versus Shamrock – Dave Behrenbeck, who I used as it was a final, with the goal.

Matty Burrows is starting to flourish. Him and Dave Behrenbeck look to have really bright futures.

19th October 2026 – Waterford (H) – Irish Premier Division

FT Dundalk 3 (Collins 9, 65, 80) Waterford 0 Att 3,448 (131 Away)

Bit of a funny one this – it’s the start of 6 games in 12 days, with Roma next in 48 hours at the R.D.S., but I don’t want any losses as that hurts morale. As such we have a decent side out today. And we start well, and should have had the lead inside the first 5 minutes – Tommy Collins not finishing a 1-on-1 from close range when he really should have. He makes up for that with a goal in the 9th minute, 1-0 Dundalk, Collins finishing near post from the 1-on-1 having been played in by a Stevie Moore hoof forwards. Pulisball. We continue well but Waterford definitely look like they can cause us some issues. 1-0 Dundalk at the break. We start the second half well, very much on top, but it takes 20 minutes for us to go 2-0 up – Tommy Collins with a towering header from a deep Neil Hanna free kick. And Tommy gets his Hat-Trick with 10 minutes left, finishing well across the Keeper after a quick break and long ball by Matty Burrows. A really nice result, we win 3-0.

Shamrock close to within 4 points of Waterford with 2 games left – Shamrock need 2 wins and for both Waterford and St. Pat’s to slip up – St. Pat’s pegged back by an 89th minute penalty versus Limerick. Roma next up at the R.D.S. in less than 48 hours…

Seven of the lads made the IPD Team of the Week.

And another one of the kids coming on leaps and bounds – left wing-back Geoff Astler.

Tuesday night UCL football – Porto thumping PSG 3-0 & Fenerbache getting a point versus Man Utd the big results.

21st October 2026 – Roma (ITA) (H – R.D.S.) – UCL Group D Matchday 3

FT Dundalk 1 (Behrenbeck 90+1) Roma 1 (Arezo 63) Att 11,790 (1,173 Away)

Interestingly Roma are just 14th in Serie A after 8 games W3 D1 L4, but blew Ajax away in the Stadio Olimpico 5-2. They are without Belotti, which is a massive bonus, but I don’t know what to think about this one. Nearly 1-0 Dundalk, 3rd minute, the Roma Keeper making a worldie of a save from a McGarvey header. Roma having chances but we’re having highlights and chances. Roma have the ball in the net in the 26th minute, but Cengiz Under was offside, the sort of offside when you don’t get a replay 🙂 Pretty tight as we approach half time, Roma applying more and more pressure though, with Conor O’Malley making some good saves. 0-0 at the break.We fall foul of set pieces again in the 63rd minute, Arezo bundling the ball over the line. Time ticks down… AND IT’S 1-1 – 14 seconds after the 90, Jenks dispossesses the left winger, passes to Big Col, who battles and battles and battles, and finally gets a pass off to Dave Behrenbeck, who strokes his 20th goal of the season home 🙂 Four minutes of injury time… Can we hold on?…Yes we can 🙂 A massive point in our pursuit of more Spring European knockout football. And another £775k in the pot.

A low-scoring evening in the UCL, with Schalke getting a point at Ajax, Brugge a point at Chelsea and Dortmund all 3 versus Barcelona. Cork City next up an our ante-penultimate league game in 48 hours.

Our U19’s drew 1-1 with Roma U20’s – 2nd in the group with 5 points, Brian Smith with the goal. Think he’ll be pushing for first team games at left wing soon.

23rd October 2026 – Cork City (H) – Irish Premier Division

FT Dundalk 2 (Haworth 29, Behrenbeck 40) Cork City 0 Att 4,500 (225 Away)

Top plays 2nd this evening with 25 points between us. Cork have secured European football for the first time in 5 seasons and are 7 points clear of Derry (Who we play next) in 3rd. A decent start from both sides. Cork Keeper Ryan has made some telling saves. We go 1-0 up in the 29th minute – Dan Haworth with his first for the club, a nice back-post header from a Neil Hanna deep free kick. And we go 2-0 up 5 minutes before the half-time whistle – almost the same way, just Behrenbeck with a volley this time. 2-0 at the break. A quiet start to the 2nd half – and it stays quiet. We win 2-0.

Cork have almost sealed 2nd as Derry can only draw versus Athlone, who have survived their first season in the IPD. Finn Harps are relegated but 9th place goes down to the final game as Limerick beat Shelbourne. Waterford seal European Football next season (As long as we beat St. Pat’s in the FAI Cup Final) by beating St. Pat’s, Dundalker Dom Halford with the goal. This means Shamrock Rovers will be without European Football for the first time this save! We play Derry in our penultimate league game in 3 days.

Our Affiliate Cobh Ramblers will be back in the IPD as they have won the First Division with a game to spare.

We’ve just received £50k as Alex Rubarth has palyed 50 games for Rakow in the Ekstraklasa.

26th October 2026 – Derry City (A) – Irish Premier Division

FT – Derry City 0 Dundalk 2 (McGarvey 25, 50) Att 1,419 (291 Away)

Derry have European Football again next season, but can’t realistically get 2nd so this is a bit of a dead rubber. A decent open game early on. We open the scoring in the 25th minute, and its one from the Crazy Gang’s archives – Morrison hitting a swirling 70-yarder upfield, Big Col getting on the end of it and scoring his 36th goal of the season. Derry with a few tired players as we move towards the break. We go in 1-0 to the good. Big Col makes it 2 in the 50th minute, striding through and scoring after being played in by a fine Dallas pass. He’s a monster of a player is our Big Colin McGarvey 🙂 And his 6 finishing 🙂 All quiet after the goal – only 2 highlights before the final whistle. We win 2-0.

That wraps up all the top 4 spots – As we go into the final round of games only really 5th and 8th up for grabs. A change of the guard in the IPD (Except for us and Derry). And it’s St. Pat’s twice in the next 5 days – once in the IPD, and 48 hours after that in the FAI Cup final where we try and make sure Waterford qualify for the Conference League. Second place in the league will become important from next season as we should have a Best-Placed UCL Qually spot – hopefully we will start getting some teams into the Conference League proper getting coefficient points 🙂

Five of the lads made the IPD Team of the Week.

We will be playing Larne again in the All-Ireland Champions Cup in November – looking to make it 7 wins in-a-row.

Our U19’s beat Bonagee Utd 9-0 – goals from Tim Foulkes, a brace from Barry O’Leary and a double-hat-trick from Tommy Carlin!

29th October 2026 – St. Pat’s Athletic (A) – Irish Premier Division

FT St. Pat’s Athletic 1 (Varian 49) Dundalk 4 (McShane 34, Behrenbeck 36, Burrows 39, Connolly 47) Att 1,930 (x Away)

We reach the end of our 4th Season with Dundalk looking to tire the St. Pat’s boys out before our FAI Cup Final in under 48 hours in Dublin. Quite a slow start, very even. The first highlight starts in the 26th minute, and is super long… Behrenbeck missing an absolute sitter. We end up opening the scoring in the 34th minute, and it’s one of those goals that is as rare as rocking-horse shit – Hanna squares the ball for McShane for a tap-in when he could just as easily scored himself. 1-0 Dundalk. Has that opened the floodgates? 2-0, 2 minutes later, Behrenbeck with a side-foot finish after a great run forward by McShane. 3-0, 3 minutes later, Burrows bundles the ball over the line from 6 inches after a Behrenbeck header hits the junction of post and bar. 3-0 at the break. It’s quickly 4-0, 47th minute, a nice move, some pinged passes and Connolly finishing well from a Hanna pass. St. Pat’s get a goal back – Varian finishing after a good St. Pat’s move. St. Pat’s seemingly a new team after that, and they have the better of the 2nd half (Maybe the lads are on their hols already). We win 4-1. £461k for the IPD win.

Limerick go into the relegation play-off – heartbreakingly letting in a 88th minute goal versus 10-man Shamrock. 97 points for Dundalk, our 2nd lowest in our 4 seasons… We’re W124 D17 L3 in that time 🙂 FAI Cup Final coming up in just over 41 hours…

31st October 2026 – St. Pat’s Athletic (N – Aviva Stadium) – FAI Cup Final

FT Dundalk 2 (Collins 7, O’Malley 43) St. Pat’s Athletic 1 (Varian 82) Att 14,369 (10,560 Dundalk, 3,809 St. Pat’s)

We know what to expect – lets go (With a rotated first team out versus their team with players having played less than 2 days ago…). They indeed have some tired boys out there as we attack from the start. And we take the lead in the 7th minute – Tommy Collins with his 26th of the season – a tap-in after a missed tackle and a good ball by Jenks. He has the ball in the net in the 20th minute after a Big Col header comes back off of the crossbar, but was adjudged to have been offside. Marginal. St. Pat’s are struggling with Tommy-Boy today. St. Pat’s to their credit have been attacking, but have lacked a bit of quality. And we get a second just before the break – Steven O’Malley shooting after a cross/pass from Steve Seddon, the ball squirming out of Bossin’s grasp and over the line. 2-0 Dundalk at the break. St. Pat’s battle valiantly in the second half, and out of nowhere get back to 2-1 – 82nd minute, Varian getting away from Morrison and heading home. We move into stoppages… and it’s all over – we win 2-1, another piece of Silverware to the Dundalk collection. Trophy Hoarder Steam Achievement gotten (20 cups) & £147k in the bank, but £190k bonuses have been paid out 🙂

And with that the month ends.

We come back next time for the 2nd half of our UCL Group, where I reckon our last game versus Schalke will be key for us getting some for of European Knockout football for the 3rd season in a row in the Spring of 2027. And we also have the All-Ireland Champions Cup versus Larne for the 2nd Season in a row. See you soon.

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