Tom's Totally Irrelevant Trivia: Unseen connections & curious coincidences in League of Ireland

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27 27 27 27 27 27 27 27 27 27 Credit: Michael P Ryan (ETPhotos)

Following the first batch of completely unnecessary and irrelevant League of Ireland insights concocted last week, this author has decided to continue with his trivial trivia.

Oriel Park on Friday saw Galway United winger Ed McCarthy face Dundalk for the third time, but it was the first time he's faced them in the league. Across 270 minutes of regulation time, he's been part of sides that have kept Dundalk goalless, with Patrick McEleney's 104th-minute penalty against Treaty United being the only time McCarthy has seen his side concede against the Lilywhites.

McCarthy's former side, Treaty United, are the only team across the two divisions to earn maximum points from their first two games of the season, following their 1-0 win in Belfield on Friday night. Goalkeeper Corey Chambers’ last three league clean sheets for the club have now occurred in three different provinces.

Prior to the Leinster-based shutout at the weekend, his home (Munster) clean sheet against Finn Harps in October was preceded by a 1-0 victory against the same opposition at their Ulster home of Ballybofey on August 11th.

Last weekend saw Cobh Ramblers draw 3-3 with Athlone Town at St Colman's Park. In a strange twist of fate, the last time either Cobh scored three goals at home was the same weekend Athlone Town last scored three away goals, and it was the same August weekend referenced above. Cobh Ramblers drew 3-3 with Bray Wanderers, while Athlone Town beat rivals Longford Town 3-2 in El Clasico.

Back to the Premier Division, and Tolka Park saw Shelbourne defeat Shamrock Rovers thanks to goals from Will Jarvis and Mark Coyle. That was Jarvis’s fourth league goal for the club, Coyle's third, and the first time they have scored in the same game. Shelbourne have won each of the six games where either player has scored.

In contrast, Shamrock Rovers’ goalscorer Rory Gaffney has seen his last two goals in defeats occur in games where Robert Harvey has been the referee.

Speaking of two-goal hauls, four of Darragh Leahy's last five league goals have been in 4-1 defeats of Drogheda United. In April 2022, the defender opened his account with a brace against the Boynesiders at Oriel Park. A solitary league goal against Finn Harps followed before he moved to the RSC. His Blues side notched a four-goal haul at Weaver's Park on Friday night, with the Dubliner troubling the scoreboard twice.

Another to have recorded two goals so far this season is Success Edogun, who scored against Cork City, following up on his opening weekend strike against Longford Town. It's the second season in a row where Harps have had a player net in their first two league games of the campaign, with Ryan Rainey netting consolations in defeats to Galway United and Athlone Town which opened their 2023 season.

Rainey wore the number 22 jersey at Finn Park last season, and it's currently occupied by David Cawley, who vacated the same number at Sligo Rovers. Rovers themselves saw Max Mata depart the number 27 jersey during last season and take up 22 on his loan return.

In Mata's absence, Conor Malley assumed the number 27 geansaí at The Showgrounds, and his opposite number at the weekend, Dan Kelly, was a teammate of Malley's last season at Oriel Park. Incidentally, both men also sported the number 27 jersey during their tenure at the Carrick Road venue, the location at which this piece began.

And that's a wrap!