League Preview: Shamrock Rovers -v- Waterford

Shamrock Rovers' Darragh Nugent slides in to the ball against Bohemians in Dalymount Park in the 1-1 draw between the sides on Friday 3rd May

Shamrock Rovers' Darragh Nugent slides in to the ball against Bohemians in Dalymount Park in the 1-1 draw between the sides on Friday 3rd May Credit: Martin Doherty (ETPhotos)


The Hoops will be looking for a win over Waterford that would give them a four point haul from each of their Friday-Monday double headers that they have played over the last three weeks.

Having initially won away in Derry and drawing in Tolka Park, they followed that up with a point at home against Galway before a win in Tallaght over Drogheda United. Last Friday night they drew 1-1 away to Bohs and so three points is very much the target for the early evening May Bank Holiday Monday fixture (kick off 5pm).

“We’re frustrated we haven’t won the game,” was Stephen Bradley’s assessment of their Dalymount draw when he spoke with shamrockrovers.ie. “Up until Bohs scored we were very good, then after that goal it was a bit of a basketball game which Bohs like. But second half, we controlled it.

"If we’d been slightly better in the final third, we could’ve won the game. But it’s a point, it’s the Dublin Derby, but we’re also slightly frustrated we haven’t won the game.”

Johnny Kenny scored the equaliser just before the break after Filip Piszczek gave the Gypsies the lead – it is the third game in a row that 20-year-old Kenny found the back of the net.

In Dalymount Rovers saw the return of three of their injured players as Jack Byrne made his first appearance since July, Neil Farrugia played his first minutes since dislocating his shoulder in the first game of the season and Markus Poom came on to play for the first time since the win in Derry.

However, the Hoops also lost Darragh Burns and Dylan Watts due to injury and they will both miss Monday’s match.

The form of Darragh Nugent this season has been important for the Hoops with so many players out. The 23-year-old has played in 13 of Rovers’ 14 league games so far this season. “I think Darragh is different to what we usually have in midfield and that’s what we really like about him,” said Bradley.

“He’s a completely different player to certain types, to Dylan (Watts), Conan (Noonan), Richie (Towell) or Markus (Poom). 

“Darragh and Aaron McEneff would be similar. What I love about Darragh is his mindset and attitude. He went on loan to Longford and Drogheda and did the hard yards for both, played a lot for us last season and this year, but he’s earned it.

"He’s a pleasure to work with and that’s all you want as a manager, someone with that attitude and mindset. You can see improvements with him every week, his performance against Bohs was top class”

Looking ahead to Monday’s game, the Hoops Head Coach said: “You look at Waterford’s threats, they have some really good ones in the final third, what you get with Keith Long’s teams is they’re well organised. You combine those two and you know it will be a difficult game.

"We know we’ll have to be at our best to take the points.”


It is back-to-back away games this May Bank Holiday weekend for the Blues who must travel to Tallaght for Monday’s early evening kick off (5pm) after their trip to Sligo last Friday night.

They took all three points from their travels to Connacht withChristie Pattisson’s early second-half strike proving the difference between the sides at the Showgrounds in what was their fourth win of the league campaign for the Blues.

When Waterford hosted the Hoops earlier in the season on April Fool’s Day, Rovers were made work hard for their 2-1 win. Darragh Burns had given Rovers the lead after 55 minutes only for Robbie McCourt to equalise nine minutes later.

However, the Hoops had Pico Lopes to thank for all three points as his diving header got Stephen Bradley’s side the win.

The Blues currently sit in seventh place with 16 points from the 13 games they have played to date.

They are a point behind Galway United and two behind St. Patrick’s Athletic. So should Keith Long’s side get a win and the other two clubs drop points they can jump above them in the table.

Both of them are playing away from home with Galway in Dalymount Park and the Saints are in the Showgrounds in Sligo.

An away victory is maybe easier said than done as Waterford have never won a game in Tallaght Stadium against Rovers’ first team.

Referee: Eoghan O’Shea


In 2021 when the Blues were last in the Premier Division, Rovers won all four matches between the teams – a 3-0 home win in May, a 4-1 away win,  a 2-0 victory in Tallaght in September and a 3-1 win in November.

The Blues have failed to beat the Hoops in their last 14 matches – losing 12 of them. Their last win was back in March 2018 with two Courtney Duffus goals either side of a Graham Burke strike earning the win at the RSC.

The last time Waterford won away from home against the Hoops in the Premier Division was back in November 2005. Roves haven’t lost a home league match in 15 stretching back to May of last year.

Rovers have scored in a club record 53 consecutive home league games dating back to a 1-0 loss to Sligo Rovers three years ago this month.


2-0 home win

Shamrock Rovers

Injured: Lee Grace, Gary O’Neill, Aaron McEneff, Dylan Watts, Darragh Burns

Doubtful: Sean Hoare, Rory Gaffney, Graham Burke, Richie Towell.

Suspended: None


Injured: Kacper Skwierczyński

Doubtful: Harvey Macadam

Suspended: None