League Preview: Bohemians -v- Shamrock Rovers


As we enter round nine of the Women’s Premier Division, Bohemians and their Dublin Derby opponents, Shamrock Rovers, have perhaps more in common than they would care to admit.

With an abundance of quality amongst both squads and coaching staff, two league wins have been notched across fourteen games played (Bohs with 2, The Hoops remaining on 0).

The numbers truly are stranger than fiction and fail to accurately reflect the talent inhouse of two of the capital’s biggest clubs —nor the effort expended on the turf and behind the scenes at the respective HQs.

Both teams have put in an impressive shift this campaign yet have found themselves on the losing side of what have been tight battles in what is an increasingly competitive league, oftentimes missing out on the full complement of points by frustratingly narrow margins (defending Champions Peamount and 2nd placed Shelbourne could only put one each past Bohs).

Gaffers Collie O’Neill and Ken Kiernan enter this contest well versed in the damage one set of eleven can inflict on the other.

Defender Tiegan Ruddy and striker Alannah McEvoy (who appeared in 18 of Rovers’ 20 league games in 2023, scoring four goals) will be no strangers to O'Neill's Dublin 24 outfit—both prospects having departed for the ‘Dublin Originals’ this year from the foothills of the Tallaght mountains.

Anyone familiar with Bohemians FC will be aware that the Phibsborough Philanthropists rarely organise an event by halves, and the Dublin Derby will be no different, with free ice cream on offer (amongst other attractions) for the first 400 people through the stiles from 2pm.

The humanitarians were widely commended when, under the shadow of St. Peter’s Church, a congregation of keffiyeh and Palestinian flags, pledged their support for the Palestinian women’s team in what was an emotional and historic visit for the visitors.

Against the backdrop of a war in Gaza, which is now in its ninth month, Bohs continue to utilise football as a medium in which to raise awareness and proclaim public support for those who are silenced, marginalised, and oppressed.

Speaking to bohemianfc.com Kiernan revealed that the occasion has left an indelible mark on his players (and the community) as their attention returns to the betterment of their league position.

“There was already a great sense of pride in this team [when] pulling on that jersey,” he said, “but the reception the players have had since the Palestine game has brought that sense of pride to another level. They have really felt the love for the club that is out there.

“That buzz has continued since—tomorrow is our first game back in Dalymount and we have been inundated with well wishes in the community.”

On his side’s Dalymount dalliance with Shamrock Rovers, Kiernan added:

“We all know the significance of this game. Bohemians and Shamrock Rovers is the biggest rivalry in Irish football.

“Rovers are a good side. I went to their last game against Galway United. They lost the game 1-0, but they went toe-to-toe with the team that is top of the league.

“For our part, our last few performances have been good, and we are improving. I expect a very energetic game, and, given the playing styles of both teams, I think there will be lots of chances, so we will need to defend well.

“We have prepared very well for the game and have worked on where we think we can exploit Rovers and where we need to work hard defensively. It’s been a very positive few weeks, and we want to build on that now.”

A fortress is being built at Dalymount, one buoyed with good spirit and support from all corners of the community.

Rovers must now trespass at their own risk.


“Thank you for all the support over the last few games. Hasn't been our day yet, but it's coming.”

This was a tweet posted by WNT star Katie McCabe on foot of Ireland’s 1-0 loss to Sweden in Stockholm—yet it could have been any one of the Shamrock Rovers women.

Much like when Ireland sat European Champions England down in the second half at the Aviva on April 9th, the Hoops put it up to league leaders Galway United and reigning champions Peamount in Tallaght, yet found themselves on the wrong side of the scoreline at the final bell.

On the hunt for his side's first league win, O’Neill could be without a number of key players for this fixture at the back and between the goalposts - Amanda Budden, Maria Reynolds, and Shauna Fox each doubtful to start due to injury.

Speaking to shamrockrovers.ie O’Neill discussed his side's physical and mental preparations in the lead up to the Dublin Derby and over the international break.

“They’ve worked really, really hard,” He stressed. “We’ve continued our training; we’ve allowed them to have at least a weekend off, but other than that, we’ve been flat out at it, where we’ve added in extra training sessions. We’re working on not just the physical aspects of our game but also the mental aspects of our game. Last week we talked about adversity

and trying to deal with setbacks and how to have a strong mental approach to how you perform in your life.”

Reflecting on their upcoming encounter with Bohemians, O'Neill said:

“The last time we played in Dalymount, the spoils were shared in a 0-0 draw, and this season Bohs haven’t conceded many goals at home, so it’s a place where they definitely enjoy playing.”

“They have good strength and depth throughout the team from Lisa Murphy at centre-half, then you have Tiegan (Ruddy), who will probably be a holding midfielder for them, and as well as Alannah, you have Katie Malone up top, so the whole spine of the team is very strong. We’ll prepare as best as we can to deal with their threats as well as try to see how we can attack ourselves.”

Referee: Alan Franklin


The last time the sides met at Dalymount, the game ended in a scoreless draw. See here for the story of this game in photos.

Their first encounter in April 2023, however, saw Rovers come out convincing 4-0 winners at Tallaght; skipper Aine O'Gorman, who has been in fine form this campaign, netting two goals.


Bohemians 1-2 Shamrock Rovers



Injured: N/A

Doubtful: N/A

Suspended: N/A


Shamrock Rovers

Injured: Savannah McCarthy

Doubtful: Amanda Budden (knee), Shauna Fox (groin), Maria Reynolds. 

Suspended: N/A

Suspended: N/A