1 - 0

Sean Murray 32' -
Scored: 32'

League Preview: Dundalk -v- Shamrock Rovers

Thu, Oct 07 2021

Patrick Hoban of Dundalk FC heads the ball towards the Rovers goal Credit: Peter Fitzpatrick

Dundalk welcome champions elect Shamrock Rovers to Oriel Park in a huge clash at both ends of the table as the Lilywhites look to continue their bid to pull away from the relegation playoff spot in the SSE Airtricity League.

This is the 365th meeting between the two sides and is the only Premier Division game being played on Friday night, the game is also live on RTE2.


A victory for Vinny Perth’s charges would lift the Louth side to sixth in the table with just six games remaining.

Dundalk are unbeaten in their last five games in all competitions. The Oriel outfit have picked up big wins and put up impressive performances against European hopefuls Sligo Rovers and Bohemians recently.

This is the fourth and final meeting between the two sides with Dundalk coming out on top the last time the champions travelled to Oriel Park.

Crucially, Dundalk have a host of absentees for the fixture with Raivis Jurkovskis and Sonni Nattestad on international duty while the departing Patrick McEleney is out injured alongside Brian Gartland, Daniel Kelly, David McMillan and Wilfried Zahibo.

Will Patching has impressed since returning from a loan spell with Derry City but he is doubtful having limped off in the 2-2 draw against Finn Harps last Friday.

Perth spoke highly of his opposing manager Stephen Bradley and called upon the Oriel Park crowd to play their part on a big night under the lights.

“Stephen Bradley and his staff deserve real credit for the way they have managed their group this year. They have spent heavily and brought in a lot of top players but they have also had to manage those players, which they’ve done really well.

“There is no doubt that the Rovers squad is far superior to ours at the moment but benches win games of football and when we have our best players available, we are as good as anybody in the league.

“The crowd have played a huge part in our last three games at Oriel Park and we’re going to need that again on Friday night. It’s been great for the players but I think the fans have really enjoyed being back at matches.

"The last 18 months have been very difficult for everyone in the country and what else would you rather be doing on a Friday night than supporting your local team?”


The defending champions are nine points clear with a game in hand over second-placed St Patrick’s Athletic and can take a huge step towards the title with a win away to Dundalk.

The Hoops have won nine of their last ten league games and have recovered well from their European demise and the loss of Liam Scales to Celtic.

Stephen Bradley’s charges will be without Roberto Lopes with the defender away on international duty with Cape Verde (who beat Liberia 2-1 in Thursday's World Cup qualifier), while there are no new injury concerns with Graham Burke still recovering from injury.

Bradley says his side are confident heading to play an in-form Dundalk side.

“We’re really confident. We’re playing well and winning games, so we’ll go there full of confidence. We know it’s a difficult game, it always is because they have some really good players. But it’s a game we’re ready for and looking forward to.

“I think when you play Dundalk, whether it’s home or away you’ve got to respect that they have some very, very good players.

“I’ve always said that’s one thing that hasn’t changed there. If you’re not quite on it, they obviously can hurt you, so we’ve got to make sure that we go there and impose ourselves on the game as soon as possible.”

Graham Burke will remain absent through injury but Bradley says he isn’t far from returning but the game at Oriel Park will come just too soon for the former Aston Villa striker.

“We just need to be careful with Graham. We could have rushed him back last week, so we just felt that it was important that we got it right and gave him a few more days.

“He’s coming on really well and he’s not too far away at all. We’ll have a look at him again this morning and see how he is tomorrow. It was more us, the staff, being cautious with him.”

Referee: Rob Harvey


Out of the previous 364 encounters between the sides, Dundalk have won 116 of them. Shamrock Rovers was the victor in 164 while there were 84 draws.

The two sides have met four times in 2021. Dundalk have won twice, once on penalties in the President’s Cup and the other in the league in May. The losing side in all the fixtures this year has always scored exactly one goal.

Shamrock Rovers and Dundalk first played in the League of Ireland top flight in the 1979/80 season. Shamrock Rovers drew 1-1 at home with Dundalk winning 1-0 in the other fixture. Dundalk finished second that season one point behind Limerick.


2-1 away win


Injuries: Patrick McEleney, David McMillan, Wilfried Zahibo, Daniel Kelly, Graham Gartland

International duty: Raivis Jurkovskis, Sonni Nattestad

Doubtful: Will Patching

Suspensions: None

Shamrock Rovers

Injuries: Graham Burke

International duty: Roberto Lopes

Doubtful: None

Suspensions: None


LOct. 25, 2021
St. Pats 1 - 0 Dundalk
WOct. 29, 2021
Dundalk 1 - 0 Waterford
WNov. 4, 2021
Drogheda 0 - 1 Dundalk
WNov. 7, 2021
Dundalk 2 - 0 Longford
LNov. 19, 2021
Dundalk 1 - 2 Derry
Peter Cherrie 14
Cameron Dummigan 23
Daniel Cleary 21
Booked: 35'
© Andy Boyle 4
Darragh Leahy 15
Michael Duffy 7
90Subbed Off: Han Jeongwoo 90'
Sean Murray 16
Scored: 32'
85Subbed Off: Sami Ben Amar 85'
Will Patching 18
90Subbed Off: Mayowa Animasahun 90'
Booked: 90'
Greg Sloggett 10
Sam Stanton 8
Booked: 90'
Patrick Hoban 9

Enda Douglas
Sami Ben Amar 17
85Subbed On: Sean Murray 85'
Mayowa Animasahun 24
90Subbed On: Will Patching 90'
Alessio Abibi 1
Mark Hanratty 31
Han Jeongwoo 77
90Subbed On: Michael Duffy 90'
Ebuka Kwelele
Ryan O'Kane 28
Cameron Yates 12
Shamrock R
WOct. 29, 2021
Shamrock R 3 - 0 Harps
WNov. 5, 2021
Waterford 1 - 3 Shamrock R
LNov. 12, 2021
Bohs 3 - 1 Shamrock R
WNov. 19, 2021
Shamrock R 2 - 1 Drogheda
WJan. 15, 2022
Fairview 0 - 1 Shamrock R
1 Alan Mannus
3 Sean Hoare
5 Lee Grace
2 Sean Gannon
16 Gary O'Neill
68Subbed On: 68'
8 Ronan Finn ©
Barry Cotter
Midfielder 54'
54Subbed Off: Neil Farrugia 54'
7 Dylan Watts
17 Richie Towell
14 Daniel Mandroiu
Booked: 90'
9 Aaron Greene
Forward 81'
81Subbed Off: Aidomo Emakhu 81'

25 Leon Pohls
28 Joey O'Brien
Conan Noonan
26 Chris McCann
11 Sean Kavanagh
20 Rory Gaffney
Forward 68'
68Subbed Off: Gary O'Neill 68'
23 Neil Farrugia
Midfield 54'
54Subbed On: Barry Cotter 54'
Aidomo Emakhu
Midfield 81'
81Subbed On: Aaron Greene 81'


Competition: 2021 League of Ireland Premier Division

Date: 7:45 p.m. Oct. 8, 2021

Venue: Oriel Park

Referee: Robert Harvey

Attendance: Unknown