Stat attack v Dundalk

slideshow-rovers-dundalk-leagueShamrock Rovers face Dundalk tonight in Brian Laws’ first home league game in charge. The Hoops are out of the title race, in 4th place with five games remaining. Dundalk are 8 points adrift at the bottom of the Premier Division and look certain for a relegation playoff now.

Rovers have not won a league game at Tallaght Stadium since May and Dundalk have not recorded an away victory since then either. Rovers have lost 4 consecutive games in all competitions for the first time since October 2007 and have gone 5 domestic games without a win for the first time in four years.

Dundalk opened their league campaign without a goal in their first three games for the first time since 1994/95. They have lost their last five league games and 6 would be the worst top flight run since nine in March-May 1999. They lost 6 consecutive games in the 2002/03 First Division.

Dundalk are 14 league games without a win, the worst since 19 from November 2002 to May 2003. Colin Hawkins is the only former Dundalk player in our squad, he scored four goals in 31 (1) appearances in all competitions for them last season. Conor McCormack trained at Oriel Park in the summer of 2010 to keep fit during the Italian off season.

Gary Shanahan, who scored in our previous meeting in July, is Dundalk’s top scorer with 8 goals, five in the league. Mark Griffin is suspended after receiving a red card in the 1-0 defeat to Shelbourne last week.

Lorcan Shannon is ineligible, the teenager has made 4 starts and 3 substitute appearances in all competitions during his loan move so far, with one goal and one assist.

Gary Twigg, still top scorer in the Premier Division this year with 16 goals, has scored 1 goal in his last 14 appearances overall. He has 44 goals in 67 (6) Tallaght appearances in his career but none since June.

Twigg has started the last three games on the bench; four in succession happened one other time, the last four games of 2011. Oscar Jansson and Ronan Finn are the only players to start every league game since the summer break, Gary McCabe was a substitute in one of them.

We have scored 2 first half goals in the last 12 games at Tallaght Stadium, Ciaran Kilduff against Shelbourne and Sean Gannon against Limerick in the League Cup. Not including Monaghan, where we came from behind to win, Rovers have played 42 games this season.

Rovers conceded the first goal in 17 games, winning 3, drawing 4 and losing 10. In 25 league games, it has hapened 12 times with 3 wins, 4 draws and all 5 defeats.

The Hoops scored the first goal in 23 games with 17 wins, 6 draws and 0 defeats. In the league it’s 12 games and a 7-5-0 record.

Drogheda United are the only team Rovers have a 100% record against this season. In 2009, Rovers won every game against Sligo and did that against Galway United in 2010. Last season, we won all four meetings with Galway, UCD and Drogheda.

Rovers are 7 points behind third place Drogheda and may have to rely on St. Pat’s winning the FAI Cup for the first time since 1961, to play Europa League football next season.

Since 1999/00, when the Cup Winners’ Cup was absorbed by the UEFA Cup, the team that won the FAI Cup finished 3rd or higher, therefore already qualifying for Europe, a total of six times. On seven occasions, that team required the cup win to make it.


FAI Cup Winners

2011 – Sligo Rovers – 2nd

2010 – Sligo Rovers – 3rd

2009 – Sporting Fingal – 3rd (First Division)

2008 – Bohemians – 1st

2007 – Cork City – 4th

2006 – Derry City – 2nd

2005 – Drogheda United – 4th

2004 – Longford Town – 6th

2003 – Longford Town – 4th

2002/03 – Derry City – 8th

2001/02 – Dundalk – 10th

2000/01 – Bohemians – 1st

1999/00 – Shelbourne – 1st

dundalk-fcDundalk Results

Mar 02 – L – A – Monaghan United 0-0

Mar 09 – L – H – St. Pat’s Athletic 0-2

Mar 16 – L – A – Drogheda United 0-0

Mar 19 – LSC – A – Crumlin United 0-1

Mar 23 – L – H – UCD 2-1 (Shields, O’Neill)

Mar 31 – L – A – Sligo Rovers 0-3

Apr 06 – L – H – Shelbourne 0-0

Apr 10 – LC – A – Longford Town 2-1 (Shanahan 2)

Apr 13 – L – A – Shamrock Rovers 0-6

Apr 20 – L – A – Derry City 2-1 (Rafter, O’Neill)

Apr 27 – L – H – Bohemians 0-2

May 04 – L – A – Cork City 2-3 (Rafter, Shanahan)

May 11 – L – H – Bray Wanderers 0-2

May 18 – L – H – Monaghan United 1-2 (Rafter)

May 21 – L – A – St. Pat’s Athletic 2-1 (Griffin 2)

May 25 – FAIC – H – St. Pat’s CY 1-0 (Mountney)

Jun 01 – L – H – Drogheda United 1-2 (Shanahan)

Jun 22 – L – A – UCD 1-1 (Murphy)

Jun 25 – LC – A – Drogheda United 1-1 (Griffin) AET, LOST 3-2 ON PENS

Jun 29 – L – H – Sligo Rovers 1-2 (Rafter)

Jul 06 – L – A – Shelbourne 0-4

Jul 13 – L – H – Shamrock Rovers 1-1 (Shanahan)

Jul 20 – L – H – Derry City 1-1 (Shields)

Jul 27 – L – A – Bohemians 1-2 (Rafter)

Aug 03 – L – H – Cork City 1-1 (Shanahan)

Aug 10 – L – A – Bray Wanderers 1-1 (Shanahan)

Aug 20 – L – H – St. Pat’s Athletic 0-1

Aug 24 – FAIC – A – Malahide United 4-0 (Shanahan, Griffin, Shannon, McKenna)

Aug 31 – L – A – Drogheda United 2-3 (Griffin 2)

Sep 07 – L – H – UCD 1-2 (Rafter)

Sep 10 – L – A – Sligo Rovers 0-3

Sep 14 – FAIC – A – Bohemians 1-0 (Griffin)

Sep 21 – L – H – Shelbourne 0-1


Head to Head


May 14 – SC – Shamrock Rovers 2-0 Dundalk (O’Neill, Dennehy)

Jun 21 – L – Shamrock Rovers 2-2 Dundalk (Turner, Dennehy)

Sep 03 – L – Dundalk 1-2 Shamrock Rovers (Dennehy, O’Donnell pen)


Apr 13 – L – Shamrock Rovers 6-0 Dundalk (Turner, Twigg 3, Dennehy, Kavanagh)

Jul 13 – L – Dundalk 1-1 Shamrock Rovers (Kavanagh)


In April, Rovers equaled their all-time league win over Dundalk, which was 6-0 on April 4, 1973. Gary Twigg scored the first ever hat-trick at Tallaght Stadium and became the first Rovers player to bag three goals against the Lilywhites since Mick Leech in a 5-1 win at Oriel Park on November 3, 1968.

This is the 321st competitive meeting of Shamrock Rovers and Dundalk and we have won 151, drawn 74 and lost 95. In the league it is won 74, drawn 48 and lost 55. The first ever LOI game between the clubs was a 3-3 draw on September 11, 1926.

This was in fact Rovers’ first ever game at Glenmalure Park and Dundalk’s first appearance in Dublin. Rovers recovered from going two-nil down with goals from Bob Fullam (2, one penalty) and Willie Egan.

An extraordinary game took place at Glenmalure Park on December 29, 1935. Rovers were five-nil down after half an hour but levelled the score with ten minutes remaining. William ‘Sacky’ Glen scored twice (one penalty), Paddy Moore bagged a brace and Paul Scully got the fifth goal.

But then, Joe Donnelly broke away to win it 6-5 for Dundalk. Shamrock Rovers 7-0 Dundalk in the 1963/64 first round is the club’s record FAI Cup victory. Beaten 7-2 by the Spanish ‘B’ international side in Spain a few days earlier, some people thought the heavy defeat would demoralise Rovers and hand an advantage to Dundalk, our main challengers for the league that season.

But Jackie Mooney and Eddie Bailham both scored hat-tricks at Glenmalure Park, with Paddy Ambrose also scoring and the Hoops went on to win the first of the six in a row. It remains Dundalk’s worst ever defeat in the Cup too. Dundalk’s last visit to Milltown was a 5-0 victory for Rovers on December 7, 1986, the biggest league win of the season.

The clubs have met in the Premier Division, First Division, League of Ireland Shield and another nine cup competitions, the FAI Cup, League Cup, Dublin City Cup, Leinster Senior Cup, President’s Cup, Top Four Cup, InterCity Cup, Casey Cup and Setanta Cup.

The last time Rovers played a competitive game on this date (September 28th) also happened to be against Dundalk, a 1-0 defeat at Oriel Park in 1995.


St. Pat’s 2-1 Shamrock Rovers

img_0161Sean Gannon started a league game for Rovers for the first time since our previous meeting at Richmond Park back in April. Stephen O’Donnell had only started one other league game, against Bray in July. Rovers are winless in 6 games at Richmond Park and played five games on a Tuesday this year, failing to win any of them.

The last time Rovers conceded two goals within ten minutes of a game was November 22, 1994 at Belfield. Michael O’Byrne lobbed Robbie Horgan in the third minute and Jason Colwell blasted the ball home in the 7th as UCD won 3-1 in the Leinster Senior Cup Quarter-Final.

Ex-Hoop Sean O’Connor scored a penalty in the 9th minute for Pat’s, the fastest awarded against Rovers since a 4-1 defeat to Shelbourne at Richmond Park on September 24, 2004.

That game started in explosive fashion as within a minute the visitors won a penalty when a McGuinness skewed clearance caught Payne in no mans land and he collided with Stuart Byrne in the box. Jason Byrne duly converted and went on to score a hat-trick.


Four Months

Rovers’ defeat to Bohemians earlier this month was the first in 17 league games at Tallaght Stadium. The club have not gone unbeaten at home in a season since 1986/87.

Rovers’ run of 133 days without a league win at home is the longest in a single campaign since 147 days in the second half of 1992/93. In Ray Treacy’s second season in charge, Rovers beat Waterford 4-0 at the RDS on November 8, 1992 and did not win again until the final home game, 1-0 against St. Pat’s on April 4, 1993.

In a total of 9 games (five defeats), it was St. Pat’s, Derry, Limerick, Dundalk and Cork in the initial phase with Rovers in the bottom half of the league split in January. Then we failed to beat Waterford, Bray, Sligo and Drogheda and the game that ended the run was actually moved to Tolka Park – so the next victory at the RDS was against Cork the following September.

In terms of games, the worst under Michael O’Neill was 5 from 2009-10 and Rovers never even went two home league games without a win during the 4 in a row years. Six is the worst sequence since the last 8 of 2003 under Liam Buckley. Noel King had a run of seven in 1988/89 and there was another 6 in 1974/75.

The record is ten matches without a league win at Milltown from January 4, 1976 to October 31, 1976, with Sean Thomas replacing Mick Meagan in April of that year.



150th appearance – Gary Twigg – Cork City on Aug 24

100th league appearance – Gary Twigg – Drogheda Utd on May 18

100th appearance – Craig Sives – UCD on May 4

100th appearance – Billy Dennehy – Cliftonville on Mar 5

100th appearance – Chris Turner – Cork City on Aug 24

50th league appearance – Pat Sullivan – UCD on Aug 3

50th league appearance – Gary McCabe – Cork City on Aug 31

50th league appearance – Ronan Finn – Sligo Rovers on Aug 13

50th league appearance – Chris Turner – Cork City on Mar 16

50th appearance – Ciaran Kilduff – Shelbourne on Sep 7

50th appearance – Ken Oman – Shelbourne on Sep 14

50th appearance – Gary O’Neill – Bohemians on Jun 29

50th appearance – Gary McCabe – SD Galway on Apr 9

50th appearance – Conor McCormack – Cork City on Jun 1

50th appearance – Tommy Stewart – Cork City on Aug 31

Shamrock Rovers 1-3 Drogheda United (League Cup Final)

gmk_5270The only club to defeat Shamrock Rovers in a cup final at Milltown was Bohemians. They won their fifth President’s Cup in a row on August 30, 1978. Steve Lynex pulled one back late on from the penalty spot to make it 3-1.

It was a bad night for debutants. 18 year old goalkeeper David Henderson, filling in for the injured Alan O’Neill, conceded goals to Lawless, O’Connor and Dixon and Noel King, playing right-back, was sent off.

Rovers had been 2-0 down at half time in a domestic game at Tallaght Stadium only once before, the 3-1 Leinster Senior Cup defeat to Shelbourne in April 2010. Kerrea Gilbert’s own goal is the second of the Tallaght era, after Paddy Kavanagh put the ball in his own net in the 2-2 draw with St. Pat’s in the 2010 FAI Cup Semi-Final at Tallaght.

Rovers had now lost three consecutive games in three different competitions, which hadn’t happened since 2003 – Intertoto Cup, League and FAI Cup. 35 year old player/coach Colin Hawkins has still not won a cup competition in his career, losing all six finals.

Counting Conor McCormack as both a defender and midfielder, that was the only game this season in which there was no defensive cover on the bench. Against St. Pat’s, Brian Laws had four strikers on the bench.

Killian Brennan’s superb free kick makes him the sixth player to score one in a Rovers game at Tallaght. In our third game at the ground, former Ireland international Colin Healy stepped up to shoot over the defensive wall and past Duggan to give Cork City the lead in a 1-1 draw.

In March 2010, ex-Hoop Ian Bermingham curled in a shot that evaded everyone including Mannus and ended up in the far corner of the net as Pat’s won 2-0.

The first in Rovers’ favour was on September 3rd of that year. In the 68th minute, we were awarded a free kick just outside the box and the stadium erupted when Billy Dennehy fired a shot into the top left-corner of the net, the only goal of the game against Sligo.

Dennehy scored two in the space of a week at the end of last season, against Galway United and PAOK and he has three this year. First was in the 8-1 pre-season friendly win over Waterford United, he scored one from 20 yards out in the 6-0 win over Dundalk in April and then again in the 2-2 draw with UCD a month later.

In September 2011, Rohan Ricketts curled a shot through a number of bodies in the box and into the corner of the net. In a friendly game back in June, substitute Erik Friberg guided the ball over a two-man wall and past Reyaad Pieterse to win it for Malmo. A few weeks earlier, Robbie Brady had also scored a free kick for Ireland U-21’s against Denmark.

Colin Hawkins Cup Finals

hawkins-colinApr 7, 2002 – Tolka Park – FAI Cup – Dundalk 2-1 Bohemians

Aug 30, 2004 – Flancare Park – League Cup – Longford 2-1 Bohemians

May 21, 2005 – Tolka Park – Setanta Cup – Shelbourne 0-2 Linfield

Sep 28, 2006 – The Brandywell – League Cup – Derry 0-0 Shelbourne (AET, Derry won 3-0 on pens)

May 14, 2011 – Tallaght Stadium – Setanta Cup – Shamrock Rovers 2-0 Dundalk

Sep 22, 2012 – Tallaght Stadium – League Cup – Shamrock Rovers 1-3 Drogheda


Losing Consecutive Finals

Shamrock Rovers have now lost six League Cup Finals in a row. In all National Cups and League Cups throughout Europe, both active and defunct, there is 17 other instances of a team losing that many finals of one competition in succession.

USV Eschen/Mauren had lost 11 finals since 1987, ten of them to FC Vaduz but finally beat them on penalties in May. There is no national league in Liechtenstein so the cup is the only route for the country to be represented in Europe.

ĺA lost their first 8 finals and have won 9 since. UE Sant Julià lost their first six but now have 3 cups to their name, FC Triesen also won it three times afterwards. Bordeaux, Dundee United, PAOK and KS Besa Kavaje have all won their respective cups twice since their runs ended and Chester City have not entered the Welsh Cup since 1979-80.

That means the longest ongoing run is Hibernian in Scotland, who have not lifted the cup since 1902. Pat Fenlon’s side were hammered 5-1 by Hearts in last season’s final. AaB won in 1966 and 1970 but not since then.

St. Pat’s have been waiting since 1961 to win the FAI Cup and FC Balzers lost six finals in a decade. Teams that have lost every final they’ve been in are Bangor City (three on penalties), NK Varaždin, formerly known as Varteks, ĺF and FC Ruggell.

In other competitions in LOI history, Dundalk lost six consecutive Leinster Senior Cup Finals from 1896/97 to 1938/39 and Drumcondra were defeated in six Dublin City Cups from 1952/53 to 1959/60, the last one to Rovers on corners.


11 – USV Eschen/Mauren –  Liechtenstein Cup in 1988, 1989, 1990, 1995, 1996, 1998, 2002, 2005, 2009, 2010, 2011

9 – Hibernian – Scottish Cup in 1914, 1923, 1924, 1947, 1958, 1972, 1979, 2001, 2012

8 – ĺA – Icelandic Cup in 1961, 1963, 1964, 1965, 1969, 1974, 1975, 1976

7 – AaB – Danish Cup in 1987, 1991, 1993, 1999, 2000, 2004, 2009

6 – Shamrock Rovers – League of Ireland Cup in 1978/79, 1981/82, 1986/87, 1987/88, 1998/99, 2012

6 – Bordeaux – French Cup in 1943, 1952, 1955, 1964, 1968, 1969

6 – Dundee United – Scottish Cup in 1974, 1981, 1985, 1987, 1988, 1991

6 – St. Pat’s Ath – FAI Cup in 1967, 1974, 1980, 1996, 2003, 2006

6 – Chester City – Welsh Cup in 1953, 1954, 1955, 1958, 1966, 1970

6 – Bangor City – Welsh League Cup in 1994, 1997, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2009

6 – PAOK – Greek Cup in 1977, 1978, 1981, 1983, 1985, 1992

6 – NK Varaždin – Croatian Cup in 1996, 1998, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2011

6 – ĺF – Faroe Islands Cup in 1975, 1982, 1987, 2005, 2010, 2011

6 – KS Besa Kavaje – Albanian Cup in 1961, 1963, 1971, 1972, 1981, 1992

6 – UE Sant Julià – Andorran Cup in 1997, 2001, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2007

6 – FC Balzers – Liechtenstein Cup in 1999, 2000, 2003, 2004, 2006, 2008

6 – FC Triesen – Liechtenstein Cup in 1952, 1953, 1954, 1958, 1959, 1964

6 – FC Ruggell – Liechtenstein Cup in 1963, 1973, 1978, 1981, 2001, 2007


25 Years

Shamrock Rovers (FAI Cup) – 24 times – last won in 1987

Olympique de Marseille (Coupe de France) – 10 times – last won in 1989

Malmö FF (Svenska Cupen) – 14 times – last won in 1989

Grasshopper Club Zürich (Swiss Cup) – 18 times – last won in 1994

Juventus (Coppa Italia) – 9 times – last won in 1995

AGF Aarhus (Danish Cup) – 9 times – last won in 1996


Shamrock Rovers have won the FAI Cup more than any other club in Ireland but they have been knocked out in every season since leaving Milltown. There is no other country in Europe in which the team with the most National Cup wins in its history have not lifted the trophy in the past 25 years.

13 out of 53 UEFA members’ record cup winners are the holders and there are only seven in which the club has not won it since the turn of the century. Juventus have the joint most Italian wins with Roma, who took it in 2008.

Red Boys Differdange won the Luxembourg Cup 15 times. Their last one was twenty-seven years ago but in 2003 they merged with AS Differdange to become FC Differdange, who won it in 2010 and 2011. Wrexham, 23 time winners of the Welsh Cup, have not participated in the competition since their 1995 victory with the exception of the 2011/12 season.

The first five names on the list above are all the most successful clubs in their respective countries. The Hoops have been in the top flight every year except for 2006 and have won three League of Ireland titles since 1987.

Marseille have won the Champions League and Le Championnat four times during their run. They were relegated in 1994 because of a bribery scandal and spent two seasons in the second tier. Juventus won the Champions League and seven Serie A championships but played in Serie B in the 2006-07 campaign following a match fixing scandal.

In Sweden, Malmö spent one year out of the Allsvenskan (2000), winning it twice while Grasshoppers won five Swiss Super League titles in that period. AGF have gone down a couple of times, bouncing straight back up and their best Danish Superliga finish has been third place.

The number of times these clubs have been defeated in a final after their last cup success is as follows – Shamrock Rovers 3, Marseille 3, Malmö 1, Grasshoppers 4, Juventus 3, AGF 0.

Shown below is the five worst winless streaks of all time by a country’s cup specialists, which also takes defunct competitions into account such as the old Soviet Cup. Odd Grenland, who have never won a league title, had 11 cups to their name by the early 30’s but had to wait 69 years for the next one.

They had been relegated in 1967 and did not return to the Norwegian Premier League until 1999, winning the Cup the following season. In England, the FA Cup is the oldest association football competition in the world and there was a gap of 39 years between Manchester United’s first and second trophy, including both World Wars.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Odd Grenland (Norwegian Football Cup) – 12 times – 1932 to 1999 – 64 seasons

Manchester United (FA Cup) – 11 times – 1910 to 1947 – 28 seasons

Shamrock Rovers (FAI Cup) – 24 times – 1988 to 2012 – 26 seasons

Grasshopper Club Zürich (Swiss Cup) – 18 times – 1957 to 1982 – 26 seasons

KR Reykjavík (Icelandic Cup) – 13 times – 1968 to 1993 – 26 seasons


Thanks to Karl Reilly for compiling our regular stat attack packages across the 2012 season. Go raib maith agat Karl.



League Table

# Team M P
1 Dundalk 33 77
2 Cork City 33 70
3 Derry City 33 62
4 Shamrock Rovers 33 55
5 Sligo Rovers 33 49
6 Bray Wanderers 33 46
7 St. Patrick's Athletic 33 45
8 Bohemian FC 33 41
9 Galway United 33 38
10 Finn Harps 33 32
11 Wexford Youths 33 23
12 Longford Town 33 14

Club Sponsors & Official Partners  »

Official Website © Shamrock Rovers FC - All Rights Reserved - Shamrock Rovers FC Ltd.
Private Company Limited by Shares. Registered in Ireland. Reg No 245954.
Club Office: Tallaght Stadium, Whitestown Way, Tallaght, Dublin 24.
  Phone: (+353) 1 460 5948, Fax: (+353) 1 460 4875, Email: