Shelbourne 1; Waterford United 2
Waterford United secured home advantage against Monaghan United in the First Division play-off game on Tuesday night when they came from behind to defeat Shelbourne in Tolka Park last Saturday.
It was an extraordinary evening of high emotion at Richmond Road, Dublin 3, one of the oldest sport venues in Ireland. The Blues went into the game on a total of 63 points, two ahead of Shels and one ahead of third-placed Monaghan United. Derry City had an overall total off 66 points and a better goal difference than Waterford and Monaghan.
Those facts meant that Shelbourne had to win, pure and simple. As things transpired Derry City defeated Monaghan United one-nil to clinch the league title in Gortakeegan, and coupled with this amazing Waterford victory, Shelbourne lost out completely, their third year in a row to miss the chance to return to the Premier Division on the last day of the season.
Earlier in the campaign (May 10) Waterford had defeated Shels 1-0 in Tolka Park thanks to a goal from the now departed George O’Callaghan and it was a big ask to win once again at the Dublin venue.
Going into the game the Blues had won eight of the ten games they had played since losing to Shels 3-0 at the RSC on August 6th, while Shelbourne had won nine out of fourteen under the guidance of their new manager Alan Matthews who came in to replace Dermot Keely in late August.
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