BETTING COLUMN BY SEAMUS O’CONCHUR
After the first double-header weekend of the season (at least for teams without Setanta Cup involvement), there is an interesting list of fixtures this evening.
Easter weekend sees another double-header of fixtures so this is a stage of the season during which we might expect teams with larger (and better) squads to do well and grind out points, often in low-scoring games.
Low-scoring games are not something that Bohs fans have had to worry about of late though, running out 3-1 winners our last outing in Athlone. Scraping a draw at home to Bray felt good at the time (with ten men), and a point away to Dundalk wasn’t a bad result, but more of these performances will have to be turned into wins, particularly at home, if we are to improve on last season’s final league position.
Tonight’s opposition in the shape of Limerick, represents a bit of an acid test if we are to be honest, in terms of improving on last year’s position. They took all nine points that were up for grabs between the teams last season, and themselves and Cork were the “safe group” just above the drop zone we found ourselves in last season.
From the limited form we have to go on so far this season, Cork appear to be determined to deliver a title tilt, so winning points against Limerick is crucial. At a price of 5/6 though, unfortunately Bohs cannot be trusted to do that. We will examine the team’s home record in greater detail in the coming weeks, but suffice to say it’s awful in recent years and teams run their hands at the prospect of coming to the Home of Football. With Limerick having started the season slowly and Bohs desperate to tighten up further at the back, we are going to go with last week’s [losing] bet again, banking on at least team to keep a clean sheet at 4/5 with Boyles.
Ludicrously touted as “the Luas Derby” by RTE’s John Kenny, St Pat’s go to battle with Shamrock Rovers in Inchicore this evening, with both sides having seriously wobbled last Friday, beaten out of sight by Dundalk and Cork City respectively. Both sides will be keen to avoid two defeats in a row, and a draw here would be welcomed by the provincial sides with their eyes on the title, such as Cork and Dundalk. The draw can be backed at 23/10 with Ladbrokes and that is fair for an outcome which neither team would be too upset about.
Bohs v Limerick Both Teams to Score NO, 1pt 4/5 (Boyles)
St Pat’s v Shamrock Draw, 1pt 23/10 (Ladbrokes)