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All the latest club news and updates from Dalymount Park.

GOLD CUP FRIDAY & SUPER SUNDAY

Ahead of our clash with Drogheda United on Friday – our first home league game of 2014 – the Members’ Bar at Dalymount Park will be open from 12pm for the Gold Cup event at Cheltenham.

  • Racing action on THREE screens
  • Drink Promotions from 12pm until 6pm (3 longneck bottles for €8, pints of Guinness/Fosters €3.70)
  • Free food

The gate at the Phibsborough Shopping Centre end of the ground will be open for easy access to the bookies for those of you who want to have a flutter.

Bohs kick off at 7.45pm. After roaring on the Gypsies, stick around post-match for the Northern Soul Night in the Phoenix Bar.

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The Members’ Bar will also be open from 12pm on Sunday March 16 for the Manchester United v Liverpool match (1.30pm)

Watch the Premier League clash in the comfort of Dalymount – we will also have further drink specials throughout the day.

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UNDER GREAT WHITE LIGHT

As Bohemians fans look forward to Friday’s opening home league clash of 2014, TONY CONSIDINE recalls his first time at a game under the famous floodlights of Dalymount Park 35 years ago and the joys that both ‘Dalyer’ and Bohs have provided him ever since.

March is now upon us and ever since the switch to ‘summer’ football, in amongst the blossoming of new life following the winter, it’s a month when we also see the shoots of a new League of Ireland season appear as we convince ourselves that this could once again be ‘the year’ as our Friday nights take on a renewed sense of purpose.

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THREE’S THE MAGIC NUMBER

UCD 0 – 3 BOHEMIANS

Owen Heary made nine changes to his team from Friday night but the scoreline was exactly the same as Bohemians claimed another comfortable victory over UCD on Monday evening – this time in the EA Sports Cup, writes CONOR HAYES.

Goals from Kevin Devaney, Jason Byrne and youngster Jake Hyland ensured the Gypsies would record their second 3-0 win over the Students at Belfield in the space of four days.

UCD began the game brightly, hoping for a reversal of fortunes from the result in the league game and after just three minutes, it was Gary Burke – one of three ex-Gypsies in the Students’ line-up alongside Michael Scott and Dwayne Wison – who had their first shot in anger, which was well blocked by centre-half Roberto Lopes.

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Bohs responded in kind and five minutes later had their first effort as Darragh Reynor’s scuff shot was easily saved by UCD netminder Mark McGinley.

But two minutes later, the visitors took the lead as good play from Stephen Traynor in midfield saw him release Devaney down the left wing. The Sligo man skilfully cut inside and curled an excellent shot into the far bottom corner, the ball clipping the post on its way into the net. A goal every bit as good as Patrick Kavanagh’s wonder strike on Friday evening at the same ground.

UCD did not seem overawed by this setback and almost found a way back into the game in the 19th minute. Some tricky play by Cillian Morrison drew a foul from Bohs left-back Philly McCabe and the resulting free-kick, whipped in by Burke, found the diving head of Ian Ryan but he couldn’t keep the effort down and it sailed over the bar from six yards out.

The game lulled at this stage with both sides struggling to keep possession but again College nearly drew level after a wayward cross from Students skipper Samir Belhout almost found the top corner but was well parried away by Lee Murphy, who was making his competitive debut in the Bohs goal.

As the half got closer to its conclusion, Bohs came back into the game and more interplay between Traynor and Devaney resulted in Byrne being slipped through but his shot inside the area was pushed away by McGinley. The last action of the first period saw Keith Buckley link up with Ryan McEvoy outside the area but the winger’s shot was blocked.

Bohs began the second half with purpose as they looked to put the game beyond doubt. Again Buckley was involved as he charged down the right-hand side but he dragged his shot wide as 36-year-old Byrne waited free in the middle.

But the evergreen striker would get on the scoresheet in the 55th minute. Great play from Traynor on the right wing saw his pull-back only half-cleared by the UCD defence. The ball fell to Reynor, 30 yards from goal, and his drive could only be clawed by the UCD keeper directly into the path of Byrne, who finished easily inside the six-yard box.

The away side were in total control now and twice Devaney, who was a thorn in the Students’ side all evening, was set free down the left wing but each time his ball into the box was collected by McGinley with Byrne waiting to pounce. Bohs then seemed satisfied with their lead as they kept possession while creating little.

The game seemed to be petering out, but if early-season indicators are anything to go by, this Bohemians side have a knack for finding the net that their most recent predecessors have lacked. On 83 minutes, UCD’s Barry McCabe dwelt on the ball too long at the back allowing 18-year-old Bohs substitute Hyland to nip in and steal it – he then finished coolly, slotting the ball past McGinley with ease.

So a clear win for the men in red and black and the players who didn’t start in the first league match got their chance to show their worth to the manager.

Bohemians have now played three competitive matches, winning three times in three different competitions scoring 11 goals in the process. Tougher challenges lie ahead, beginning on Friday against Drogheda at Dalymount Park. But for now, Bohs fans have every right to feel optimistic about what the season has in store.

UCD: Mark McGinley, Gareth Matthews, Mark Langtry, Ian Ryan, Hugh Douglas, Michael Scott (Barry McCabe 78), James Kavanagh (Dean Clarke 78), Gary Burke, Dwayne Wilson (Chris Mulhall 34), Cillian Morrison, Samir Belhout. Subs not used: Conor O’Donnell, Sean Coyne, Colin Crowe, Thomas O’Halloran.

BOHEMIANS: Lee Murphy, Derek Pender (Stephen Beattie 54), Roberto Lopes, Dan Byrne, Philly McCabe, Keith Buckley (Paddy Collins 86), Darragh Reynor, Ryan McEvoy, Kevin Devaney, Stephen Traynor (Jake Hyland 80), Jason Byrne. Subs not used: Dean Delany, Karl Moore, Keith Mahony, Aidan Price.

MAN OF THE MATCH: Stephen Traynor.

REFEREE: Simon Rogers.

Pic: Jake Hyland adds Bohs’ third (A. Baldiemann).

18-year-old Jake Hyland adds Bohs' third. Pic by A. Baldiemann

STRENGTH IN NUMBERS

UCD v BOHEMIANS
Monday March 10, EA Sports Cup, Belfield Bowl, 7.45pm

Owen Heary believes he could make as many as ‘eight or nine change’ for tonight’s rematch against UCD in the EA Sports Cup without it affecting the quality and determination of his team, writes LUKE O’RIORDAN.

When these sides met in the league at the same venue on Friday night, Bohemians hit the woodwork twice in the first half before cruising to an impressive 3-0 victory with goals from Paddy Kavanagh, Dinny Corcoran and Jason Byrne.

Friday’s starting XI had just one change to the side that swept aside Bray Wanderers 5-1 in the Leinster Senior Cup eight days earlier, with a quad injury seeing Andy Mulligan make way for Karl Moore. Mulligan remains unavailable tonight, while Anto Murphy is still struggling with a hamstring injury.

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But Heary has hinted that he could ring the changes and give others a chance to stake their claim ahead of Friday’s home league clash against Drogheda United, saying: “We’ve a talented squad here this season. I could make eight or nine changes and no matter who we bring in, they’ll be good enough and will give it their all for the jersey.”

After such a comprehensive victory against the Students just three days ago, the Gypsies could be forgiven for taking their foot off the gas tonight. But Heary doesn’t anticipate any such issue and said: “There won’t be any problem with motivation.

“The lads don’t need me to fire them up for a game like this – it’s a cup game, they all know they have to win it if they want to get closer to winning some silverware.”

The confident attacking style of play and quality of the goals scored on Friday earned his side great plaudits, but Heary is quick to praise the performances further back the pitch.

He said: “The goals were fantastic. Paddy’s was a cracker, Dinny’s was too and Jay’s only on the pitch a few minutes before getting on the scoresheet. But one of the most pleasing aspects for me was the clean sheet. The whole back five were fantastic.

“We were unlucky not to keep a clean sheet against Bray too. But for a penalty, we would have. We have to be strong at the back, so I’m delighted with how they’ve done so far.”

Pic: Jack Memery, Dave Mulcahy and Roberto Lopes keep their eyes on the ball (Eddie Lennon, www.eddielennonsportingimages.com).

Jack Memery, Dave Mulcahy and Roberto and Lopes keep their eyes on the ball. Pic: Eddie Lennon.

BOHS GRAFFITI JAM

A big Bohemian thank-you to all the artists who took part in the ‘Bohs Graffiti Jam’ at Dalymount Park and added some much-needed colour to the ground and lane.

Artists (get in touch if we’ve omitted anyone): Two-Headed Dog, Kevin Bohan, Marca Mix, Debut, Iljin, Tommy Rash, Kin Mx, Panda & Elroy and CJ Macken.

Thanks also to Tzolkin Street Graffiti Shop & All City of Temple Bar.

All the artwork would not have been possible without the kind donation of supplies from www.VinnyByrne.com, who have premises at Westlink Industrial Estate, Kylemore Road and Santry Business Park.

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KAVANAGH STEERS BOHS TO CAMPUS CRUISE

UCD  0 – 3 BOHEMIANS

Owen Heary’s Bohemians got their league campaign off to the perfect start with a dominant away performance on campus at the Belfield Bowl.

Goals from Paddy Kavanagh, Dinny Corcoran and an inevitable late strike from Jason Byrne gave the Gypsies a well-deserved win with a scoreline that certainly didn’t flatter the away side.

Clearly impressed with last week’s demolition of Bray Wanderers in the Leinster Senior Cup, Heary made just one change from that side, with Karl Moore replacing Andy Mulligan on the left wing.

However, it was the man just inside him that had the Bohs fans murmuring with intrigue throughout the night. Although this is only the opening gambit of the 2014 league season, the acquisition of Paddy Kavanagh in the winter might well prove to be inspired, writes KEVIN FAGAN.

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The Belfield Bowl isn’t exactly the best place to whip up a season-opening atmosphere, but an expectant and boisterous away crowd welcomed a green boot-clad Bohs on to the field. The opening 15 minutes were as cagey as an opening game can get, but gradually the away side started to assume control.

The opening goal almost came in the 17th minute. Kavanagh drifted into space before releasing Steven Beattie, whose cross fell to Moore at the back post. Moore’s hooked effort came back off the post and Corcoran couldn’t quite net the rebound.

The middle period of the first half featured Bohs at their most dominant away from home in quite some time. Much of that impetus came from Craig Walsh, who stomped his way around the park in a Gary Deegan-esque manner. He aggressively broke up play alongside Dave Mulcahy, which allowed Kavanagh to weave his magic in the attacking third.

Walsh himself broke quickly onto a loose ball in the 19th minute, but his eventual shot was well parried by Conor O’Donnell in the UCD goal.

Kavanagh’s influence was increasing, and more neat play from him on the left sideline led to a deep Jack Memery cross being headed against the crossbar by Corcoran. A Kavanagh shot led to a series of Bohs corners before the deadlock was finally broken on the 35th minute.

When the former Derry man received the ball just inside the left touchline, there was little danger for UCD. However, one effortless shimmy later, he found a kernel of space just inside the angle of the 18 yard box. From there, he unleashed a fabulous curling effort that was postage stamped, delivered, and signed for in the top corner. It proved to be the first goal of the 2014 Airtricity League season.

Bohs couldn’t quite press on and get the second before half time, but 1-0 flattered the students at the break to be fair. Former Bohs boss Aaron Callaghan has a lot of work to do at Belfield, and most at Dalymount would send nothing but good will his way.

Every single game in the Airtricity League will feature a stage where the opposition is in the ascendancy, and this occurred in the first ten minutes of the second half here. UCD, as ever, have some neat footballers in their squad, and Dean Clarke flashed their first real half-chance over the bar on 49 minutes. However, just as the Students looked to be clawing their way back into the game, Dinny Corcoran struck.

The lone frontman had performed admirably all game, and finally got a deserved goal just after the hour mark. This one was all his own making – having shrugged off the ample frame of Ian Ryan, Corcoran checked back to beat the same man again before applying the finish.

The ball cannoned off of the right hand post, and agonizingly fell over the line. Even if it hadn’t, Beattie would have tapped in any scraps that came back out. Corcoran deserved his standing ovation when he was replaced by Byrne for the final five minutes.

Is there anything more that can be said about Byrne? When he scored with his first touch of the ball, there was nothing surprising about it! The bustling Beattie picked up the ball on the right wing, checked inside, and let fly with a powerful 25-yard strike that O’Donnell could only parry.

You Know Who was on-hand to head the rebound into the net for his 208th goal in Irish football. His 87th minute strike was also his record ninth opening round goal since the league split in 1985. Every Bohs player was roundly applauded off by a delighted away crowd.

Next up in the league for Bohs is a home clash with Drogheda United, who were impressive home winners against last season’s runners up Dundalk. Before all that, Bohs have to pack up their notes and head back to UCD for an EA Sports Cup clash on Monday night. A study of this performance would be the perfect homework assignment.

UCD: Conor O’Donnell, Michael Barker, Ian Ryan, Tomás Boyle, Gareth Matthews, James Kavanagh (Cillian Morrison, 78), Robbie Creevy, Chris Mulhall, Ayman Ben Mohamad (Samir Belhout, 60), Robbie Benson, Dean Clarke. Subs not used: Mark McGinley, Hugh Douglas, Gary Burke, Cillian Morrison, Dwayne Wilson, Michael Scott, Samir Belhout

Bohemians: Dean Delany, Derek Pender, Roberto Lopes, Aidan Price, Jack Memery, Stephen Beattie, Craig Walsh, Dave Mulcahy (Ryan McEvoy, 57) , Karl Moore (Keith Buckley, 76), Paddy Kavanagh, Dinny Corcoran (Jason Byrne, 85). Subs not used: Lee Murphy, Stephen Traynor, Kevin Devaney, Philly McCabe.

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WEEKENDER RETURNS

BETTING COLUMN BY SEAMUS O’CONCHUR

Another year, another gamble. As defending champions, St Pat’s are the team who people are looking at but it’s worth remembering that Sligo weren’t able to win two in a row despite having a well-fancied squad this time last year.

Pat’s, though, as defending champions cannot be accused of standing still, with Keith Fahey the notable arrival in Inchicore, and settling in easily. The teams around St Pat’s have also strengthened though, and if an outright bet was obligatory, Sligo Rovers (7/2) and Dundalk (6/1) are probably the most interesting.

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On the opening night of the season the easiest thing to say is that no bet should be too big. It’s a small league and an argument can be made that all the teams know each other very well, so as the season goes on punters will have to mix the obvious statistics together with their observations on certain teams before piling into Friday night bets.

The defending champions travel to Cork and at a best price of evens, make little or no appeal in the betting. Cork have improved their squad and even though the Saints have had a Setanta Cup game to improve their fitness, it’s doubtful they should be as short as they are to collect the away win here.

Drogheda host Dundalk in a game that many people will be expecting to finish in an away win. It’s worth remembering though, that Dundalk suffered a total meltdown at this same venue in the cup last season, having two men sent off in a madcap first half during which Stephen Kenny didn’t do a great job of keeping a lid on emotions. There are plenty of reasons why Dundalk might win the game but at 4/5 they are too short.

While it is always dangerous to read too much into one game, Bray looked abject in their LSC hiding at Dalymount recently. They could find the going very tough indeed this season, and with Jason Byrne having moved to the Home of Football, it’s hard to see much inspiration in their team. Thomond Park isn’t exactly hostile but it’s easy to see Bray struggling down there and 11/10 Limerick -1 on the Asian handicap is the bet of the week.

Our own trip to UCD is not a very inspiring opening fixture and while Owen Heary should send out a highly motivated starting eleven, Aaron Callaghan will feel he knows us very well and unless you got the 6/5 early quotes on the Gypsies, the away win isn’t a great bet.

Recommended: Limerick -1 Asian handicap, 1pt 11/10 (Bet365)

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EXCITEMENT AND NERVES AHEAD OF NEW TERM

UCD v BOHEMIANS
(Friday March 7, SSE Airtricity League, Belfield Bowl, 7.45pm
& Monday March 10, EA Sports Cup, Belfield Bowl, 7.45pm)

Bohemians start their league campaign against UCD with manager Owen Heary feeling both “excitement” and “nerves” about his team’s prospects for the season.

“There’s excitement at having got the players in that I was looking for,” Heary said. “But as we come to the start of the season there’s also nerves and there’s pressure on me as manager.

“Expectations are rising because of the players we’ve signed and sometimes you have to curb those expectations not to put too much pressure on the players.”

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2014 SSE Airtricity League Launch

AGM TONIGHT – CLUB STORE OPEN

Bohemian members are reminded that the club’s 125th Annual General Meeting will be held at St Peter’s Hall, St Peter’s Rd tonight at 7pm.

Full membership attendance and participation is encouraged. It’s your club – have your say.

Please also be advised that new season merchandise will be available tonight. The club store will open at 7pm prior to the meeting and will open again immediately after the meeting.

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KEVIN FAGAN’S CULT XI: PART 1

With the new season kicking off this week, Bohemianfc.com’s KEVIN FAGAN has taken an irreverent trip down memory lane to construct a Bohs Cult XI of the last 20 years. In the first of five articles, we take a look at his eccentric goalkeeper and full-back combination.

Some housekeeping first: In order to qualify for a spot in my Cult XI, players must have played for Bohs between 1994 and 2014. So, for those of you squealing about the non-inclusion of Johnny Fullam and Barry Murphy – the 1980s one, not the cross-shy keeper – them’s the rules! Also, bona fide legends like Jackie Jameson, Kevin Hunt, Glen Crowe etc are exempt.

Members of this XI have to be colourful, memorable characters – think Paul Byrne rather than Pat Byrne. Get in touch via Twitter and Facebook, and put forward your own suggestions too – this isn’t a definitive list!

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Ashley Bayes. Pic: Sportsfile
Website by Simon Alcock