Preview: Bohemians v Shamrock Rovers


SSE Airtricity Women’s Premier Division
Saturday June 3 2023, Dalymount Park, 1pm

Ciara Maher has been a regular attendee of Bohemians v Shamrock Rovers derby games but tomorrow she and her team-mates are relishing playing in one at Dalymount Park for the first time.

The traditional rivalry between both clubs extended to the women’s game for the first time this year following Rovers’ entrance to the SSE Airtricity Women’s Premier Division.

It was Rovers who claimed bragging rights in the first-ever meeting between the sides when they met in Tallaght in April. But Bohs dusted themselves down after that defeat, and are unbeaten since, winning four and drawing one.

Maher said: “We know big the rivalry is between both clubs. I go to the majority of the men’s games. The atmosphere when the Bohs and Rovers play each other is incredible, and you see what it means to both sets of fans.

“Fans bring the atmosphere to those games – they are what makes derby games so special, so I am hoping we will have a big crowd behind us at Dalymount.

“The sun will be shining, the pitch is in great condition, and it is going to be a really good day for football so I would urge as many Bohs fans as possible to come down and get behind the team.

“But for us, it is important not to get carried away thinking about the rivalry. We have to just look at it as another game.

“There is going to be a different atmosphere, and there will be a bit more heat. But we have to put that to one side, and be calm and focused on what we have to do going into the game.”

Unbeaten in five, Bohs’ run of four wins in a row came to an end with a 0-0 draw away to DLR Waves last week.

But their last outing at Dalymount served up a cracking 3-2 win for Bohs against Athlone Town in front of the TG4 cameras.

Mia Dodd gave Bohs the lead after just 43 seconds – and sparked scenes of jubilation on the pitch and in the stand when she also claimed the dramatic match-winner in the 94th minute just moments after Athlone had come from 2-0 down to level the game in stoppage time.

Maher said: “It shows that we never give up – the girls are great. It shows how headstrong the players are. We now know too how good a feeling it is to win like that.

“We would have been absolutely kicking ourselves had we not won it. So to experience that feeling of nearly letting it slip and winning it, we want that to carry us forward now and motivate us even more going into games.

“Last week against DLR, to only draw the game after winning four in a row, that felt like we lost. The atmosphere in the dressing room afterwards just wasn’t the same. We want to be winning games.”

Recent form suggests Bohs on their day are a match for anyone, and there is certainly an increased sense of belief within the group.

Maher said: “Since the last time we played Rovers, our confidence has grown so much. I feel that was what the team was lacking – that bit of confidence and belief.

“Teams respect us now. Last year some teams might have thought ‘ah we’re only playing Bohs’.

“Compared to last season, we were considered underdogs. Now we go into every game as contenders and believing that we can win. Before, we would have doubted ourselves a lot more.

“We know we are capable of competing. We are confident, but we are not cocky. Every game is an extremely difficult challenge and we respect every team we play.

“This league is extremely tight. There are no weak teams in the league. There is only six points between the top four teams.

“That level of competitiveness is great for the league and for the growth of women’s football. We’re seeing talent now spread across several teams and around the country whereas before it was a handful of teams.”

But Maher knows it will be tough against second-placed Rovers who, a point off league leaders Peamount, are still unbeaten after 11 games, winning eight and drawing three.

Bohs have no fear, however, given their own recent form, which has seen Rachael Kelly and Mia Dodd named today among the six nominees for the May Player of the Month.

They are just five points behind their opponents in fourth place, and level on points with last year’s champions Shelbourne who are in third.

Maher added: “We have been really focused on our own game in training all week.

“The last game against Rovers was disappointing, but we have built up a level of consistency since. We know how hard it will be to maintain that but our belief in ourselves has built up, which is brilliant.”

  • Please note earlier kick-off time of 1pm
  • Admission to all Bohemians home SSE Airtricity Women’s Premier Division games are included in all club memberships, season tickets and Junior Gypsies
  • Match tickets can be purchased from
  • Drinks purchased in our bars at SSE Airtricity Women’s Premier Division games can be brought out to the Jodi Stand in plastic glasses
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