Without wishing to be typically pessimistic as a Bohs fan, our win over Shelbourne on Monday may prove in the long run to say more about Shels’ quality this season than it will about our ability to develop a knack of winning games.  With one point to show from five games, the portents are not good as Shels travel to face runaway leaders Sligo Rovers this weekend.

Sligo’s quality was obvious to anyone at Dalymount Park on Good Friday, where they won 3-0 whilst playing almost entirely within themselves.

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One suspects that they have a couple of gears to go up, and as they begin to have even more top-class players available to them (Joseph Ndo, Danny North), the lads starting for Ian Baraclough won’t want to ease up.  Shels’ disciplinary record this season only compounds what one suspects will be a task way beyond them this weekend and Sligo can be backed with reasonable confidence on the Asian Handicap.

The RTE cameras visit the Home of Football again as Derry roll into town in great form, and seen by most as the team most likely to challenge Sligo for the league – if indeed any team are going to put up much of a challenge.  It will be interesting to see how Derry set up to play against us, as they are a team with a similarly young age profile to our own.  They are uncompromising at the back, but this game is unlikely to be as bad-tempered as some recent meetings between the sides as they know where the net is and have been able to win games well, with notable results including a narrow win away to Cork and a 6-0 thumping of UCD, a team we scraped past against ten men.  There is little to suggest that we can get much out of this, but our defence has been impressive enough this season, and it’s unlikely that Derry will beat us quite as easily as Sligo did.  At a general price of 8/15, under 2.5 goals could be the bet.

Elsewhere in the league, Shamrock Rovers will be looking to get closer to Sligo before they lose sight of them completely, but Drogheda have been a stubborn outfit this season, if not quite as impressive as last season.  Their only defeat this season was a 0-1 at Richmond Park on the opening night when they were some way short of their best.  Shamrock Rovers’ perceived on-pitch problems (over-intricate, lack of cutting edge in the final third, unable to put away inferior teams) aren’t going to be solved in a hurry and you’d be more and more confident as the game goes on of Drogs being able to claim a point once they don’t concede early.  3.91 the draw with Pinnacle is more than acceptable here.

Bray have been tough enough this season and remain unbeaten.  St Pat’s will have their backers but it’s hard to trust them in a single bet.  They are yet to draw a game this season but it’s not impossible that they’ll do precisely that tonight.

Dundalk’s home game with Limerick is a candidate for both teams to score.  Neither team has looked great at the back but both sides possess some decent attacking talent and so both teams to score here could be the best bet.

In the First Division, Wexford will find it tough to get anything from the long trip to Donegal and the fit, hungry Finn Harps can be backed at 4/5 to take all 3 points.

Sligo Rovers -1.5, 1pt 9/11 (Pinnacle)
Bohs-Derry under 2.5 goals, 1pt 8/15 (general)
Shamrock Rovers-Drogheda draw, 1pt 3.91 (Pinnacle)
Dundalk-Limerick both teams to score, 1pt 19/20 (Hills)
Finn Harps, 2pts 4/5 (general)

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