PREVIEW: Cobh Ramblers v Shelbourne

VSHELBOURNE600X400The last game of the SSE Airtricity First Division season is upon us as bottom club Cobh Ramblers host play-off bound Shelbourne on Sunday at St Colman’s Park. All four games in the league will take place on Sunday at 3pm, as the curtain closes on another season. For Shelbourne though, a play-off is on the horizon and they will face either Galway FC or Wexford Youths. The winner will battle it out with the 11th placed side in the Premier Division to compete in the top tier next year.

It’s been a season to forget for the Cork club as they languish at the foot of the table, ten points adrift of Shamrock Rovers B heading into the final round of fixtures. Things have not gone to plan for Martin Cambridge’s men and the Rams have managed just two wins all season. They picked up one point on the road all year (a 0-0 draw with Finn Harps) and this season marks the second in a row that Cobh have failed to pick up a win on their travels. They come into the game on the back of a 2-1 loss away to rivals Waterford United. Two late goals cost Ramblers at the RSC and they will be bitterly disappointed not to have left with at least a point.

Shels have taken to the First Division with relative ease and are in a good position to return to the top flight at the first time of asking. Longford Town have already secured promotion but the Dubliners could join them if they successfully navigate the play-offs. A tie with Galway FC followed by a meeting with UCD seems the most likely situation at present but as we all know in football, that could very well change. Whatever the outcome, Johnny McDonnell can be very proud of his young squad’s effort this year. Last week saw the Dublin side draw 1-1 with Galway in a top of the table encounter.

The sides have already met three times this year. Shelbourne won both meetings at Tolka Park while the previous encounter at St Colman’s Park saw the clubs play out a thrilling 2-2 draw

Ramblers will be without captain Martin Deady who is suspended for the game after picking up his fourth booking of the year. Anthony O’Donnell will also miss the game with a hip injury while Andy O’Connell will face a late fitness test. On a brighter note, Eoghan Murphy, Rob Waters and Ron Stanton are all set to return after missing the game with Waterford.

Cobh goalkeeper David Browne has recently forced his way into the starting eleven and the ex-Cork City man has impressed despite recent results. He had this to say ahead of the clash, “We know that it’s going to be a tough game but we think we can get something out of it. This is one of those games that all players should want to play in and we’ll give it everything.”

As for Shelbourne, Johnny McDonnel’s men are without the services of Gregg Murray and Darren Tinnelly through injury while Brian Gannon and John Sullivan are suspended having both been sent-off last week against Galway. Meanwhile Shels star Dylan Connolly is currently away with the Irish U21 side in Norway and a decision on his participation will be made following his return.

This match brings together two sides who have had quite contrasting fortunes this year. It’s hard to see past a strong Shelbourne side here but Cobh may produce one final performance to shock the promotion hopefuls.

The other games in the First Division also take place at 3pm on Sunday. There is sure to be a party mood at Finn Park as Finn Harps entertain champions Longford Town. Galway host Wexford Youths with the visitors needing a massive seven goal victory to earn a play-off with Shelbourne. Finally, Shamrock Rovers B welcome Waterford United to Tallaght Stadium.


Cobh Ramblers

Injured: Anthony O’Donnell

Doubtful: Andy O’Connell

Suspensions: Martin Deady



Injured: Gregg Murray, Darren Tinnelly

Doubtful: None

Suspension: Brian Gannon, John Sullivan

Venue: St Colman’s Park

Kick Off: 3pm


Cobh Ramblers FC

Cobh Ramblers Football Club is an Irish football club. The club, founded in 1922 and elected to the League of Ireland in 1985, hails from Cobh, County Cork and play their home matches at St. Colman's Park. The club's colours are claret and blue.