Repub­lic of Ire­land

World Soccer - - European Season Review -

Af­ter sur­ren­der­ing their cham­pi­onship ti­tle to Cork City last sea­son, Dun­dalk bounced back to win their fourth league crown in five years, set­ting new records for the Pre­mier Divi­sion with 85 goals and 87 points for the sea­son. Dun­dalk made it a sec­ond league and cup dou­ble in four years, beat­ing Cork City 2-1 in the Fi­nal. Cork were bidding to win the tro­phy for the third year in a row, but Pa­trick McEleney scored the Li­ly­whites’ winner in the sec­ond half. Dun­dalk will start in the Champions League first qual­i­fy­ing round. Cork City and Sham­rock Rovers go into the Europa League first qual­i­fy­ing round with Water­ford, who are in Europe for the first time since 1986.

UCD won the First Divi­sion and are joined in the step up to the Pre­mier Divi­sion by Finn Harps, who beat sec­ond from bot­tom Lim­er­ick in a play-off. Bray Wan­der­ers were au­to­mat­i­cally rel­e­gated from the top flight. Pa­trick Hoban of Dun­dalk be­came the first player to score 29 goals since the League of Ire­land Pre­mier Divi­sion be­gan in 1985. Top scorer when Dun­dalk won the league in 2014, the 27-year-old re­joined the club in Novem­ber 2017. With four league ti­tles and two FAI Cups since tak­ing over at Dun­dalk in 2012, Stephen Kenny stepped down at the end of the sea­son to take charge of the na­tional un­der-21 side. He will take over the se­nior team af­ter Euro 2020. Start­ing the sea­son on loan at Bo­hemi­ans from Le­ices­ter City, 21-year-old mid­fielder Dy­lan Watts joined arch-ri­vals Sham­rock Rovers in July af­ter be­ing re­leased by the English club. An exciting player, he loves to run at de­fences.

Pres­sure... Dun­dalk at­tack Cork in the Cup

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