Updated: 28/10/17 : 07:48:04
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Sligo Rovers safe, Galway goners on final night

TWO CONNACHT clubs battled in a bid to save their senior soccer last night, Friday.

Sligo Rovers saved their skin with a comfortable four points to spare; that’s how it finally looked at 9.40pm on LiveScore. See table. 

But the battle had gone to the wire in a final frenzy before Galway were declared goners and Sligo were safe.

It could still, still, have gone either way. and five minutes earlier it was all still in the melting pot, Squeeky Bum Time.

The clock was 9.30pm and Sligo were taking the point they needed from Drogheda, 0-0 as Galway were losing 3-2 to Dundalk.

But Galway were rampant and it was like a turkey shoot as they lined up chance after chance. Suddenly it was 3-3 for the Corrib club.

The next five minutes were a frenzy of varying proportions, involving four clubs — Sligo Rovers, Galway United, Dundalk and Drogheda United.

The Bit o’ Red had to play the final 25 minutes with Ed McGinty in goals after Shaun Patton was injured. 

Then in the third minute of added time Dundalk put Galway to the sword in a breakaway move and won 4-3.

Suddenly, it didn’t matter whether Sligo Rovers won, lost or drew or who was goalkeeper. They were now safe anyway. 

Looking back, it has been a strange season for Sligo Rovers, one in which they made the front and back page headlines in national newspapers.

                                                  Latest LiveScore table

Wrong Reasons

Both those distinctions were for the wrong reasons and Rovers football especially was, too often, what Pat Spillane has christened in another games code as “puke football.”

As is the fashion in recent seasons, Sligo Rovers sacked a manager with scant sentences of explanation to the paying public.

In this case manager Dave Robertson also found that (some of) the paying public were doing the most baying for his blood.

Football is like that, even when the fare is poor. Overall standards in the SSE Airtricity league have dropped throughout this decade but nobody cares.

The League is farcical at times, rushed fixtures side by side with overlong breaks in games.

Poetic Justice

Back at the start of the decade, St Patrick’s Athletic and Sligo Rovers were the kingpins, trading championships and runners up slot in successive seasons.

Last night the pair were both in line, results permitting, to finish seventh or to be relegated in tenth place.

As it was, one of the stars of Rovers league title in 2012, David Cawley from Ballina, went down with Galway last night.

Sligo boss Ger Lyttle got great results from his team when it mattered in the final month.  

Lyttle can take the kudos for a job well done. He did what it said on the tin.

In that same final month Galway dropped four points through penalties they missed  against Bray and Limerick. Fine margins.

Finally, there was poetic justice, of sorts, that Sligo Rovers — the 2017 league’s draw specialists — should finish the season with a draw, 15 in all.