By Deniese O’Flaherty
The SSE Airtricity League Premier Division kicked off last weekend with great anticipation. Reigning champions Shamrock Rovers and St. Pat’s was the televised game while Drogheda Utd and Waterford was the first game to get the league underway.
My own Longford Town got their season off to a winning start with a 2-0 victory over Derry City. I would’ve taken a point before the game but Town were full value for the win and played very well.
With no supporters allowed at games many fans purchased Watch LOI. There had been problems during the recent President’s Cup game between Dundalk and Shamrock Rovers with the screen freezing.
While tweeting from the Town game I noticed people giving out about Watch LOI. Some turned it off at half-time because they didn’t have the patience to deal with freezing etc. I also noticed there was no scoreboard on the screen or clock. Last year First Division clubs covered games and were able to have those simple things on the screen.
I got a text from a friend asking about the floodlights in Bishopsgate. When I saw highlights of the game the lighting appeared to be terrible and it was very dark for the second goal. We certainly didn’t have that problem at the game; the tv screen made it look abysmal.
Surely RTE and the FAI have had enough time since last season to sort out issues. There is no excuse now for glitches.
This weekend the First Division kicks off and the League of Ireland launched LOI TV that will cover all First Division games. I’m hoping that there are no hitches and supporters are able to watch the games uninterrupted.
The big game this weekend is the meeting of Cork City and Cobh Ramblers at Turners Cross. Having worked in Cork and knowing supporters from both sides they are passionate about their clubs. This is a mouthwatering clash to get the new season underway. It’s such a pity it will be played without supporters because the Cross would be rocking.
As a League of Ireland supporter there is no better place to be than a packed Turners Cross. I was extremely lucky to have been at games there when the place was sold-out. The best game was the league decider in 2005 when City needed to win in order to become Premier Division champions while Derry City just needed one point. Cork City won 2-0 and clinched the title for the first time in 12 years.
I’ve always kept a close eye on Cork City and Cobh Ramblers since I left the Rebel County and look forward to Friday’s game. The banter and the slagging has already started. I’m staying on the fence for this one. All I’ll say is may the best team win.