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Bergkamp bursts
back to best

Arsenal 3
Newcastle 0
by Mark Bradley
IT WAS role reversal time at Highbury as Arsenal handed out a lesson in 'sexy football' while Newcastle became red card villains for the day.
Yet as the champions tore apart Ruud Gullit's side with a devastating display of controlled attacking at pace, the greatest sighs of relief in North London were reserved for the end of Dennis Bergkamp's goal drought.
The World Cup quarter-finals were the last time that the Dutchman found the net and he has endured 10 blank matches this season for the Gunners.
Yet boss Arsene Wenger has waited, and waited, for his star striker to rediscover his goal-scoring touch.
That faith was eventually repaid at Highbury as Bergkamp scored twice, one of them a penalty, and was only denied a hat-trick when Shay Given saved his second spot-kick.
The Dutchman even set up strike partner Nicolas Anelka for Arsenal's other goal when he could easily have scored himself.
The result was never in doubt, especially when Nikolas Dabizas was sent off 25 minutes from time for his second bookable offence.
Gullit's side, with Rob Lee absent, were simply outclassed and must be sick of playing Arsenal after the Gunners' League double and FA Cup final victory over them last season.
With Martin Keown marking Alan Shearer out of the game, Emmanuel Petit and Patrick Vieira controlling the midfield, Fredrik Ljungberg making a stylish full debut and Bergkamp, Anelka and Marc Overmars back to their lethal best of last season up front, it was all one-sided.
The Gunners may have struggled for goals in the Premiership this season apart from another 3-0 home victory over Manchester United.
Yet it took two superb reflex saves from Shay Given to deny them the opener at Highbury within the first minute  first denying Ljungberg's header from Petit's corner and then recovering instantly to save Tony Adams' follow-up effort.
Then the chance Bergkamp had been waiting for: Petit twisted his way past Stephen Glass and delivered a pin-point pass into the area.
The Dutchman pulled away from Laurent Charvet, waited for the ball to drop over his right shoulder, turned, took aim  and left the corner flag in as much danger as the goal.
Just 15 minutes later, all was forgiven. Arsenal had been playing some delightful one-touch football, teasing and probing the Newcastle defence, without quite carving out an opening as Ljungberg headed over and Overmars shot wide.
Then Anelka ran in an arc in front of the Magpies' back four, waited for Bergkamp to make his run and picked him out as the ball slipped past the desperate lunge of Dabizas.
The Dutchman lifted the ball nonchalantly over the last-ditch tackle of Stuart Pearce and, almost in the same movement, calmly slipped his shot beneath Given's body.
At Newcastle last season, Ian Wright unveiled a T-shirt that bore the inscription 'at last' after he had ended his own run of six games without a goal.
Bergkamp, who had admitted that the exhaustion of the World Cup was beginning taking its toll, could have been forgiven for having prepared a similar celebration.
Instead, eight minutes later he simply returned the favour by turning provider for Anelka.
Overmars had hooked a through-ball over the top and as Newcastle appealed in vain for offside, with Dabizas later booked for his complaints, Bergkamp spun clear and simply passed the ball across the face of goal for Anelka to tap into the empty net.
Arsenal were by now marauding forward on the break, while England skipper Shearer paced around the centre-circle as if in captivity.
Laurent Charvet had to block a shot from Overmars after keeper Given had saved from Anelka and Bergkamp fired over when well-placed as Arsenal continued to exploit the gaps in the Newcastle defence.
Yet after the half-time introduction of youngster Paul Dalglish, it took a remarkable reflex save by David Seaman to keep out a shot from Nolberto Solano which deflected off Tony Adams and momentarily had the keeper going the wrong way before twisting in the air to tip over.
Next it was Overmars who ran clear as Charvet missed the through-ball from Petit and as he rounded keeper Given, Dabizas brought him down to earn his second yellow card and Bergkamp casually stroked home the penalty.
ARSENAL: Seaman, Dixon, Winterburn, Vieira, Adams, Ljungberg (Mendez 76), Anelka, Bergkamp, Overmars, Keown (Bould 72), Petit (Hughes 66).
NEWCASTLE: Given, Pearce, Batty, Shearer, Speed, Ketsbaia (Dalglish 45), Charvet, Glass (Albert 66), Solano, Dabizas, Griffin.
Referee: M Reed (Birmingham).

Cahill sparkles for City

Cork City 5
Waterford United 0
by Bill George
OLLIE CAHILL capitalised most upon Cork City's sparkling performance at Turner's Cross yesterday with a hat-trick against luckless Waterford United.
Cork marked a significant day in the history of the stadium when the new stand was named after one of Ireland's most respected football officials, Doney Forde with a win that served to underline the quality of the team.
Waterford had to compensate for the absence of four regulars John Frost was on duty with Ireland's youths, while Alan Reynolds, Robert Griffin and Joe Harkin were all injured and the task was just too much.
They were overwhelmed by the pace and the penetration of a Cork strike force that thrived upon the service from a dominant midfield and defence.
Cork led by three goals at half-time and the margin might well have been double that, so effective were Cahill, Gerald Dobbs and Jason Kabia. They represented a well-rounded attack, that showed too much resourcefulness for a defence that was always stretched. Above all Cork had the pace to out-sprint the Waterford back-four whenever they opened path to goal.
The tone for a performance of genuine merit was established after 16 minutes when the impressive Dobbs brought the home fans, in an attendance of about 3,500, to their feet with a stunning goal. He moved smoothly on to a deflection of Gareth Cronin's pass by Jason Kabia and beat goalkeeper Jody Byrne from 22 yards.
"We have always been able to create scoring chances as long as I've been associated with the team" said manager Dave Barry, "but we haven't always taken them.
"I don't know whether it just comes down to confidence or not but you have to acknowledge that Gerald Dobbs has been a big help as well and his first goal today was as good a goal as you are ever likely to see here."
Barry was up-beat after Cork's vintage performance and his attitude was totally justified. This was Cork's 11th win in 12 matches, their sixth in a row in the League and they now lead the Premier Division by three points.
"We look like scoring goals every time we go forward now and that makes a welcome change," he said.
Certainly that must have been Waterford's fear as Cork squeezed tightly upon their strikers and set up a non-stop flow of possession for their lively strike force.
"When you receive the type of service I received today then you just cannot avoid scoring," said Ollie Cahill, but, realistically, he was largely responsible for his own huge impact.
Cahill always had too much pace for full-back John Power and this, allied to his clever foot-work, meant he was always posing problems for a defence that was tested right along the line.
Cahill's opening goal after 23 minutes, illustrated the point perfectly as Barry Murphy cleverly pointed a path to goal for him with a neat pass outside Power. Cahill sprinted clear and although goalkeeper Jody Byrne got a hand to his powerful shot he could not prevent it crossing the line with Dobbs showing all the right instincts by following up quickly as well.
Cahill and Dobbs engaged in some light-hearted banter as both laid claim to the goal but the linesman confirmed the ball had crossed the line before Dobbs made contact. "He deserves it," commented Dobbs, "it was his day."
So it proved, but not before big Derek Coughlan had his contribution. He claimed the third, after 36 minutes, when he headed home a left-wing cross from Dobbs after Waterford had failed to clear a corner kick.
Kelvin Flanagan released Cahill for the fourth goal with a glorious cross-field ball that caught the Waterford defence standing square after 67 minutes and Cahill's finish was sublime. Just as emphatic was Cahill's third goal, after 79 minutes, from John Caulfield's clever pass.
CORK CITY (4-4-2): Mooney; Daly, Coughlan, Hill, Cronin; Flanagan, Herrick (Freyne 68), Barry Murphy, Cahill; Kabia (Caulfield 60), Dobbs (Hartigan 71).
WATERFORD UNITED (4-4-2): Byrne; Power, Riordan, Maher, McGrath; Scully (Carr 82), Lacey (Woods 55), Lynch, Gannon; Reid, Dully (Sinnott 55).
Referee: P. McKeown (Dublin).

Redknapp to rescue as
Reds show steely resolve

Liverpool 1
Chelsea 1
by Paul Walker
JAMIE REDKNAPP rescued Liverpool with a dramatic last-ditch free-kick when it looked like Chelsea were on their way to sweet revenge.
The Blues had suffered cruelly at Anfield in the past two seasons, losing 4-2 and 5-1. But for much of the game the Londoners had been the masters only for Liverpool to mount a comeback driven more by sheer belligerence than quality football.
In the outstanding Redknapp, Liverpool had the one player whose skill, passing ability and shooting could turn any game.
Co-boss Gerard Houllier has set the England midfielder a 15-goal target for the season and yesterday he came up with a face-saving goal to take his total to four in nine games this term, showing he is taking the French coach's words to heart.
Liverpool had been outplayed in the first half and gone in one down when Pierluigi Casiraghi scored his first goal since his club record 5.4m summer move. The 29-year-old Italian had not managed a goal since netting in Serie A for Lazio in February.
But Liverpool's uncertainty stems from the back. American keeper Brad Friedel was dumped for getting the jitters at Manchester United, but nobody can say David James' return has done anything to improve matters as he played his first Premiership game since February. Chelsea made four changes from the team that progressed in the Cup Winners' Cup on Thursday against Helsingborgs, bringing in Gianfranco Zola, Brian Laudrup, Dan Petrescu and Casiraghi.
Chelsea's first-half display was impressive. Flowing soccer, with the interchanging of Laudrup and Zola plus the intelligent play of Marcel Desailly causing problems for Liverpool all over the park. The warning signs were there when Frank Leboeuf launched a 40-yard pass into the path of the hard-running Desailly, but the Frenchman lost control at the crucial moment.
After 10 minutes the same tactic produced Chelsea's goal. Oyvind Leonhardsen and Robbie Fowler closed Graeme Le Saux down on the touchline, and the ball clearly bounced off the England full-back and out for a throw. But it was awarded to Chelsea, and quickly taken by Zola, who found Roberto Di Matteo in the centre circle.
The ball was again launched down the inside left channel and Casiraghi took the ball round the onrushing James to calmly angle the ball into an empty net. Phil Babb injured himself colliding with a post as he tried to clear, and he was replaced two minutes later by Dominic Matteo.
But Chelsea were being pushed back, with Redknapp and Leonhardsen working hard to turn the tide. Paul Ince got himself booked for clattering Laudrup, and then Fowler had a 20-yard shot that dipped just over and then a snapshot on the turn from Jason McAteer's cross that cleared the bar.
Redknapp's swerving 25-yard free-kick flashed inches wide before Liverpool dominated the second period, but without creating much in the box.
Referee Graham Poll booked Matteo for a tackle from behind on Casiraghi before both benches made tactical changes. Vegard Heggem replaced McAteer while Chelsea took off Zola with Gustavo Poyet joining the fray after 60 minutes.
Liverpool then sent on Karlheinz Riedle for Leonhardsen after 64 minutes. Within seconds of coming on, Riedle went down in the box after a Leboeuf tackle, and amid frantic penalty claims, the German was booked for diving. Michael Duberry was next into Poll's book for a foul on Fowler.
Chelsea began to find extra space against a weakened Liverpool midfield. But that man Redknapp rekindled the flames with the equaliser after 83 minutes after Duberry had brought down Fowler. Redknapp stepped up to drive the free-kick through the wall and past an unsighted Ed De Goey and Liverpool celebrated bludgeoning their way back into a game they had for long spells been outplayed in.
LIVERPOOL: James, McAteer (Heggem 56), Carragher, Babb (Matteo 24), Bjornebye, Leonhardsen (Riedle 64), Redknapp, Ince, Berger, Fowler, Owen.
CHELSEA: De Goey, Petrescu, Leboeuf, Desailly, Laudrup (Lambourde 90), Casiraghi (Flo 69), Duberry, Le Saux, Di Matteo, Ferrer, Zola (Poyet 60).
Referee: G Poll (Tring).

Belgrade Euro clash
likely to be postponed

by Conor George
THE FAI are expecting UEFA to announce today whether or not Ireland's European Championship qualifier with Yugoslavia will go ahead in Belgrade on Saturday.
With NATO contemplating air-strikes on the Kosovo region and Belgrade having suffered a minor earthquake, the FAI spent a worrying weekend waiting to hear any news regarding the political situation in Yugoslavia.
The FAI have already been warned off travelling by the government with the Department of Foreign Affairs, having issued a statement on Friday warning against Irish people travelling to the area and actually encouraging any Irish citizens in residence there to consider leaving the country.
"We are scheduled to have a telephone conference with UEFA at lunch-time today after which we hope to have a decision taken by them regarding the likelihood of the match going ahead," said FAI President Pat Quigley.
"The decision is strictly theirs to make but we will be furnishing them with as much information as we have and will also be making them aware of what reservations we have over the course of the telephone conference.
"If the decision is taken to allow the match to go ahead we will naturally be endeavouring to ensure that everything is in order regarding the security and safety of the players and supporters as that will be of paramount importance to us. If everything is to our and UEFA's satisfaction then I am sure that Mick and the boys will be only too happy for the game to go ahead," added Quigley.
There is a serious doubt as to whether or not the game will go ahead due to the threatened NATO air-strikes following the massacre of ethnic Albanians in the Kosovo region and both the FAI and UEFA are awaiting a statement by UN General Secretary Kofi Anin before reaching a final decision.
"I cannot imagine a situation arising where NATO will allow us to travel if they are planning to launch air-strikes but at the moment it is very much a case of playing a wait-and-see game, both for us and for UEFA," he said.
Given the increasing tension being experienced in Yugoslavia the likelihood of the match actually going ahead is rapidly diminishing. The FAI had suggested last week that the fixtures between the two countries be reversed with Yugoslavia playing in Dublin on Saturday and the match in Belgrade going ahead next June, but that has since been ruled out.
If the game is postponed there is a window open to UEFA as neither side has a match lined up for next month's international date but that will also leave Irish manager Mick McCarthy with the headache of what to do with his panel for the 10 days leading up to the Malta game on Wednesday week.
"There is a date available next month when the game could be re-scheduled for but as of now that is a moot point until UEFA announce whether or not the game goes ahead on Saturday. If the decision is taken to postpone it then we can begin to explore other avenues.
"As for what Mick will do with the squad if the game is postponed is really up to him. He will obviously use the extra days to work on aspects of his game plan for the visit of Malta on Wednesday week and he could also exercise his discretion in allowing them a couple of days off to return to their homes for a break," Quigley said.

Jones must be given chance
to save Southampton

by Alan Hansen
THE most unpleasant feeling in football is having no idea where your next result is going to come from, and during my fourteen years at Liverpool, I experienced such a feeling three or four times.
We might have been the strongest club in the country, but our failure to secure a win in five games in succession set alarm bells ringing. Even the Liverpool players began to ask themselves if they had lost their ability to beat another team.
That must be in the mind of every Southampton player now after gaining just one point in their opening eight games of the Premiership campaign.
They have been beaten 5-0 by newcomers Charlton; they have scored just three goals and conceded 21; they are already four points adrift of the side immediately above them, Coventry.
Dave Jones, Southampton manager, somehow has to turn the situation around before it is too late. If you look at the Premiership over the last four or five years, the side who has begun very poorly has failed to recover.
Man City's relegation to the first division was the result of a shocking start to the season under Alan Ball.
In my view Jones has done enough in the past to prove he is a fine manager. He steered Stockport into the first division and, while County were still a Division 2 club, he led them to the semi-finals of the Coca Cola Cup. Then he moved to Southampton, and for the first time in years he kept them away from the relegation zone. They finished last season in a creditable 12th.
What Jones did last year was make the Saints a far more solid side. He brought in his goalkeeper from Stockport, Paul Jones, and he proved to be a fine buy. He also revitalised the career of Carlton Palmer who did a superb job in midfield, both defensively and offensively. For once, Southampton were scoring more goals than they were conceding.
But this year they have reverted to their old ways and hit numerous problems. Mark Hughes has not looked anything like the same player who was so dangerous up front for Man Utd and Chelsea. Jones has had injury worries to contend with as well, and has clearly felt the need to chop and change his team. That in itself undermines any effort to spark a decent run of form.
It's a desperate situation for Jones, and one I'm afraid to say puts him under enormous pressure. To be talking in terms of him losing his job is absolutely scandalous, but Southampton are a plc now. They have directors and shareholders who will no doubt be getting ready to hit the panic button.
That would a mistake. Southampton have been in the top flight for more than twenty years and Jones has got to be given the chance to continue that success. If he takes them down, then look at things.
However I know the game has changed so much that people don't look at last season any more. They don't even look at last week. The clubs' position in the league is all that matters and unless Jones starts to drag them up fast, I fear he could be in trouble.
It is difficult to say what he can do to reverse Southampton's fortunes. All Jones can do is stick with what he knows. He must keep faith with the methods that have served him well. Right now that's all he's got. 

Keane is 'getting the dynamo going'

by Mark Bradley
AS Roy Keane bore down on the Southampton defence, still full of running and determination, with just minutes remaining at the Dell, Manchester United boss Alex Ferguson could have been excused a look of satisfaction on the touchline.
For it was little over a year ago that Keane suffered the knee ligament injury that ruled him out of the rest of last season and proved a major factor in United's loss of the title to Arsenal.
The Irish international made his comeback at the start of this campaign but it has taken him up until this last week to really start to recover his full match-fitness.
While Andy Cole and Dwight Yorke showed signs of a promising partnership up front with a goal each, and Jesper Blomqvist proved a more than able deputy for Ryan Giggs, it was Keane who shone in United's 3-0 win at Southampton.
Far from just anchoring the midfield alongside Nicky Butt, whose own performance will have pleased the watching John Gorman, Keane was dominant in defence and a threat up front, almost scoring twice.
Ferguson knows that there is still room for further progress but declared: ''We're now starting to see Roy at his best.
''There was evidence even on Wednesday against Bayern Munich that he was getting to people late in the game which he couldn't do against Arsenal and he couldn't do against Barcelona.
''Understandably so, and we expected that, but now he's getting that dynamo really going.
''The big bonus for me was that he was making the 45-yard, 50-yard runs through the channels, which he was doing in his pomp before his injury, and getting shots in on goal, which was really refreshing for me to see.''
Ferguson added: ''Roy has been patient in everything he's gone through. He knows there's going to be bits and pieces before he gets back to his best and I think he'll still come on a bit.
''His quickness to the ball, which was always due partly to his anticipation but also to his quickness in doing it, was always a real trademark. But that is gradually coming back."
Keane also managed to pick up his second booking of the season for a mis-timed tackle as he raced back to cut off a run by Egil Ostenstad, even if it was a harsh decision by referee David Elleray.
Yet the Irish international vowed: ''You're going to pick up a few bookings as a midfielder but I'm trying to cut out the silly bookings, getting involved with the referee and other players  and so far so good.''
Ferguson now loses a dozen of his players on international duty, with a doubt over Paul Scholes' fitness for England yet Peter Schmeichel could possibly play for Denmark against Switzerland.
Yorke's early strike, when he stretched to meet Cole's cross, the former Newcastle striker's first goal since August on his return to the starting line-up and a late effort from substitute Jordi Cruyff, again set up by Cole, moved United ominously into second place in the table.

Shelbourne grab first
victory of the season

Derry City 0
Shelbourne 1
SHELBOURNE successfully kick-started their season at the Brandywell yesterday registering their first win of the season and giving Dermot Keely his first victory as a manager at the Northern venue.
And the "Reds" were good value for their win after dominating the first half but they really should have entered the break with a healthy lead.
Tony Sheridan and Pat Scully squandered two "free headers" within the first ten minutes, while Liam Kelly also wasted a great chance, when in a one-on-one situation with Derry keeper, David Platt.
But the goal which won the match was superb. A fluent move from defence, highlighted by a quality Owen Heary strike from 20 yards.
Sheridan found him with a perfect pass and Heary's superb right-foot strike screamed high into the net giving Platt no chance.
After a tactical switch by manager Felix Healy the home side began to dictate the pace in the second half and they were given a lifeline in the 63rd minute when referee, John Stacey, pointed to the penalty spot after Scully appeared to block a cross with his arm.
Stuart Gauld, however, failed to restore equality, the brilliance of Alan Gough diving to his right, pushing the ball wide of his goal.
The visitors, content to defend their advantage, were given the perfect opportunity to end the game as a contest with only five minutes remaining.
James Keddy broke from midfield and was brought down by defender Darren Kelly. Mr Stacey had no hesitation in pointing to the spot.
However, Greg Costello blazed the spot-kick recklessly over the crossbar and the Dubliners were forced to hang on for the final five minutes.
DERRY CITY: Platt; McCallion, Curran, Gauld, M. Kelly; Hargan, Hutton, Doherty, Boyle; Coyle, McHugh. Subs. D. Kelly for M. Kelly, Gilmore for Boyle (both half-time).
SHELBOURNE: Gough; Costello, Scully, McCarthy, Geoghegan; Heary, Fitzgerald, Fenlon, Keddy; Sheridan, Kelly. Sub. Doyle for Kelly (53 mins).
Referee: J. Stacey (Athlone).

Sligo's poor finishing costly

Sligo Rovers 1
Finn Harps 1
SLIGO ROVERS were denied their first home League win of the season when Finn Harps struck for a late equaliser in the North West derby game at the Showgrounds on Saturday night.
Producing their best display of the season, Sligo created a hatful of chances but poor finishing and some agile goal-keeping by Brian McKenna meant that they had to settle for a share of the spoils.
There were chances at both ends in a lively opening. Jonathan Speake and James Mulligan went close on the counter attack for Harps while Glen Shannon was unlucky with a powerful header after 20 minutes which flew narrowly over the top and a stinging drive two minutes later which McKenna pushed away.
Sligo broke the deadlock seven minutes into the second half when a free from mark Hutchison was headed powerfully to the net by Jim Sheridan.
Brian Hetherston missed two glorious chances to extend Sligo's lead and Sean Flannery went close with a brave diving header.
Harps refused to give in, and staged a determined late rally which yielded an 83rd minute equaliser.
The Sligo defence failed to deal with an in-swinging free kick from Jonathan Minnock and Speake, in a crowded goalmouth, forced the ball home.
Just before the end, Harps had David Dowling sent off for dissent.
SLIGO ROVERS; Boswell, Callaghan, Hutchison, Reid, Sheridan, Hetherson, Jones, Flannery, Ogden, Rolands. Subs: Hallows for Flannery, 83mins, Gallagher for Jones, 88mins.
FINN HARPS: McKenna, Vaudequin, Minnock, Boyle, Dykes, Flood, Mohan, Kavanagh, Speake, Mulligan, McGrenaghan. Subs: McGettigan for Flood, 63mins, Dowling for Kavanagh, 73mins.
Referee: D. O'Hanlon, Waterford.

Bray Wanderers 0
Dundalk 0
BRAY were left to rue a host of missed chances as they consolidated their third place in the table after a scoreless draw with Dundalk at the Carlisle Grounds on Saturday night.
Bray should have been several goals to the good in the opening seven minutes, if not before half-time.
Pat O'Brien contrived to shoot wide with only Steve Williams to beat and the Dundalk goalkeeper then made two excellent saves to deprive Jason Byrne.
Dundalk did settle a little but Bray continued to make all the running.
Alan Dodd tested Williams again while Jody Lynch headed wide unchallenged, before Byrne forced another fingertip save from the overworked Dundalk keeper two minutes before the break.
The second half was a huge disappointment with only one tame effort on Byrne from goal as the game deteriorated into a rather scrappy affair.
BRAY WANDERERS: Kane; Tresson, Lynch, McKeever, Gill; P. O'Brien, Smyth, Dodd, Keogh; Ryan, Byrne. Subs. Parsons for O'Brien (79 mins), Kenny for Ryan (84 mins), Connolly for Keogh (88 mins.).
DUNDALK: Williams; Reddish, Melvin, Brady, McNulty; R. Campbell, Thew, Doolin, Hoey; Ward, Withnell.
Referee: T. Tully (Cork).

Francis makes a dream debut
as Ramblers topple leaders

Cobh Ramblers 3
Galway United 0
by Conor George
SEAN FRANCIS announced his return to the Cobh Ramblers colours in emphatic fashion at St Colman's Park on Saturday night when he blasted in two goals to help Ramblers humble the first division leaders.
Francis only signed forms with Cobh on Friday night and manager John O'Rourke showed no hesitation in throwing his new signing into the fray against Galway, a decision that returned rich dividends as Francis' two second half goals effectively killed off the Galway United challenge.
"I am really delighted with myself and the club. To score two goals on my debut is really special," said Francis.
"I am overwhelmed myself but what about the overall performance of the team? Galway are league leaders and they came here and played some nice football but every time they looked like threatening us we snuffed them out.
"I have come to hopefully prove to people that I can still do the business and to re-build my career after what have not been the best years of my life football wise and this is a perfect start. To get two goals on my debut and three points off the league pace-setters is a dream start," added Francis.
Francis, on loan from Shamrock Rovers for the season, was particularly impressive on Saturday night as was Pat Keane, Pat Maher and Keith Dalton but for Galway manager Don O'Riordan there was only disappointment after watching his side's seven match unbeaten run come to an end.
"I suppose people will say that it has to happen some time but I am not happy with the way we have lost it. Taking nothing away from Cobh they totally deserved the victory.
"Maybe our lads have been reading the publicity that has followed them this season and thought that they were going to have it easy.
"The lesson we should take away from the game is that the league is very competitive and if you don't compete you won't win games and we cannot afford to play like that again," said O'Riordan.
Cobh set about the task of dismantling Galway from early on and began to apply pressure almost from the very start with Tony Izzi and Francis both going close before Pat Keane opened their account with a superb header from a Francis cross after 32 minutes.
Cobh held their lead into the interval and on the resumption went back on the offensive with Keane being denied on two occasions before Francis opened his account with his new club.
He scored his first after 76 minutes when he came out on top in a one-on-one face-off with the Galway goalkeeper and added his second just two minutes before full-time when he finished off a superb run by Keane to make it 3-0 at the end.
O'Rourke was delighted with his team's performance : "I am very happy with the result, especially as it brings us to within three points of the top and ends the rot that had settled in over the last three games. We needed to get something out of tonight's game, especially after the last three results and to have the league leaders come here and have us beat them by three goals is extremely pleasing.
"All the lads performed brilliantly tonight and now with the addition of Sean (Francis) we are back playing the type of football I want the team to play here and hopefully we can now build on that and become a force in the division," said O'Rourke.
COBH RAMBLERS; Bennis, Kelly, Cregoe, Murphy, Maher, Dalton, Keneally, Keane, Izzi, Francis, O'Connor.
GALWAY UNITED; Cobey, Rossiter, Gorman, Carter, Cleary, Neary, Forde, O'Connor, Lucas, Lavine, Watson. Subs; Goldbey for Lavine (57 mins), Cregg for Watson (63 mins), Keane for O'Connor (74 mins).
Referee; D. Keogh (Meath).

Own goal helps Limerick
maintain their winning streak 

Limerick FC 1
Monaghan United 0
LIMERICK'S winning streak in what has been an amazing start to their First Division campaign continued at Hogan Park yesterday.
Having lost their first four games, in which they failed to score, Limerick have won their last four games without conceding a goal.
Goalkeeper Eddie Hickey was again very much in form.
After only six minutes Limerick's Paddy Doyle saw his powerful shot from 25 yards go inches wide and a few minutes later Hoey King had a good effort saved by Eddy Van Boxall.
After 24 minutes Monaghan had a chance but Honan's effort was saved by Hickey and at the other end Hoey King again went close.
The only goal came after 61 minutes. Limerick's Ray O'Halloran kicked a long ball out of defence to Paddy Doyle and his cross was headed past his own goalkeeper by defender Bobby Best.
Limerick brought in Tommy Gaynor for Doyle two minutes later and Gaynor missed a sitter a few minutes from the end.
Monaghan were unlucky when a volley by Colin Notario hit the crossbar and Declan Whyte headed off the line.
LIMERICK FC: Hickey; Hanrahan, Finnin, O'Halloran; D Whyte, G Whyte, B Ryan, O'Neill; King, Doyle, Considine. Subs; Gaynor for Doyle (63), Byrne for B Ryan (80), G Ryan for J White (84).
MONAGHAN UTD: Van Boxall; Butler, O'Callaghan, Coll, Best; Scully, McEvoy, Honan, Kenny; Wilson, Notario. Subs; Brady for Kenny, Christy for Butler (both 63 mins).
Referee: D Myers (Dublin).

Home Farm\Everton 2
Kilkenny City 1
HOME FARM\Everton jumped up to third place in the first division with a 2-1 victory over Kilkenny City in at Whitehall.
Kilkenny's opening score came after 25 minutes when former Home Farm player Trevor Vaughan neatly took down a pass from Richie Hale and slipping Damien Maher's tackle Vaughan cleverly chipped the ball past goalkeeper Paul Whelan.
The home side got back on terms two minutes before half time when Justin Gleeson got a flick on to a right wing corner for his defensive partner Maher, with his back to goal, to score with a delightful overhead kick that went in off an upright.
Home Farm's match winner also came from a corner after 67 minutes. On this occasion Tom McGauley's flick on was headed home at the far post by the completely unmarked Gavin Moore.
HOME FARM\EVERTON: Whelan; Keenan, McGauley, Gleeson; Maher, Byrne, Fitzpatrick, D Mooney; Moore, Flanagan, A Mooney.
KILKENNY CITY: Connolly; Kelly, D Walsh, P Walsh; Breen, R Walsh, Reddy, Hale; Vaughan, Cooney, Rae. Sub; Maher for Cooney (70), Delahunty for Hale (70).
Referee: Mr P Turner (Dublin).

Athlone Town 2
St Francis 0
NEW Athlone Town player/ manager James Coll inspired his side to a deserved win over St. Francis at St. Mel's Park on Saturday night.
Coll, ruled out until this weekend due to a new FAI rule anchored the defence as he made changes to the side that lost 5-1 to Monaghan the previous weekend.
Coll also dropped keeper Anthony Keenan and Chris Malone.
However, the home side had to rely on a 38th minute penalty to kick-start their victory. Paul McGee converted the spot kick after referee John O'Byrne blew for hand ball in the penalty area.
Brian Frawley secured the three points in the 73rd minute when he finished close in following McGee's left wing cross.
ATHLONE TOWN: Connaughton, Oliver, Houlihan, Silke, Coll, Fortune, Kelly, Collins, Frawley, McGee, Carberry. Sub: Colch for Fortune (half time).
ST. FRANCIS: Connelly, Byrne, Rickard, Heffernan, Duffy, O'Sullivan, Irwin, Treacy, Talbot, Ledwidge, Waters. Subs: Shearon for O'Sullivan (59 mins), Zola for Byrne (77 mins), Howe for Irwin (85 mins). Referee: J. O'Byrne (Dublin).

Rangers back to top spot

Rangers 1
Dundee 0
by Ken Gaunt
JORG ALBERTZ thundered home the winner with 11 minutes remaining to steer Rangers back to the top of the Premier League.
The German midfielder pulled back his left foot from 25 yards out when Barry Ferguson played the ball into his path.
In an instant the ball had flashed beyond Dundee keeper Robert Douglas and into the corner of the net.
But this was an indifferent display by Rangers against the newly-promoted side.
Dundee showed plenty of fighting spirit and a lot of commitment but had little else to offer.
Had it not been for Douglas they could have been on the end of a severe hammering.
In the end it was the 'Hammer', as Albertz is known at Ibrox, who sealed the three points although Douglas made a series of fine saves, including a penalty from the goalscorer in the dying seconds.
Scotland captain Colin Hendry returned to the Rangers starting line-up just six days before the European Championship qualifier against Estonia.

Hearts 1
St Johnstone 1
LEE MAKEL launched a one-man rescue operation for Hearts to salvage a point with a stunning individual strike against St Johnstone at Tynecastle.
With Saints leading through Allan Preston's 57th minute goal, Makel seized possession, rounded two men, and found the top corner from 25 yards with just 11 minutes to go.
There would certainly have been recent precedents for an away win, St Johnstone winning 1-0 at Celtic on their most recent travels, while Hearts slipped at home last month to lowly Dundee.
But it was Makel who had the final say in proceedings to ensure a share of the spoils capping a second-half as lively as the first was sterile.

Dundee United 1
Aberdeen 0
GARY McSWEGAN'S 23rd-minute goal continued Dundee United's revival under new boss Paul Sturrock at Tannadice last night.
The victory over North-East rivals Aberdeen was enough to move Sturrock's side off the bottom of the Premier League and into a much more respectable situation.

Edmundo's late strike
seals it for Fiorentina

BRAZILIAN star Edmundo snatched a winner in the second minute of injury-time yesterday to keep Fiorentina top of Serie A with a 1-0 victory over Udinese.
Edmundo's strike in the last minute was all the more uncanny as coach Giovanni Trapattoni had called on the fans 24 hours earlier to be patient, saying: "The goal could come in the 90th minute."
World Cup winner Youri Djorkaeff, meanwhile, was Inter Milan's hero for the second time in four days in their 2-0 victory over Perugia.
Inter, two points adrift in second, waited 94 minutes for the Frenchman's midweek winner against Sturm Graz in the Champions' League, but Chilean Ivan Zamorano put them ahead after only 11 against Perugia yesterday.
Perugia fought back but Djorkaeff put the result beyond doubt with a 54th minute header, his first league goal of the season.
Reigning champions Juventus beat Piacenza 1-0 as Filippo Inzaghi took his chance in the eighth minute.
AC Milan returned to their winning ways at Venezia as German striker Oliver Bierhoff was left unmarked to head home Leonardo's inswinging corner from close range after just three minutes.
The Brazilian midfielder Leonardo followed up with a goal of his own in the 67th minute to seal a 2-0 victory.
Lazio grabbed their first win of the season, ending a run of three consecutive draws by beating 10-man Cagliari 2-0.
Portuguese midfielder Fernando Couto scored in the third minute of first-half injury time, heading home a free-kick from Yugoslav Sinisa Mihajlovic.
Cagliari were under more pressure after having Uruguayan Fabian O'Neill sent off in the 55th minute and Yugoslav midfielder Dejan Stankovic cracked home Lazio's second in the 69th after a fine run by Chilean Marcelo Salas.
Former Aston Villa striker Savo Milosevic made amends for missing a penalty with a late goal as Real Zaragoza overtook Real Madrid at the top of the Spanish League.
Zaragoza are two points ahead of Madrid with 12 after they beat Extremadura 2-0 and the capital club went down 1-0 at home to Real Betis to a goal from Nigerian international Finidi George. Argentinian Kili Gonzalez had earlier opened the scoring.

    [Today's News]

Examiner Publications Ltd, 1998