High-flying Galway United on the brink of securing First Division title


From this week's Galway City Tribune

From this week's Galway City Tribune

High-flying Galway United on the brink of securing First Division title High-flying Galway United on the brink of securing First Division title

GALWAY United’s 26-year wait for silverware should come to an end this weekend when John Caulfield’s side takes on the bottom two across a four-day span from which they need just one point to be confirmed as First Division champions.

While United were thrashing Dundalk in the quarter-finals of the FAI Cup last Friday night, their only rivals for the title were seeing those slim hopes evaporate as Waterford lost 2-0 at home to Cobh Ramblers, leaving United just needing one point from their remaining six games to claim the title.

Their first opportunity for that title-clinching result comes on Friday when United head to Tralee to take on basement side, Kerry FC (7.45pm); and depending on that result, Monday night’s home game against Finn Harps (7.45pm) will see the United faithful either welcoming the new league champions, or hoping to cheer them on to the title.

When it happens – and it is a case of ‘when’, rather than ‘if’ – it will also end the longest wait in the league for silverware as every club bar new entities Treaty United (joined the league in 2020) and Kerry FC (2023) have lifted either a league or cup trophy since United last had a pot to polish, back in 1997.

Denis Bonner was the first to raise a cup aloft when captaining United to the League Cup in 1986. Johnny Glynn wore the captain’s armband for the FAI Cup win in 1991; Noel Mernagh was the leader of men for United’s first-ever league title when they won the First Division in 1993; and Derek Rogers raised the League Cup aloft on New Year’s Day in 1997, a couple of months after captaining United to the First Division Shield.

Conor McCormack is set to make it a Famous Five in the coming days, and United’s away allocation of tickets for Mounthawk Park had almost sold out by midweek as hundreds plan on heading to Tralee hoping to see United crowned in the Kingdom.

“They will enjoy this tonight and tomorrow, but they are back at it on Sunday and we go and try and win the league with six games to go, which is incredible,” Caulfield said after last Friday’s thrilling cup quarter-final win over Dundalk, before breaking into a wide smile.

“It is funny, the game, you go to Kerry and they haven’t won all year at home, they are bottom of the table and they have nothing to lose, it is probably the perfect game, they are looking forward to it, it is great for us to go down there, hopefully we can bring a massive crowd and get the result to win the league.

Pictured: Galway United’s Aodh Dervin on the attack against Dundalk FC’s Daryl Horgan during Friday night’s FAI Cup quarter-final at Eamonn Deacy Park. Photo: Joe O’Shaughnessy.

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