The punter I met at the end of the first part of Dundalk Stadium’s dual raceday was in good form. I know him to be more of a greyhound racing follower, but he still managed to pick a few of the winning gallopers.
I was surprised when he told me he wouldn’t be returning for the Boylesports International meeting later on. “So you don’t want to give it back to them,” I asked. “No, it’s not that – I’m going to Oriel.”
That’s the way it is now, Dundalk FC’s headquarters having more appeal than ever. That shouldn’t come as a surprise. The team which Stephen Kenny has pieced together is not only getting results, but, according to my punting friend, is also playing attractive football.
There was another good result on Friday night, a 3-0 defeat of Bohemians. Patrick Hoban, one of the many signed by Kenny after taking over as manager late last year, claimed all three goals. The number of people there to see the former Mervue United player strike was good, and that would have pleased those who’ve been tasked with keeping the Carrick Road club’s float topped up.
Oriel expectations have grown. Not knowing what Kenny’s new-look crew would have to offer, ardent supporters I’m familiar with were hoping for nothing more than a retention of Premier Division status. Then as the points began to mount, trips to previous problematic venues yielding good results, there was talk of a mid-table finish.
Kenny is the last one who’d want anyone to get carried away, but he must know that sights are now firmly focused on a top-four finish. If it’s achieved it would count as a remarkable result.