The fixtures for the SSE Airtricity League First Division have finally – after a lengthy and controversial delay – been released with Drogheda United kicking off the campaign with the longest possible away trip, a visit to face Cobh Ramblers.
The Drogs, who endured playoff heartache at the hands of Finn Harps for the second successive season back in November, travel to Saint Colman’s Park on Saturday February 22 before they welcome Longford Town to United Park six days later in their first customary Friday night 7.45pm fixture.
A week later (March 6) relegated U.C.D make the trip north to Boyneside before United are on the road again on Saturday March 14, this time to take on Shamrock Rovers II who have taken the place of Limerick in this year’s 10-team tier. That game is pencilled in for a 3pm kick-off.
Tim Clancy will hope, nay expect, his team to be leading the charge for promotion to the Premier Division after two seasons of playoff misery. If Drogheda are in title or playoff contention as the season end draws near, he can look ahead to two of the final three games being home fixtures. Galway United and Cabinteely travel to United Park either side of an away trip to Wexford.
This season, the teams that finish between second and fifth will all be in end-of-season playoff contention. The second and fifth place teams will play each other in a two-legged affair as will the teams who end in third and fourth. The winners of those games will then play each other home and away before the winner of that faces the ninth place Premier Division team – again over two legs.
The entire First Division fixture list is available to view and download here.