Not since the bumper cars and waltzers were removed from along the beach front has Bray been so worth a visit. But it certainly is now and the town’s football team form the cornerstone of this weekend’s League of Ireland treble.
Bray Wanderers last week took full advantage of two controversial penalties to beat last year’s champions Dundalk and tossed their name in for the European football spots and even as potential title contenders.
They’re now level on points with Dundalk and in Gary McCabe they have, at the time of writing, the league’s top scorer.
In the nine games since McCabe’s return to Bray with nine goals, he has already surpassed his scoring record in the 60-plus games of his first spell.
As I mentioned last week, their opposition Shamrock Rovers are far too inconsistent to bother the top teams. Their 1-0 win against a pretty poor Sligo Rovers team wouldn’t have inspired much confidence.
With the Seagulls in high flying form, a 15/8 Bray win looks a very good bet.
Cork City (-1) on the handicap should be a regular feature for accumulator bets, particularly when they are playing teams outside the top four in the Premier Division.
They are obviously the best team in the league at the moment. Apart from quite simply steamrolling the opposition, they have only conceded four goals all season.
The Rebels face a St Patrick’s Athletic side who seem to be haplessly waiting for a spark to ignite their season. It looked like they had finally got going when they recorded back to back wins against both Dublin rivals, Shamrock Rovers and Bohemians.
But if a 4-0 trashing, including a goal from 65 yards, doesn’t get your juices flowing, I’m not sure what will.
It didn’t take long for the Saints to get back to losing ways against Limerick and they have since dropped two points when they gave away an 89th minute equaliser from a penalty against rock bottom Galway United.
Unless their talisman Christy Fagan gets his scoring boots on, St. Pats will be fighting relegation in the final weeks of the season. I would expect Cork to help this process along this weekend, so go with Cork (-1) @13/8.
Derry City’s squad, staff and fans have had to overcome a whole lot since the untimely death of inspirational captain Ryan McBride. The players have clearly struggled to cope since and there’s not one person who could blame them.
There is no doubt they are still one of the most talented young sides in the division, and should be still challenging for a European place at the end of the season.
I expect them to put an end to their recent bad form against a managerless and aimless Sligo team, and so far are the league’s highest conceding team along with Drogheda United.
At the start of the year an odds-against price for Derry to beat Sligo would have been unlikely, so we’ll snap up the 13/8 to complete the treble.
And here’s this weekend’s LOI Treble in full:
Bray win @ 15/8
Cork -1 @ 13/8
Derry win @ 23/20
Treble Pays 14/1
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All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing