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Conor McDonald: The Student

Started on 18 April 2020 by Jack
Latest Reply on 8 May 2024 by Michael R Wilson
A terrific victory. Moore scoring the second and the goal to seal it is almost fitting. He will be a big miss when he departs.

September’s only real shining light was the cup final win against Bohemian in the EA Sports Cup as their performance in two games for the First Division were abysmal, losing one to a title rival and drawing the other to a struggler.

Beginning with a friendly against Cork City, Cobh struggled to get past their Premier League rivals and eventually succumbed to a 3-2 loss despite Danila Bogdanov’s best efforts to keep Cobh in the game.

With University College Dublin quickly approaching the former two-horse race, the heat was put on Cobh even more as they defeated McDonald’s men in their final competitive fixture before the EA Sports Cup Final.

Rob Waters and Yousef Mahdy made it 2-0 to Maciej Tarnogrodzki’s side. Centre-back Ben O’Riordan tried his best to bring the game back in 88th minute but he was unsuccessful in his attempt.

Cobh faced Avondale United in a friendly in their final fixture before the cup final on Saturday evening. They smashed the Munster Senior Premier League side 6-0 at St. Colman’s Park with Cameron Moore bagging a hat-trick in the process.

To secure Conor McDonald’s first piece of silverware in his career and Cobh’s first since the Munster Senior Cup in 2016, Cobh Ramblers defeated Premier League Bohemian 2-0 at Oriel Park thanks to goals from centre-back James McSweeney and Cameron Moore.

Cobh returned to league action the following Friday against the struggling Finn Harps who were relegated via the Play-Offs last season. The visitors were very positive of their chances of winning all three points and solidifying their place at the top of the league however, Finn Harps held the league leaders to a scoreless draw at Finn Park much to the disappointment of Cobh fans and the anger of manager Conor McDonald.

As a result of Cobh’s poor showing in the league, the title race has now become a three-horse race with Limerick an outside contender with three games remaining. Cobh and Drogheda are level on points, with The Rams ahead on goal difference meanwhile University College Dublin head into the final month of the season only one point behind the top.

Justice: At last! Despite being 80/1 to win the cup in the first place, turns out we were a good bet after all ;)
tedbro20: Certainly, a huge relief lifted from Conor's shoulders.
Scott: Moore is going to be a huge miss next season, wherever we end up - he's a star in the making over in Ireland!
It's going down to the wire with three games left to play...
Conor's off the field problems highlight what many people are unable to see, no matter how great someone's life may look, with Conor having great sucesess on a career level, you don't really know whats going on in their private life. A hard time in his life for sure.

In terms of results, it's great to see that first piece of silverware clinched and despite some worrying results lately, still top of the league. With a few games to play, Cobh have a great chance of going up, lets hope it happens.

Despite 181 days at the top of the league throughout this season - equal to 70% of the campaign - Cobh Ramblers fell short at the final hurdle in October as they tumbled down into third place below University College Dublin as Drogheda lifted the First Division title.

The month began with a preview of what the final day of the season could have looked like as Cobh arranged a friendly with their last opponents Longford Town at St. Colman’s Park and smashed four goals past them including an Eoin Porter brace.

Cobh’s first league game came against Eddie Gormley’s Cabinteely side and Conor McDonald still couldn’t manage his first league win since his 5-0 victory against Drogheda United.

This was the game where Cobh lost their place at the top of the table for good as Drogheda United swept in on 49 points. Danila Bogdanov scored the opener but it was Jack Tuite’s equaliser that ultimately brought Cobh’s title hopes and dreams crashing down just after half-time.

In what could be considered a ‘morale booster’, Cobh Ramblers hit nine goals past friendly opponents Coachford which included a 14-minute hat-trick from the departing Cameron Moore.

Hopes were raised back in the league as Cobh managed to secure their first three points since August against play-off hopefuls Limerick as Cameron Moore scored a late but vital goal in the 93rd minute at St. Colman’s Park to restore faith in the crowd despite still sitting in third going into the final day.

Any opportunity of winning the title was dashed on the final day against Longford Town at City Calling Stadium. The game ended 1-1 when Cobh needed a win to have any chance of the title but Drogheda took the title with a win against Finn Harps.

Cobh Ramblers and Longford Town will now scrap it out in the Play-Off Semi-Final over two legs where the winner will go on to face runners-up University College Dublin and then the winners of that will play Shelbourne - who finished in the relegation play-off spot in the Premier League this season.

Upcoming Fixtures:
Longford Town (A) - Promotion Play-Off Semi-Final Leg 1
Longford Town (H) - Promotion Play-Off Semi-Final Leg 2
University College Dublin (?) - Promotion Play-Off Final Leg 1*
University College Dublin (?) - Promotion Play-Off Final Leg 2*
Shelbourne (?) - Promotion/Relegation Play-Off Final Leg 1*
Shelbourne (?) - Promotion/Relegation Play-Off Final Leg 2*
* - Dependent on result in previous Play-Off.

Scott: It did and Drogheda come out on top...
Seb: The cracks really began to show midway through the season with Conor's personal problems, that's for sure. The EA Sports Cup was a delight to be a part of but ultimately it counts for nothing when we can't even get up to play with the big boys in the Premier League!
Looks like you're having a lot of important games ahead! Good luck with that mate!
Ah thats gutting for Conor. Fingers crossed for the play offs though. Wonder if there could be any job offers from elsewhere though after this season
That's heartbreaking. Cobh need to pick themselves up and prepare for the playoffs though. That will be a task in itself though.
Not ideal but the strongest steel is forged in the hottest flames.
Absolutely gutted that you fell at the end, its not over though, backing you to earn your way up the hard way
A dissapointing end to the season, but with Cobh still in the play-offs, it's not over yet, just alot more difficult.

McDonald’s Cobh crash out of Play-Offs to UCD

Conor McDonald’s promotion hopes died last last night as his Cobh Ramblers side came crashing down to a 1-0 aggregate defeat against University College Dublin at Belfield Bowl.

Despite a dominant performance in the First Round of the Airtricity First Division Promotion Play-Offs against Longford Town which involved his Cobh team winning 6-1 over two legs, it ended in heartbreak at the second-to-last hurdle.

Cobh Ramblers showed positive signs in both legs against Longford, beating Tim Clancy’s side 3-1 at their City Calling Stadium and 3-0 in East Cork with Danila Bogdanov bagging a brace and Ian Turner securing a third goal for The Rams.

Cobh returned to action four days later on Tuesday evening to take on University College Dublin at St. Colman’s Park which ended in a scoreless 0-0 draw with Cobh by far the better team over ninety minutes.

Conor McDonald led his team to 1st place for 181 days throughout the Irish domestic season, equivalent to 70% of the campaign but that counted for nothing as The Students’ right-back Daniel Tobin scored a 28th minute winner.

College’s aggression throughout the match angered Conor McDonald as they picked up seven yellow cards in the ninety minutes, with left-back Evan Osam being shown his marching orders in the 67th minute for a foul on attacking midfielder Eoin Porter.

Danila Bogdanov’s penalty with fifteen minutes to go would’ve secured Cobh’s advancement in the Play-Offs on away goals but the Latvian-born striker’s effort was saved by the delighted Conor Kearns between the sticks.

All The Students had to do from that point was hold out for a few more minutes to seal their place in the Promotion/Relegation Final against Shelbourne and that they did with a superb defensive performance overall.

College will now face Shelbourne over two legs to decide if either teams stay put or if they switch leagues for the 2021 campaign. Cobh, on the other hand, are looking at another season in the second tier with star striker Cameron Moore on his way to Shelbourne in January to make matters worse.

There are also fresh doubts over manager Conor McDonald’s position as the 23-year-old has turned down two new contract offers from Cobh with his current deal expiring at the end of December. There is a risk that Cobh Ramblers may have to completely readjust their infrastructure that got them to their best league finish in four years.

tedbro20: Sadly we didn't make it through. About Conor's future, though, who knows?
Wolf: They were very important and the squad didn't seem able to pull through unfortunately!
Scott: A task it was. Longford was very simply done but trying to break down an aggressively defensive UCD was so, so difficult.
Justice: We can only hope Conor comes out of this stronger than ever, because this is a huge disappointment
Griffo: The final month as well! Heartbreaking stuff.
Eoin: We made it hard for ourselves and now we have paid the price, not looking pretty at all!
Thats so gutting I still reckon there are bright things to happen in Conor's future even if it does mean leaving Cobh
Well I guess you got.... schooled......

Puns aside, unlucky to lose and not earn promotion despite having a very good season. It'll be interesting to see whether Conor does end up accepting a contract offer - he'd be a big loss for Cobh if he leaves.
That's tough. I think the mental-side of things was always set to play a part. Next season, Cobh and Conor will be desperate to avoid the mistakes of this season and ensure the job is done automatically... that's if he decides to remain at the club!

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