Table toppers Dundalk impress again

Table toppers Dundalk impress again

DUNDALK picked up where they left off before the mid-season break in the SSE Airtricity League, with the Lilywhites returning to action with a thumping 6-2 home win over bottom club Limerick, which keeps them three points ahead of Cork City at the top of the Premier Division table. 

The evening began well right from the start for Dundalk, with captain Stephen O'Donnell hitting the opener inside four minutes, and further goals from Brian Gartland and David McMillan put the outcome beyond any doubt with 10 first half minutes still remaining.

Nine minutes into the second half McMillan rifled his second of the night high into the top corner, but Limerick did get on the scoresheet five minutes later courtesy of Sean Harding's free kick from 40 yards.

Gartland then added his second header of the night to restore a four goal advantage, and although Shane Duggan's close range effort reduced the arrears once more, Dundalk substitute Jake Kelly's deflected shot late on wrapped up a comfortable win for Stephen Kenny's side.

Cork City kept up the pressure on Dundalk with two second half goals seeing them through to victory over Derry City at the Brandywell.

Billy Dennehy was involved in both goals, firstly playing in Karl Sheppard for the opener in 68 minutes, and then firing home a second from the penalty spot after Aaron Barry had been shown a red card for a foul in the area.

Shamrock Rovers kept in touch with the top two thanks to a 2-1 win at Eammon Deacy Park over Galway United.

Luke Byrne put the Hoops ahead six minutes before half time, heading home from Ryan Brennan's flick, but the home side drew level when half time substitute Enda Curran fired home his ninth goal of the season within two minutes of his introduction.

But in a second half of few chances, Kieran Marty Waters struck the decisive blow for Rovers with 20 minutes remaining, placing a shot into the bottom corner of the net from Stephen McPhail's free kick.

St Patrick's Athletic registered their fourth successive league win in succession, with Chris Forrester scoring twice in a 3-0 victory over Longford Town.  James Chambers added a third for Pats, who sit three points behind Shamrock Rovers in fourth place.

A spirited defensive display from Drogheda United paid off with a minute remaining when Tiarnan Mulvenna curled a shot past Dean Delany in the Bohemianss goal to snatch an unexpected win.

It ended on an even more frustrating note for Bohs when Adam Evans found the back of the net in the dying seconds only to have his effort ruled out for offside.

Bray Wanderers heaped more misery on struggling Sligo Rovers, as they moved above the Bit o' Red and out of the danger zone with a 1-0 win at the Carlisle Grounds.

Alan McNally's goal in the seventh minute proved to be decisive, the Wanderers centre-back pouncing to fire home from close range after a Chris Lyons header rebounded off the post.

In the First Division, the promotion race is well and truly underway, with long time league leaders Finn Harps knocked off the top of the table after losing 3-2 at Tolka Park against Shelbourne, with Philly Hughes grabbing a hat trick for the home side.

Wexford Youths are now the league leaders, thanks to a 3-2 win over Cabinteely at Stradbrook.  Youths were 2-1 down with less than 20 minutes to go, but in the end a stoppage time winner from Danny Furlong proved to be decisive.

UCD are third after being held to a 1-1 draw by Cobh Ramblers at St. Colman's Park.  Jason Abbott scored a late penalty on his debut to salvage a point for Ramblers.

Athlone Town are also still in touch with the promotion chase, a Philly Gorman goal in the first half earning them all three points at Waterford United.


Premier Division - Bohemians 0 Drogheda United 1; Bray Wanderers 1 Sligo Rovers 0; Derry City 0 Cork City 2; Dundalk 6 Limerick 2; Galway United 1 Shamrock Rovers 2; St. Patrick's Athletic 3 Longford Town 0.

First Division - Cabinteely 2 Wexford Youths 3; Cobh Ramblers 1 UCD 1; Shelbourne 3 Finn Harps 2; Waterford United 0 Athlone Town 1.