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Sport

Five talking points from the League of Ireland

SSE Airtricity League Premier Division, Richmond Park, Dublin 24/3/2016 St. Patrick's Athletic vs Dundalk Dundalk's players celebrate their third goal Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Gary Carr
Dundalk players celebrating their third goal against St. Patrick’s Athletic (Photo: Inpho)

Dundalk bounce back

Dundalk sent out a statement of intent to their fellow title challengers with an impressive 4-0 win over St Patrick’s Athletic at Richmond Park.

Any doubts about Dundalk’s credentials for winning their third successive league title in succession, after their home defeat against Cork City the previous week, were dispelled by an emphatic win in Dublin on Thursday night, which maintained their position as joint table toppers.

Backed by a good sized travelling support, the Lilywhites captain Stephen O’Donnell set the tone for the evening after pouncing on a mistake by Shane McEleney and coolly slotting the ball past Brendan Clarke in the 9th minute.

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In a first half played at a frantic pace, Saints had their chances, former international Keith Treacy coming closest, butStephen Kenny’s side struck a crucial blow midway through the second half when substitute David McMillan struck a second from a Darryl Horgan pass within 90 seconds of joining the action.

Horgan himself added a third with a powerful left footed effort from 20 yards and central defender Brian Gartland wrapped up a good night for Dundalk with a fourth goal from a close range header in stoppage time.

Last minute goal secures the points for Derry

Derry City joined Dundalk as joint leaders at the top of the table, after a last gasp winner from Rory Patterson clinching a 2-1 win against Wexford Youths at Ferrycarrig Park.

It was a tough result to take for Shane Keegan’s Youths, who looked good for a point after Danny Furlong had brought them back on level terms with seven minutes remaining.

The game had been goalless until the 69th minute when Derry took the lead, Barry McNamee setting up Conor McCormack who rifled home the opener into the top corner of the net.

Youths drew level seven minutes from time, when good work from Eric Molloy took him past two defenders, and his cross was finished off by a low shot from Danny Furlong.

But in a dramatic finish, the winner arrived in the final seconds of stoppage time, with Rory Patterson getting his head to Barry McNamee free kick to seal Derry City’s fourth successive win.

Newly promoted Youths, despite strong performances in all their games so far, prop up the table with just one point to show for their efforts after five games.

Single goal enough for Galway

Galway United maintained their 100 per cent home record, with a Vinny Faherty goal 13 minutes from time earning them a 1-0 win against Bohemians at Eamonn Deacy Park.

Both sides struggled to cope with the damp and windy conditions on the west coast, but Galway had the best of the possession over the 90 minutes and were worthy of the win.

The decisive goal was a well taken effort from Faherty, who reacted quickly to a well-directed Padriac Cunningham cross from the left wing, to fire home a winning goal that keeps Galway in third place in the table.

First win for Bray

Bray Wanderers picked up their first league win of the season, with a 4-0 victory over Sligo Rovers at the Carlisle Grounds.

The result leaves Sligo still searching for their first league win of the season, and increases the pressure on new boss Dave Robertson.

For the home side, it was their first win in 14 league games, and only the second time they have won by more than three goals in the previous four seasons.

It wasn’t a result that looked likely after a goalless first half, but Ryan Brennan opened the scoring for Bray three minutes into the second half and then Karl Moore doubled their advantage on the hour.

Brennan added a second with a goal direct from a corner kick soon afterwards, and Andrew Lewis exposed Sligo’s defensive frailties with a fourth goal five minutes from time, finishing well from a Jason Marks free kick.

Blistering start from Limerick

After their relegation from the Premier Division last season, Limerick are setting about their quest to return to top flight football in impressive style so far.

The Blues’ 5-0 win at Athlone Town on Saturday was their fifth straight win, and in their competitive games played since the season began, four in the league and one in the cup, they have never scored less than four goals in any game.

They already have a six point lead at the top of the First Division table, with a goal difference of plus 16, and Martin Russell’s side will take some stopping if they keep up their current form.

Results:

Premier Division: Bray Wanderers 4 Sligo Rovers 0, Finn Harps 1 Longford Town 0, Galway United 1 Bohemians 0, St Patrick’s Athletic 0 Dundalk 4, Wexford Youths 1 Derry City 2.

Division One: Athlone Town 0 Limerick 5, Cabinteely 0 Waterford United 2, Cobh Ramblers 0 UCD 2, Shelbourne 3 Drogheda United 0.

 

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