Determined Dundalk make certain of second spot
Seagulls go into next week’s play-off against Longford Town
Bray’s John Mulroy reacts to a missed chance against Dundalk at the Carlisle Grounds. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho
Bray Wanderers 0 Dundalk 2
Dundalk made certain of a second place finish in the Premier Division when goals in each half by Patrick Toban and Kurtis Byrne gave them a deserved victory over Bray Wanderers at the Carlisle Grounds.
The Seagulls now go into next week’s promotion/relegation play- off against First Division Longford Town after they beat Mervue United on penalties following a 3-3 aggregate draw after 120 minutes.
Before the game joined in a one-minute round of applause for Tommy McConville, the Dundalk stalwart of a career stretching over three decades, who died yesterday after a lengthy illness.
Bray had an early chance when Daire Doyle supplied the pass to Marty Waters at the edge of the box, only for the latter to be taken down by Brian Gartland. The resulting free by Jason Byrne was blocked by a wall of Dundalk defenders.
The Louth men again went close on 35 minutes when a corner by Kurtis Byrne on the right was headed just over by Gartland. Then a Stephen O’Donnell effort was blocked by Doyle as the visitors piled on the pressure.
Stephen Kenny’s side had their reward on 40 minutes when a Byrne cross from the left was nodded back by O’Donnell for Hoban to score from close range.
John Mulroy had a header just wide for Bray early in the second half after a probing cross from Ismahil Akinade on the right.
Dundalk made victory certain on the hour when Byrne steered John Mountney’s cross from the right past the advancing Darren Quigley.
BRAY WANDERERS: Quigley; Doyle, Webster, S O’Connor, Zambra; Akinade, Maher (Dempsey 64), K O’Connor, Waters (Early 80); Mulroy, J Byrne.
DUNDALK: Cherrie; Rossiter, Gartland, Boyle, Massey; Shields, O’Donnell (Dillon 86), Mountney, K Byrne (Meenan 89); Towell, Hoban (Faherty 84).
Referee: Tom Connolly (Dublin).