Champions! Dundalk’s key games
Six games that kept the title in Dundalk’s sights
Dundalk’s David McMillan celebrates scoring against St Pat’s in March. Photo: Inpho
Gary McCabe is shown a red card when Dundalk and Shamrock Rovers met in April. Photo: Inpho
Dundalk’s Ciaran Kilduff celebrates scoring a late winning goal against Longford Town in July. Photo: Inpho
Daryl Horgan goes close against Sligo in September. Photo: inpho
Stephen O’Donnell celebrates after the win over Cork in October. Photo: Inpho
St Patrick’s Athletic 0 Dundalk 4 March 24th Richmond Park
After a strong start to the campaign against a couple of lesser sides, Dundalk had just suffered their first defeat of the season by their rivals, Cork City, and went to Inchicore needing to show they would not be knocked more seriously off course. They delivered a loud message to the rest of the league with an emphatic win courtesy of goals from Stephen O’Donnell, David McMillan, Daryl Horgan and Brian Gartland.
Shamrock Rovers 0 Dundalk 2 April 22nd Tallaght Stadium
The Dubliners still had an awful lot more than pride to play for when the champions headed to Tallaght and the game looked like a potential stumbling block. After Dave Webster turned a Darren Meenan cross into his own net 15 minutes in, however, Stephen Kenny’s always looked to have a grip on things, especially after Gary McCabe was sent off. Ronan Finn got the second against his former club.
Dundalk 3 Wexford Youths 2 May 29th Oriel Park
What should, on paper at least, been a straightforward enough task, turned out to be rather complicated with Wexford twice taking the lead with goals that were, in turn, cancelled out by Daryl Horgan and then Darren Meenan. the winner eluded them, though, until injury time when Ronan Finn sent in a free and Pat McEleney, marked his return from injury by finding a few yards to apply the required finish.
Dundalk 4 Longford Town 3 July 5th Oriel Park
The team’s final game before the European fixtures started seemed almost like the ideal warm up but Longford, it became clear, had other ideas. David McMillan got a hat-trick but each time he scored the visitors managed to get back on terms. Just when it looked as though they had done enough, though, to steal a point, Ciaran Kilduff got up to head home an injury time cross from Daryl Horgan.
Sligo Rovers 0 Dundalk 1 September 7th The Showgrounds
Sligo had won seven games in a run of 12 unbeaten at home before this game. The visitors’ cause was boosted when Craig Roddan was sent off 10 minutes in for a foul on Daryl Horgan and five minutes after that, David McMillan scored the only goal of the game. They could have had another couple but then Gary Rogers had to keep them in it late on too.
Dundalk 2 Cork City 1 October 11th Oriel Park
Perhaps the highpoint of their season given that they had lost both of their previous league games to their chief rivals for the title who arrived for this one in a really strong run of form. They got a break early on in the form of a soft free that Daryl Horgan converted via the crossbar and Mark McNulty’s back but they won well overall and the winger’s second was outstanding.