Derry City continue unbeaten run as Dundalk bounce back
Sligo Rovers clinch first victory of season while Limerick-Finn Harps clash ends a draw
Derry’s Barry McNamee celebrates his goal with Nathan Boyle during their side’s 4-0 win over Drogheda United at Maginn Park in which he scored his first hat-trick. Photograph: Lorcan Doherty /Inpho/Presseye
Barry McNamee scored a first career hat-trick inside nine minutes as Derry City beat Drogheda United 4-0 at Maginn Park to maintain their 100 per cent start to the season with a fourth successive victory.
Should they beat Limerick at the same venue in Tuesday night’s re-arranged game, Kenny Shiels’s side will go top of the Premier Division table.
Ex-Republic of Ireland international Stephen Elliott wasted two promising openings for Drogheda before they fell behind on 42 minutes.
Derry winger Josh Daniels beat Colm Deasy to cross low for Ronan Curtis to shoot past Drogheda’s goalkeeper Stephen McGuinness.
Having taken control in the second half, Derry doubled their lead on 75 minutes when attacking midfielder McNamee scored his first goal from close range.
McNamee added his second with a shot from distance two minutes later before completing his treble with a sublime free kick on 83 minutes.
Back to winning ways
Patrick McEleney provided the inspiration with an assist and two wonderful goals as champions Dundalk got back to winning ways after Monday’s defeat in Derry to beat St Patrick’s Athletic 3-0 at Oriel Park, a result that puts the Inchicore side bottom of the table.
Striker Ciaran Kilduff gave Dundalk the lead a minute before half-time when bundling the ball home from McEleney’s low cross.
The mercurial McEleney increased Dundalk’s lead with a stunning goal two minutes into the second, finishing a solo run with a delightful chip to the net. The 24-year-old got his second six minutes later with a skilful low drive to the bottom corner.
Third successive match
Kieran Sadlier scored for the third successive match as Sligo Rovers earned a first win of the season to lift themselves off the foot of the table as they beat Bray Wanderers 3-2 at the Showgrounds.
Bray had the ideal start with the lead goal after just three minutes; Gary McCabe scoring when drilling past Shaun Patton from Aaron Greene’s deflected cross.
Sadlier hit a post before Sligo levelled on 26 minutes when defender Derek Foran turned a Sadlier cross into his own net.
Two minutes later Chris Kenny scored with a tap-in after Peter Cherrie parried a shot from Jonah Ayunga to put Sligo in front.
Bray hit back to equalise on 38 minutes direct from a terrific free kick by McCabe – the midfielder’s fifth goal of the season.
But Sadlier won it for Sligo with a thumping free kick at the other end nine minutes into the second half.
Finn Harps completed a good week on the road with a 1-1 draw at Limerick.
Buoyed by their first win of the season at St Patrick’s on Monday night, Harps didn’t lack for confidence as they punished a goalkeeping mistake to take a 23rd minute lead.
Freddy Hall’s attempted pass to defender Tommy Robson was intercepted by Harps’ winger Caolan McAleer who set up Sean Houston to score for the third match running.
Limerick equalised on 73 minutes when substitutes Lee J Lynch and Ian Turner combined with the latter’s cross headed home by Brazilian Rodrigo Tosi.
Limerick came close to winning it right on 90 minutes, but Robbie Williams’ header from another Turner cross hit the bar.