Dundalk 5-0 Derry City
Dundalk responded to Friday night’s setback against St Patrick’s Athletic in emphatic fashion as they swept Derry City away to restore their six point lead at the top of the table.
That 1-0 defeat to Pat’s, coupled with Cork City’s last gasp win over Shamrock Rovers, meant that questions were being asked about Stephen Kenny’s treble chasers.
Those questions were answered in style after just 12 seconds when Patrick Hoban won possession from young Shay Dunlop to slip Darren Meenan in for a tidy finish.
Derry City, who made seven changes to their side with Friday night's FAI Cup quarter-final with Drogheda United in mind, just couldn't contain the league leaders and Kurtis Byrne tapped home a Dane Massey cross from six-yards to make it 2-0 after 34 minutes.
Massey helped himself to number three, curling a terrific free-around the Derry City wall five minutes later to kill the game off before the half-time whistle.
Any notions that Dundalk might take the foot off the pedal were dismissed when Hoban's thumping effort was well saved by Ciaran Gallagher in the 46th minute.
The Dundalk striker fared better nine minutes later when he showed great strength to hold off Barry Molloy before hammering a low drive past the Derry goalkeeper from 20-yards.
Goal number five arrived in the 58th minute. Meenan's corner from the right found Brian Gartland unmarked at the back post and he headed home his 10th of the season.
A 6-0 loss would have been a new club record for the Candystripes and Dundalk should have sent Hutton’s side back to Foyleside with an unwanted place in the history books.
Kurtis Byrne was denied a second by Gallagher and soon after the Dundalk number 11 was threatening again, his vicious ball across the face of goal not given the finish it deserved.
The visitors rearguard was opened up at will and right-back Sean Gannon should have made it six when he broke through in the 77th minute but he opted to try and square it instead of beating Gallagher.
The closest Derry came to a consolation came in the 82nd minute when Joshua Tracey almost caught the otherwise redundant Peter Cherrie out with a shot which just whistled past the keeper's near post.
Dundalk: Cherrie; Gannon, Gartland, Boyle (Rossiter 55), Massey; Shields, Towell; Meenan, Byrne, Horgan (McDermott 58); Hoban (McMillan 77).
Derry City: Gallagher; Dunlop (Dooley 66), S McEleney, Kelly, Timlin; Molloy, McNamee (P McEleney 72), Houston; Tracey, Boyle, Curran.
Referee: Tomas Connolly.
Sligo Rovers 3 Bohemians 2
A man of the match display from midfielder David Cawley inspired Sligo Rovers to a 3-2 defeat of Bohemians at the Showgrounds tonight. Cawley scored the opener and was involved in both Eamon Zayed and Danny North’s goals as Rovers won for the first time in four games.
Jake Hyland and Dinny Corcoran scored for the visitors in what was an entertaining second half.
Bohs boss Owen Heary went with a much-changed team, making six switches to the side that beat Bray on Friday. Jason Byrne and Dave Mulcahy were rested, Eoin Wearen was suspended, and Corcoran, Karl Moore and Sligo native Kevin Devaney all started on the bench.
Nonetheless, they created the first chance of note when Steven Beattie found space at the far post, but Richard Brush got down to make a good stop.
The opener came from the best move of the first half, with Gary Boylan and Raffaele Cretaro involved, before Cawley swept the ball to the net.
The same player went close again just after the restart, but his volley bounced off the underside of the crossbar.
Bohs were on par ten minutes into the half, when Keith Buckley’s cross was flicked to the net by the head of Hyland.
The hosts took just six minutes to get back in front, with Dean Delaney saving from Gavin Peers but Zayed following up.
And Rovers looked like they had wrapped it up North fired home from close range after Delaney had saved from Cawley, though Corcoran’s headed goal at the death ensured a nervy finish.
Sligo: Brush, Boylan, Peers (Armstrong 90+3), McMillan, Donelon, Russell, Cawley, Conneely, Cretaro (Spillane 78), North, Zayed.
Bohemians: Delaney, Pender, Price, Lopes, Memery, Kavanagh, Walsh, Buckley (Corcoran 79), Evans (Moore 68), Beattie, Hyland (Devaney 79).
Referee: P Sutton