Dundalk cruise past St Patrick’s Athletic to go top of the league

Lilywhites were easy winners at Oriel Park and overtake Cork City on goal difference

Dundalk 5 St Patrick’s Athletic 0

Dundalk returned to the top of the SSE Airtricity League table in style by running riot against against St Patrick’s Athletic at Oriel Park.

Stephen Kenny's side dominated the first-half but missed a hatful of chances with Patrick Hoban and Michael Duffy both going agonisingly close.

Dundalk continued to fluff their lines with Hoban squandering a close range header and Pat's almost landed a sucker punch in the 22nd minute when James Doona forced Gary Rogers into a decent save.

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Duffy drilled another one wide after a good break down the left by Dean Jarvis and they almost paid the price when Jake Keegan put the ball in the net in the 38th minute but the assistant's flag cut short the celebrations.

The second-half was just 30 seconds old when Hoban finally broke the deadlock, his long range strike deceiving Barry Murphy after taking a wicked deflection off Kevin Toner.

That was goal number 50 in a Dundalk shirt for the 26-year-old and he made it 51 just six minutes later, coolly sliding the ball under Murphy.

Keegan almost dragged Liam Buckley's men back into it but Dundalk continued to rack up the chances with Ronan Murray curling one past the post after a well worked move.

The Mayo man would not be denied, however, and he smashed home his first league goal for the club in the 66th minute after Hoban was denied by Murphy.

Pat's never looked like getting back into it although Rogers did have to make an eye-catching save from Lee Desmond before Simon Madden smacked one wide.

Dundalk, however, cut loose with Duffy smashing the goal of the night past Murphy in the 84th minute before squaring the ball for substitute Jamie McGrath to put the cap on a five-star showing.

DUNDALK: Rogers; Hoare, Gartland, Cleary, Jarvis; O'Donnell, Benson (Shields 80); Mountney, Murray, Duffy; Hoban (Byrne 73) (McGrath 77).

ST PATRICK'S ATHLETIC: Murphy; Madden, Toner, Desmond, Birmingham; Doona, Lennon, Kelly (Leahy 73), Markey, Clarke (C Byrne 76); Keegan (T Byrne 69).

Referee: Paul McLaughlin.

Attendance: 2086.