Dundalk hit St Patrick’s Athletic for six at Oriel Park
Pádraic Cunningham earns point for Galway; Finn Harps too good for Limerick
Jordi Balk of St Patrick’s Athletic slides in to tackle Dundalk’s Michael Duffy during the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division match at Oriel Park. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho
Dundalk 6 St Patrick’s Athletic 0
Dundalk turned on the style against St Patrick’s Athletic at Oriel Park, ruthlessly smashing six without reply past Liam Buckley’s 10 men.
It looked like the visitors would go in level at the interval but two David McMillan goals in first half injury-time ended the game as a contest.
There was controversy attached to his first, a 46th-minute penalty awarded after referee Jim McKell decided that the striker had been upended by Lee Desmond. Pat’s were left fuming by the decision with Ian Bermingham sent off for protesting in the aftermath.
Before they had gathered breath, Dundalk had landed the killer blow, McMillan meeting Michael Duffy’s corner to bury his 15th goal of the season past debutant Lukasz Skowron in the fifth minute of added time.
The Polish goalkeeper made his entrance in the eighth minute of the game, replacing the injured Barry Murphy, and he was given plenty to do, getting down low to his right to make a smart save in the 39th minute to stop a Duffy effort. McMillan then saw a goalbound flick cleared off the line by Desmond.
The visitors did have chances, most notably when Graham Kelly curled a lovely right-footed effort over the top of Gary Rogers’s crossbar with 21 minutes played, and it looked like Pat’s had done enough to go in scoreless but they were rocked by two goals in the five additional minutes at the end of the half.
Kelly should have pulled the Saints back into it just two minutes after the restart but he watched his 20-yard effort bend just wide of the upright.
It was a case of keeping the score down after that as Dundalk put the foot on the accelerator and Seán Gannon broke inside from the right and guided a cool finish past Skowron to make it 3-0 with 40 minutes still to play.
McMillan should have claimed his hat trick in the 57th minute but he missed the target from a great position before departing to a hero’s reception shortly later.
Substitute Robbie Benson tapped home on the hour mark after great work by Duffy in the build up and another replacement, Thomas Stewart, hit number six late on.
DUNDALK: Rogers; Gannon, Gartland, Hoare, Grimes; Shields (Benson, 56 mins), Clifford; Connolly, McEleney, Duffy (Kinsella, 74 mins); McMillan (Stewart, 68 mins).
ST PATRICK’S ATHLETIC: Murphy (Skowron, 13 mins); Barker, Balk, Desmond, Bermingham; Garvan, O’Conor (Lunney, 61 mins), Kelly; Byrne (Feely, half-time), Fagan, Dennehy.
Referee: Jim McKell.
Bohemians 1 Galway United 1
Pádraic Cunningham equalised seconds after coming on to earn Galway United a point a Dalymount Park.
Trailing to Paddy Kavanagh’s first-half opener, Galway powered their way back into the match in the second half to level on 72 minutes.
A Bohemians appeal for a handball fell on deaf ears before Gavan Holohan whipped over a cross from the right for Cunningham to head home with literally his first touch.
Cunningham should then have won it for Galway on 86 minutes but blazed over the bar from Conor Murray’s cross.
A minute later, Bohs goalkeeper Shane Supple made the save of the night from Holohan’s drive from distance.
Poor defending had gifted Bohs the lead 13 minutes in. Galway captain Stephen Folan’s weak clearance from Keith Ward’s cross sat up invitingly for Kavanagh who scored with a well-placed header.
Galway soon settled, coming right into the game with Eoin McCormack and Rory Hale off target with efforts midway through the half.
Holohan then swapped passes with Alex Byrne to send his chip wide.
Frantic defending was needed to keep Bohs out early in the second half.
First Fuad Sule broke on the counter to put Kavanagh away on the right with the poor cross cut out by David Cawley as Ward waited.
Kavanagh then cleverly picked out Ismahil Akinade in the area.
Again a Galway body was in the way as Paul Sinnott cleared the danger.
BOHEMIANS: Supple; Pender, Cornwall, O’Hora, Fitzgerald; Akinade, Sule, Brennan, Kavanagh; Ward (Gannon, 81 mins); Corcoran.
GALWAY UNITED: Winn; Maher, Sinnott, Folan, Ludden; Hale (Melody, 86 mins), Byrne (Devaney, h-t), Cawley, Murray; Holohan; McCormack (Cunningham, 71 mins).
Referee: Derek Tomney (Dublin).
Limerick FC 0 Finn Harps 2
Finn Harps had to play the second half with 10 players for the second week in a row at the Markets Field after Keith Cantwell was shown a second yellow on the stroke of half-time.
Harps, despite this, snuffed out the Limerick attack and scored twice whereas the relegation threatened home side could count a missed penalty and hitting an upright as the closest they could get to breaking their duck.
Finn Harps were outplayed for most of the first half which delighted the majority of the 1,211 attendance.
The home crowd were stunned in the 39th minute when Tommy McBride scored against the run of play after Brendan Clarke had initially saved from Eddie Dsani.
Rodrigo Tosi hit the post with Limerick’s penalty on 45 minutes and substitute Danny Morrissey punished sloppy Limerick defence with a goal after 72 minutes.
LIMERICK FC: Clarke, Cotter (Cameron, 62 mins), Crowe, O’Connor, Whitehead, Duggan, Lynch, Berki (Kenny, 51 mins), Ogbene, Hery, Tosi.
FINN HARPS: Gallagher, McNulty, Cantwell, McBride, Coll,. Byrne, McCourt (Bonnar, 82 mins). Dsani, Timlin, Keita (Morrissey, 51 mins).
Referee: B Connolly.