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Dundalk win seven-goal thriller to send Galway United down

Galway had fought back from 3-1 down to equalise before late Michael Duffy goal

Dundalk’s Patrick McEleney lobs the ball over Galway United goalkeeper Conor Winn to score his side’s third goal in the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division match at Eamonn Deacy Park. Photograph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

Galway United 3 Dundalk 4

Galway United had to beat Dundalk to stand any chance of surviving in the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division but they couldn’t keep up their end of the bargain with a 4-3 defeat at Eamonn Deacy Park on Friday night.

Michael Duffy scored the late winner for Dundalk to relegate the hosts in front of a crowd of 2,214.

It was 3-1 at half-time and Galway looked down and out with games elsewhere going against them and a deflated home crowd.

Galway had made the perfect start to the game and they were ahead after just nine minutes when Stephen Folan finished to the net. Kevin Devaney crossed from the corner and the big centre half scored his fifth goal of the season.

But within two minutes Dundalk had levelled proceedings when Niclas Vemmelund was on hand to score from a rebound.

Ronan Murray went close from a couple of chances, while Dave McMillan missed inexplicably despite being through one-on-one with Conor Winn.

In the 42nd minute Jamie McGrath was given too much space in the Galway penalty area and he scored, before Dundalk doubled their advantage with the highlight of the first half.

It was the 47th minute when McGrath broke from defence and Patrick McEleney got on the end of his pass before lobbing Winn brilliantly.

Galway were 3-1 down at the interval and they were desperate to score early in the second, and they did that after eight minutes.

Eoin McCormack’s wonderful flick put Rory Hale through on goal and he scored on the run to bring Galway back into it.

Galway went on the offensive and Murray scored late on but Duffy scored two minutes into injury-time.

GALWAY UNITED: C Winn; C Horgan, N Maher, S Folan, M Ludden; G Shanahan (C Melody, 77 mins), D Cawley, R Hale, K Devaney (R Manning, 77 mins); R Murray, E McCormack (P Cunningham, 77 mins).

DUNDALK: G Rogers; S Gannon, B Gartland, N Vemmelund, D Massey; J McGrath, S O’Donnell, R Benson, M Duffy; P McEleney (D Connolly, 58 mins), D McMillan (T Stewart, 80 mins).

Referee: Ben Connolly (Dublin).