Quigley seals historic title win for Sligo

 

Sligo Rovers 3 St Patrick’s Athletic 2:A late penalty converted by Mark Quigley helped Sligo Rovers get the better of St Patrick’s Athletic in a five-goal thriller at The Showgrounds as they claimed their third league title and first since 1977.

The home side knew that a victory over the second-placed Dublin side would be enough to win the title and they looked well on course at half-time after taking a 2-0 lead.

Local hero Raffaele Cretaro got the ball rolling on 21 minutes, placing the ball past Saints goalkeeper Barry Murphy after being put through by a smart pass from Pascal Millien.

The full house of over 5,000 didn’t have long to wait for the second and it was the Tubbercurry man again that came up with the goods as he scored from Ross Gaynor’s corner following a flick-on from Gavin Peers.

Six points behind at the start of the day, Liam Buckley’s side knew they had to go all out to get back into the game, but they failed to take advantage of chances before the break.

They turned that around in some style after the interval, with Christy Fagan firing home after a delightful chipped through ball from Seán O’Connor after 53 minutes.

O’Connor then hit a post with a free-kick before they levelled matters on the hour mark when Chris Forrester beat Gary Rogers in the Sligo goal after a short free-kick from O’Connor.

Both sides had their chances to seal the three points before a controversial penalty decision saw former Pat’s striker Mark Quigley fire home the spot kick after Conor Kenna was harshly adjudged to have handled the ball in the box.

There was further drama before the finish with O’Connor and Danny Ventre both seeing red after an altercation in injury time.

But not long after they left the pitch, the hordes of Sligo fans took their place as the final whistle saw a huge pitch invasion as the locals celebrated their first league title in 35 years.

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