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Dublin: 2°C Friday 22 January 2021
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McEleney stars again as Dundalk outclass Pat's

Having assisted Ciaran Kilduff’s opener a minute before the break, he ended the game as a contest with two quick-fire goals over a six-minute spell.

Dundalk's Patrick McEleney celebrates scoring his second goal.
Dundalk's Patrick McEleney celebrates scoring his second goal.
Image: Ciaran Culligan/INPHO

Updated at 22.13

Dundalk 3

St. Patrick’s Athletic 0

Caoimhín Reilly reports from Oriel Park 

PATRICK MCELENEY’S IS the gift that keeps on giving for Dundalk at the moment. Once again it was the Derryman who was the inspiration behind the champions’ fourth league win of the season at Oriel Park tonight.

Having assisted Ciaran Kilduff’s opener a minute before the break, he ended the game as a contest with two quick-fire goals over a six-minute spell shortly after the break, highlighting the supreme talent the attacker possesses.

While McEleney was the headline-maker at full-time, it was Gary Rogers’ return between the posts that provided the main talking point pre-match, with Gabriel Sava losing out.

The Lilywhites enjoyed the better of the first half in what was an incredibly open game. Michael Duffy could have put the champions ahead inside two minutes only to see Conor O’Malley smother his clipped effort.

John Mountney, Ciaran Kilduff and McEleney also drew saves from St Pats’ stand-in keeper, particularly as the half progressed with the latter executing several audacious diagonal passes to Duffy, who in turn created several opportunities.

The visitors for their part put in a good shift, with Gavin Peers excellent at the heart of their five-man defence. Coincidentally, the ex-Sligo Rovers captain came closest for Liam Buckley’s men at the other end when he forced Rogers into action from Alex O’Hanlon’s deep free-kick.

Dundalk hit the front prior to the interval when Kilduff applied the finishing touch to McEleney’s clever flick across goal from Duffy’s cross.

And, having ran 30 yards with the ball at his feet, McEleney nonchalantly dinked past the helpless O’Malley to raise the Oriel Park roof and make it 2-0 on 47 minutes.

The attacker wasn’t long in adding a third either when he rounded the static Saints’ defence before seamlessly rolling the ball to the far corner of the net.

The remainder of the game was played amidst a carnival atmosphere as the onlookers remained in awe at McEleney’s contribution. Dundalk continued to play impressive stuff, without coming close to extending their lead though.

Christy Fagan and Kurtis Byrne both came close to consolation goals for St Pat’s late on, although the Inchicore side remain at the foot of the table and continue their worst league start since Buckley took charge.

Dundalk: Rogers; Gannon, Gartland, Barrett, Massey; Clifford (Shields 69), Benson; Mountney (McGrath 80), McEleney, Duffy; Kilduff (McMillan 76)

St. Patrick’s Athletic: O’Malley; Barker, Feely (Byrne 57), Peers, Dennehy, Bermingham; Lunney, Desmond, O’Hanlon; O’Hanlon (Byrne 57), Fagan

Booked: Fagan (45)

Referee: Graham Kelly

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Caoimhín Reilly

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