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Dublin: 4°C Friday 7 May 2021

Five-star Dundalk turn on the style to make a swift return to the top

The Lilywhites bounced back from their defeat in Cork with a comprehensive victory over St Patrick’s Athletic.

Patrick Hoban celebrates scoring a goal Patrick Hoban celebrates after scoring tonight for Dundalk. Source: Bryan Keane/INPHO

Dundalk 5
St Patrick’s Athletic 0

Caoimhín Reilly reports from Oriel Park

DUNDALK RETURNED TO the top of the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division tonight following a comprehensive victory over St Patrick’s Athletic at Oriel Park, coupled with Shamrock Rovers’ triumph against Cork City at Tallaght Stadium.

However, it took Stephen Kenny’s men until the second half to make their superiority count. Though, when the breakthrough came less than a minute into the second half, the Lilywhites never looked back.

Following a first half where he had no fewer than four efforts on goal, Patrick Hoban scored twice within the opening seven minutes of the second period to settle the contest before Ronan Murray, Michael Duffy — with the goal of the night — and Jamie McGrath added gloss to the outcome.

Hoban’s first took a huge deflection off the diving Kevin Toner to wrong-foot Saints goalkeeper Barry Murphy, while he tucked his second through the custodian’s legs to bring his tally for the season to nine.

Murray made it 3-0 on 66 minutes after being teed up by Hoban before Duffy bent a 25-yard effort into the top corner seven minutes from time. The winger then crossed for McGrath for the Lilywhites’ fifth.

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Lee Desmond and Robbie Benson Lee Desmond of St Pat's and Dundalk's Robbie Benson challenge for possession. Source: Bryan Keane/INPHO

The goals followed an opening period which ended scoreless despite Dundalk’s almost complete dominance. The visitors’ best passage of play came in the run-up to half-time and it really ought to have handed them a lead goal.

Dean Clarke cut down the left-hand side and fired an effort across goal. Though, from an offside position, Jake Keegan helped it across the line with the officials rightly chalking it off.

On a night where Dundalk picked up their ninth league win of the campaign, the only sour note came in the form of substitute Sam Byrne’s injury. The attacker lasted only four minutes before pulling up with a hamstring problem.

DUNDALK: Gary Rogers; Seán Hoare, Brian Gartland, Daniel Cleary, Dean Jarvis; Stephen O’Donnell, Robbie Benson (Chris Shields, 80); John Mountney, Ronan Murray, Michael Duffy; Patrick Hoban (Sam Byrne, 73) (Jamie McGrath, 77).

ST PATRICK’S ATHLETIC: Barry Murphy; Simon Madden, Lee Desmond, Kevin Toner, Ian Bermingham; Jamie Lennon; James Doona, Darragh Markey, Graham Kelly (Michael Leahy, 73), Dean Clarke; Jake Keegan (Thomas Byrne, 69)

Referee: Paul McLaughlin

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About the author:

Caoimhín Reilly

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