David McMillan scored a brace to help Dundalk to a dramatic 3-2 win.
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Dundalk hold on to edge closer to the title

It was a tense night at Oriel Park but the league leaders got the win.

Dundalk 3-2 Bohemians


RELIEF HAS SCARCELY been so palpable. A huge crowd of over 2,500 came out to see Dundalk’s latest victory en route to a potential first title win in 19 years and with success seemingly edging ever closer, the tense atmosphere around Oriel Park was there for all to see.

Dundalk went into this game with just one win in their last three league outings but while they have struggled to hit their customary heights of late, Stephen Kenny will hope that represented an inevitable blip in the heat of the title run-in.

To emerge unbeaten as their European campaign finally looked to catch up on them, the Louth men have showed a strength and resilience associated with the very best title winners. Late goals to beat Limerick and earn a point at the Showgrounds last time out are testament to that.

This time, it was another late show that saved them and their title charge. As it was, this 3-2 win over Bohemians was made all the sweeter when tannoy announcer Mickey Duffy declared at full time that Cork City had only managed a draw away to Athlone.

David McMillan, the saviour in Dundalk’s last league outing against Sligo, was the hero once more. A half time substitute, his two goals saw Stephen Kenny’s men come from behind to claim three points here. Now, Dundalk’s cushion at the top is six points with just seven games to play.

It could have been so different. Two sensational first half goals from Karl Moore and Dinny Corcoran had cancelled out Andy Boyle’s opener. It shouldn’t have come as a huge surprise.

The visitors were just one of three teams to claim a point at Oriel Park so far this season when Aidan Price’s header earned them a 1-1 draw back in March. They came into this not only having held Cork City in the FAI Cup, but having beaten them second time around.

Boyle, stand-in captain in the absence of Stephen O’Donnell, headed Dundalk in front on 22 minutes. Darren Meenan’s corner was flicked on by Pat Hoban and Boyle was there at the back post to nod past Dean Delany.

But, despite not having tested Peter Cherrie up to that point, Bohs were level before the half hour mark. Out of nothing, Karl Moore picked up the ball on the right hand side of the penalty area. He cut onto his left foot and unleashed an unstoppable shot across Cherrie and into the top corner.

Before the break, Owen Heary’s men were in front. This time, it was Dinny Corcoran with a superb volley that again went across the Dundalk keeper and into almost the exact same spot in the net as his teammate had managed a short time earlier.

McMillan, with 13 goals already to his name this term, entered the fray at half time. Nine minutes later, his glancing header guided Daryl Horgan’s cross into the bottom corner. On 77 minutes, Delany punched a long ball clear under pressure from Hoban. It fell to his strike partner free in the penalty area and  his volley was true and right in the corner.

Relief, sweet relief for the Oriel Park faithful. Six points now is their sizeable buffer.

DUNDALK: Peter Cherrie, Sean Gannon, Brian Gartland, Andy Boyle, Dane Massey, Chris Shields (Ruaidhri Higgins, 73), Richie Towell, Daryl Horgan, Darren Meenan (Donal McDermott, 67), Kurtis Byrne (David McMillan, 46) Patrick Hoban.

Substitutes: Gabriel Sava, Mark Rossiter, John Mountney, Ruaidhri Higgins, Donal McDermott, Mark Griffin.

BOHEMIANS: Dean Delany, Derek Pender, Jack Memery (Adam Evans, 81), Roberto Lopes, Aidan Price, Eoin Wearen, Karl Moore, Kevin Devaney, Craig Walsh, Jason Byrne, Dinny Corcoran.

Substitutes: Aaron Shanahan, Jake Hyland, Stephen Best, Keith Buckley, Patrick Kavanagh, Ryan McEvoy.

REFEREE: Derek Tomney.


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