This site uses cookies to improve your experience and to provide services and advertising. By continuing to browse, you agree to the use of cookies described in our Cookies Policy. You may change your settings at any time but this may impact on the functionality of the site. To learn more see our Cookies Policy.
Dublin: 6 °C Monday 17 December, 2018

Champions elect! Dundalk on brink of title as Hoban levels Towell's record

Stephen Kenny’s side have one hand on the trophy.

Dundalk romped into a 3-0 lead.
Dundalk romped into a 3-0 lead.
Image: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

Dundalk 3

Derry City 2

Caoimhín Reilly reports from Oriel Park

DUNDALK ARE CHAMPIONS — in all but name. In truth, before tonight’s defeat of Derry City at Oriel Park, they had a firm grasp of a fourth Airtricity League title in five seasons, and 13th in their history.

And, now, with four games to play, they lead Cork City by 12 points and boast a superior goal difference, to the tune of +25.

They performed like title-winners here, overcoming a slow start, where they coughed up a few openings, to easily see off the Candystripes, sending them to a 17th league defeat of a disappointing campaign.

Daniel Cleary’s second goal of the season — a bullet of a header from close range — put the Lilywhites ahead on 16 minutes, a lead they doubled within four minutes thanks to a goal made in Derry.

Winger Michael Duffy, the provider for the opener, played a beautiful ball to Patrick McEleney in space, and from 18 yards, the midfielder picked out the bottom corner.

Dundalk were rampant and scored a third — the best of the lot — on the brow of half-time as top-scorer Patrick Hoban blasted, right-footed to the top corner from left of the area.

The strike earned the Galwegian a 25th league goal of the season, drawing him level with former team-mate Richie Towell’s record, set three seasons ago. And how he tried to surpass the tally in the second half.

Patrick McEleney scores a goal Source: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

He spurned glorious chances in quick succession before having an effort ruled out for offside and forcing Ger Doherty into a flying stop. It just wasn’t to be his night before being replaced by Georgie Kelly before the close.

Against the run of play, Kenny Shiels’ side pulled a goal back with 20 minutes to play.

After Gary Rogers had stopped Adrian Delap’s weak attempt, Dundalk left-full Dean Jarvis — against his former club — was helpless as the ball deflected off him and across the goal-line.

And another followed for the Foylesiders as substitute Ben Fisk rounded Rogers and found the net.

That placed a rather blurred look on what was a dominant Dundalk victory. Nevertheless, a night of celebration wasn’t to be taken from as the hosts celebrated as champions would post-match.

In the final minute, Derry’s Kevin McHattie saw red for pulling back Dylan Connolly as the winger broke through on goal.

DUNDALK: Gary Rogers; Seán Gannon, Daniel Cleary, Seán Hoare, Dean Jarvis; Chris Shields, Jamie McGrath; John Mountney (Dylan Connolly 62), Patrick McEleney (Ronan Murray 62), Michael Duffy; Patrick Hoban (Georgie Kelly 86).

DERRY CITY: Ger Doherty; Jamie McDonagh, Eoin Toal, Darren Cole, Kevin McHattie; Aaron McEneff (Dean Shiels HT), Aaron Splaine; Adrian Delap (Ben Fisk 84), Rory Hale, Ally Roy (Nicky Low HT); Ronan Hale.

Referee: Paul McLaughlin (Monaghan).

The42 is on Instagram! Tap the button below on your phone to follow us!

  • Share on Facebook
  • Email this article

About the author:

Caoimhín Reilly

Read next:


This is YOUR comments community. Stay civil, stay constructive, stay on topic. Please familiarise yourself with our comments policy here before taking part.
write a comment

    Leave a commentcancel