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McEleney delivers superb strike and a standout performance in Dundalk win

The Lilywhites put three last Limerick at Oriel Park tonight.

Image: Ryan Byrne; ©INPHO/Ryan Byrne/INPHO

Dundalk 3

Limerick 0

Caoimhin Reilly reports from Oriel Park. 

DUNDALK CONTINUED THEIR four-year unbeaten streak against Limerick at Oriel Park tonight.

Patrick McEleney, Brian Gartland and Robbie Benson were the goalscorers as Neil McDonald’s Super Blues fell to a 10th league defeat of the season, six of which have come under the Englishman’s watch.

Dundalk were well worthy of the three-points on the night, as Limerick offered next to nothing in attack. McEleney and Michael Duffy stole the show in the second-half, while Dylan Connolly too showed signs of promise as the champions brushed the visitors aside after the break

The opening ’45 had been a pretty dour affair, though Dundalk were always in control.

The first shot on target produced the opening goal as McEleney won and converted a 20 free-kick to the top corner with aplomb. It was a beauty of a finish as the Foylesider curled delicately over the Limerick wall and into the top left-hand corner of the net.

Patrick McEleney McEleney is developing quite a collection of outstanding goals. Source: Tommy Dickson; ©INPHO/Tommy Dickson/INPHO

While Limerick’s gameplan was to contain, their inability to provide meaningful support to the stranded Rodrigo Tosi in attack was disappointing – especially when you consider how unsteady the home defence looked early in proceedings.

It took the Shannonsiders until six-minutes from time to the Dundalk goal and even that, an effort from Joe Croew, was comfortably cleared off the line.

Dundalk were somewhere near their best in the second-half though as they toyed with the beleaguered Super Blues. After Connolly had been fouled by David O’Connoir, Duffy’s perfectly weighted free-kick was nodded to the net by Gartland to make it 2-0.

It was 3-0 moments later when another set-piece from Duffy again met the head of Gartland, whose goalbound effort was deflected past Brendan Clarke by Benson as Limerick’s challenge was all but put to bed.

The final half-hour saw the Lilywhites monopolise the play with the introductions of Bastien Hery and Stephen Kenny doing little to halt the home team’s dominance as the home side ran out easy victors.

Dundalk: Gary Rogers; Seán Gannon, Brian Gartland, Seán Hoare, Niclas Vemmelund; Chris Shields, Robbie Benson (Stephen O’Donnell 68); Dylan Connolly, Patrick McEleney (John Mountney 84), Michael Duffy; David McMillan (Jamie McGrath 76)

Limerick: Brendan Clarke; Barry Cotter (Stephen Kenny 66), Tony Whitehead, Joe Crowe, David O’Connor; Lee J Lynch, Shane Duggan, Henry Cameron (Bastien Hery 64); Dean Clarke, Rodrigo Tosi (John O’Flynn 83), Chiedozie Ogbene

Referee: Derek Tomney (Dublin)

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Caoimhín Reilly

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