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Dublin: 9°C Tuesday 20 April 2021
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Dundalk and Pat's draw blank but Lilywhites remain top

The league leaders and defending champions clashed in Oriel Park this evening.

Dundalk's David McMillan is shown a red card.
Dundalk's David McMillan is shown a red card.
Image: INPHO/Morgan Treacy

HAVING MANAGED OVER 40 goals between them in the month of May in league duty, it was surprising if somewhat inevitable that the game between current leaders Dundalk and reigning champions St Patrick’s ended goalless.

There may have been a repeat of the World Cup final of 2010 taking place in Brazil but this was a battle between the Premier Division’s best two sides from last season in all their free-scoring glory and an excellent spectacle for those who spurned the South American showpiece.

Dundalk started very brightly and almost added to the massive din being created around the sunlit Carrick Road venue when Dane Massey came inches away from turning Darren Meenan’s low shot in at the back post but he just failed to connect.

Conan Byrne and Meenan again both had efforts end up off target when they would have been hoping to do better before things opened up for Chris Forrester on 21 minutes.

Massey’s attempt to pass out saw the ball deflected into the path of the former Bohemians winger but he snatched at the effort first time and the ball winged its way harmlessly over the bar.

Five minutes later, they so nearly had the opener they needed as they looked to cut away at the Lilywhites’ league lead in retention of their crown when Kenny Browne headed for goal from Byrne’s corner but Massey was well positioned to hook off the line.

In a rather open contest, Killian Brennan was next to try his luck but an ambitious volley after a deft juggle was always going off target as was Kurtis Byrne’s curler for Dundalk just before the break.

There was still time before the whistle for a last attempt when Kurtis’ namesake Conan had a shot whistle just over from distance, a sign of the confidence he is playing with at the moment.

Kurtis Byrne and Towell both had tame efforts at the start of the second half that caused Clarke few problems as they were again the side who started with more verve and zip.

Chris Forrester flashed a volley past the far post for the Saints after a defensive mix-up in the Dundalk area with the dangerous Meenan doing something similar with a half-hit effort for the Lilywhites.

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Then came the first moment of real drama on 67 minutes when John Mountney, sprung from the bench, raced down the left only to be met with a scything high tackle from Ken Oman for which the Pat’s centre-back was shown an immediate straight red card.

Another straight red followed just five minutes later, this time for the home side when David McMillan was shown the line for an altercation with Derek Foran when the ball was dead in the corner to which the striker did not protest.

Sean Gannon shaved the post for the hosts in the immediate aftermath while Mark Quigley spun one off target with his first touch off the bench bfore curling straight at Cherrie and the game ended with the gap between the sides remaining at six going into the break.

DUNDALK: Peter Cherrie; Sean Gannon, Brian Gartland, Mark Rossiter, Dane Massey; Chris Shields, Richie Towell; Darren Meenan (Marc Griffin 80), Kurtis Byrne (John Mountney 63), Daryl Horgan; David McMillan.

Substitutes: John Mountney, Ruaidhri Higgins, Marc Griffin, Simon Kelly, Manuel Kaguako, Ciaran O’Connor, Gabriel Sava (GK).

ST PATRICK’S ATHLETIC: Brendan Clarke; Conor McCormack, Ken Oman, Kenny Browne, Ian Bermingham; James Chambers, Greg Bolger, Killian Brennan; Conan Byrne (Lee Lynch 78), Christy Fagan (Mark Quigley 78), Chris Forrester (Derek Foran 67).

Substitutes: Lee Lynch, Sam Verdon, Daryl Kavanagh, Mark Quigley, Derek Foran, Lorcan Fitzgerald, Rene Gilmartin (GK).

REFEREE: Neil Doyle.

ATTENDANCE: 3,135.

Premier Division results:

Shamrock Rovers 0 – 2 Cork City 
Bray 0 – 5 Bohs 
Limerick 2 – 1 UCD
Sligo 2 – 2 Derry
Athlone 6 — 0 Drogheda

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About the author:

Padraig Whelan

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