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Dundalk take huge step towards back-to-back titles by dismantling St Pat's

The Lilywhites are now 10 points clear at the summit.

Dave McMillan grabbed a brace tonight.
Dave McMillan grabbed a brace tonight.

Dundalk 4

St Patrick’s Athletic 1

THEY WERE PLAYING Queen’s ‘We Are The Champions’ at full time at Oriel Park.

Of course, they are the current holders of that title, but that song hasn’t rung on the PA system at the Carrick Road venue since last year’s dramatic title triumph.

For the first time in this title race – there are only nine games left to play now – Dundalk look in a truly unassailable lead. It is almost party time.

Their win against St Patrick’s Athletic ended a nine match winning streak for the visitors and sent out a clear message that Stephen Kenny’s side remain the team to beat in this league.

This victory comes immediately off the back of Cork City’s consecutive defeats in the league. The difference at the summit is now ten points.

Goals here from Brian Gartland, Daryl Horgan and a brace from David McMillan won the game for the home side who looked back to their irrepressible best.

All of the goals came in the first half, including James Chambers consolation for Pat’s.

As agreed in the deal that brought Ciaran Kilduff to Dundalk from Inchicore, he was not involved tonight. His place went to McMillan and he did not disappoint.

Two strikers have joined the squad in the summer window and since replacing Kilduff as a late sub against Derry on Friday night, McMillan has hit three goals.

Liam Buckley It was a nightmare trip to Oriel Park for Liam Buckley and the Saints.

Another regular source of goals opened the scoring here. From Horgan’s sixth minute corner, Gartland powered in a header. It was his sixth of the campaign.

On 13 minutes, the lead was doubled. A superb passing move ended in Ronan Finn playing in McMillan. The attacker slammed his shot past Brendan Clarke.

Just after the half hour, McMillan had his second.

Chris Forrester was robbed of possession in midfield. Horgan raced away down field and when it looked like he delayed his pass to McMillan too long, the striker dispatched a shot from a tight angle which beat Clarke.

The goalkeeper will perhaps think he should have done better.

James Chamber’s 38th minute free kick reduced the deficit. It was a fine right footed curler that beat Rogers well.

But, just before the break Dundalk struck again to leave Pat’s unbeaten run in tatters.

Greg Bolger gave the ball away cheaply, Finn crossed form the right and Horgan tapped in from close range.

Excellent all night, the winger deserved his goal.

The second half was a damb squib in comparison. There really wasn’t much in the way of chances for either side. It ignited briefly when Chris Forrester and Richie Towell clashed.

Both received yellow cards from referee David McKeon.

Dundalk: Gary Rogers, Sean Gannon, Brian Gartland, Andy Boyle, Dane Massey, Stephen O’Donnell, Richie Towell, John Mountney, Daryl Horgan (Darren Meenan, 89), Ronan Finn (Chris Shields, 58), David McMillan (Sean Maguire, 84).

St Patrick’s Athletic: Brendan Clarke, Lee Desmond, Sean Hoare, Shane McEleney, Ian Bermingham, James Chambers, Greg Bolger (Jason McGuinness, 46), Conan Byrne, Aaron Greene, Chris Forrester, Jamie McGrath (Darragh Markey, 66).

Referee: David McKeon

– First published 22.11, 17 August

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About the author:

Barry Landy

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