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Michael Duffy stars as Dundalk stroll to UCD win

The attacker scored twice as the champions restored their seven-point lead at the top of the league.

Michael Duffy (left) celebrates scoring the first goal of the game with Patrick McEleney.
Michael Duffy (left) celebrates scoring the first goal of the game with Patrick McEleney.
Image: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

Dundalk 3

UCD 0

Keith Wallace reports from Oriel Park

MICHAEL DUFFY WAS the star man as Dundalk quickly restored their seven-point lead at the top of the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division with a routine 3-0 win over bottom-of-the-table UCD at Oriel Park on Monday night.

The reigning champions went into cruise control as early as the third minute when Duffy unleashed an unstoppable shot from 25 yards.

Duffy doubled Dundalk’s advantage past the quarter-hour when he finished off Patrick Hoban’s cross, and the deadly duo traded roles before half-time as Hoban fired in.

That made certain of the three points and the Lilywhites eased through the second half as they saved energy amid a busy schedule.

Dundalk head coach Vinny Perth had freshened up his team for this latest test with five changes from Friday’s extra-time win at Derry City in the FAI Cup second round.

Captain Brian Gartland, John Mountney, Patrick McEleney, Dean Jarvis and Andy Boyle were all recalled to the starting XI in place of Daniel Cleary, Daniel Kelly, Seán Murray, Dane Massey and Chris Shields, as Seán Hoare moved to midfield.

This was UCD’s first away game under new boss Maciej Tarnogrodzki and he named the same side that dumped Saint Patrick’s Athletic out of the FAI Cup at The Bowl.

However, The Students – who lost 10-1 at Bohemians in their last league outing, and have only one point on the road this season – were behind here with just over two minutes on the clock as Duffy unleashed a wonderful 25-yard strike that flew into the corner.

Mountney immediately went down with an injury off the ball and was forced off, with Daniel Kelly taking the Mayo man’s place.

Dundalk made it 2-0 in the 19th minute when Seán Gannon set Hoban clear down the right and he delivered a low cross into the six-yard box for the in-rushing Duffy to tap in.

The defending champions threatened again soon after when Jarvis and Hoban combined down the left and Gavin Sheridan did well to tip the striker’s header around the post. Hoban should have scored moments later but he miscued in front of goal.

UCD responded with an attack that almost got them back into the game, as Liam Kerrigan set up Jason McClelland but his shot went past the upright.

Dundalk were having it easy and they completely killed the game off in the 38th minute when Hoban played a brilliant one-two with Duffy, whose pull-back was blasted in by the club’s record goalscorer.

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Hoban nearly added another straight after the interval when he connected with Duffy’s corner, but Sheridan held the header well. Hoban then flicked McEleney’s pass into the path of Kelly but the winger could not put the finish on a fabulous move.

Perth brought in Murray and Friday’s extra-time hero Georgie Kelly during a second half which Dundalk completely controlled as they took a comfortable step closer to retaining the league title.

DUNDALK FC: Gary Rogers; Seán Gannon, Brian Gartland (c), Andy Boyle, Dean Jarvis; Seán Hoare, Patrick McEleney; John Mountney (Daniel Kelly 7), Jamie McGrath (Seán Murray 62), Michael Duffy; Patrick Hoban (Georgie Kelly 76).

UCD AFC: Gavin Sheridan; Dan Tobin, Liam Scales (c), Luke Boore, Evan Farrell; Liam Kerrigan, Jack Keaney, Dara Keane (Aaron McGrath 82); Richie O’Farrell (Sam Byrne 73), Jason McClelland, Yoyo Mahdy.

Referee: Robert Hennessy (Limerick).

About the author:

Keith Wallace

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