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Dublin: 15 °C Thursday 20 June, 2019
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Kilduff double sends Shels clear at the top as Henderson leaves Cobh with a win

It was a big night for Shelbourne as Longford fall prey in Bray.

File photo: Ciaran Kilduff in action against UCD this season.
File photo: Ciaran Kilduff in action against UCD this season.
Image: Laszlo Geczo/INPHO

THE CONGESTION AT the top of Airtricity League first division was cleared tonight as the league enters a mid-season break.

Shelbourne, Longford Town and Drogheda United started the night with just two points separating them, but Ciaran Kilduff’s late winner at home to the Drogs has given the Dublin side breathing space at the summit.

Shels took a first-half lead when a searching cross from Aidan Friel was nodded into the net by Kilduff after 15 minutes. 

Drogheda pulled level at 1-1 on the stroke of half-time thanks to a superb Sean Brennan strike. But Kilduff wasn’t to be denied a second and it finally arrived for Tolka to celebrate a dramatic 85th-minute winner and a 2-1 win that sees them move four points clear of second-place Longford.

There was a dramatic finish in Wicklow too as a late flurry of goals brought Bray a brilliant 3-2 win over Longford Town.

Town got off to a horror start in Bray as they failed to deal with a long ball and allowed Joe Doyle to make space around ‘keeper Lee Steacy and cross for Derek Daly to head home.

The Midlanders squared it up on the half hour through Dean Byrne’s excellent finish as he cut in from the left.

The sides remained deadlocked for most of the second half, with Longford building pressure and seeing a penalty appeal turned down before a dangerous whipped cross was put over his own line by Seagulls defender Luke Nolan.

With the teams around them meeting in a tight Tolka Park contest, Longford must have thought they were on course to move top. But Killian Cantwell grabbed an equaliser after 88 minutes and there was still time for Hugh Douglas to head in a sensational 93rd-minute winner for the Seagulls.

A tale of two halves in Athlone, where Cabinteely and the hosts turned around after a goalless first-half and finished up 2-2.

The south Dublin club took the lead through Rob Manley four minutes after the restart and they remained in front until a rapid double tap turned the game on its head.

Evan Pierce levelled with 20 minutes remaining and within two minutes Dean Williams put his side in the lead.

A topsy-turvy night was finally settled in stoppage time as substitute Luke Clucas thumped in an excellent half-volley.

The drama came in a different form in Cork, where Cobh Ramblers secured a 2-1 win over Galway United.

Following the win, the club released a statement saying they have ‘reluctantly accepted’ the resignation of manager Stephen Henderson.

The Connacht club fell 2-0 down as Ramblers took control with goals either side of half-time from Denzil Fernandes and Jaze Kabia. Stephen Walsh pulled one back for United, but they could not salvage a point and Henderson bows out with a win.

f that’s too much excitement for you of a Friday night, don’t worry. A great night for Shelbourne – the only of the pre-match top five to win tonight – was complete with a goalless draw between bottom side Wexford and fourth-place Limerick.

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