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Dublin: 14 °C Wednesday 22 May, 2019
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Former Ireland international fronts our League of Ireland team of the week

This XI is brimming with quality from top to bottom.

Goalkeeper

Stephen McGuinness Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

Stephen McGuinness (Bray Wanderers) – The young goalkeeper is not a huge physical presence between the posts but he continues to stand out with eye-catching performances, none more so than on Saturday. He pulled off a couple of fine saves to deny Sligo and ensure Bray held on for all three points.

Defenders

Alan Byrne Source: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

Alan Byrne (Drogheda United) – It’s been a mixed season for Drogheda but a last-gasp win at Bohemians may just be a turning point and Byrne was central to it. He adds considerable experience to United’s rearguard and showed it all to keep Bohs at bay.

Alan McNally and Kieran Hanlon Source: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

Alan McNally (Bray Wanderers) – Bray produced a defiant defensive display and while it was very much a team effort, McNally led the pack. Special mention also for Niall Cooney who cleared one goal bound effort off the line with Sligo pressing for an equaliser.

Brian Gartland celebrates scoring with Darren Meenan Source: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

Brian Gartland (Dundalk) – He may not have had much to do at one end but Gartland continues to be a threat from set-pieces and he added another brace to his tally for the season. That’s now five goals this term for the centre-back.

Midfielders

Chris Forrester Source: Donall Farmer/INPHO

Chris Forrester (St Patrick’s Athletic) – Without doubt the standout performer for the Saints in a game they controlled and dominated for the most part. The playmaker bagged his sixth and seventh league goals of the season to add to his impressive showing, and it was his constant desire to get on the ball that was most pleasing. His movement to create neat triangles and keep the ball moving meant St Pat’s were always on the front foot, and if he keeps firing, the winning run should continue.

Stephen McPhail Source: Donall Farmer/INPHO

Stephen McPhail (Shamrock Rovers) – McPhail stood up and was counted in the absence of injured key hoops midfielder Keith Fahy. The former Leeds United ace bossed midfield and provided both deliveries for the Shamrock Rovers goals. He proved a real thorn in Galway’s side and showed glimpses of why he was capped ten times for Ireland.

James Chambers Source: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

James Chambers (St Patrick’s Athletic) –  Partnered Chris Forrester well in the centre of the park and was his usual aggressive self with some tough tackling, but it was his passing on Friday that really stood out. Time and again he fed the flanks with inch perfect passes that continuously stretched Longford’s back four.

Ronana Finn Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

Ronan Finn (Dundalk) – The former Shamrock Rovers man hasn’t dazzled as expected since joining Dundalk but his performance here showed the real quality in his possession. He made two goals, both involving clever reverse balls for David McMillan. A classy performance.

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Billy Dennehy (Cork City) – The Cork City wideman was as the heart of everything good the visitors produced. His delivery from set-pieces gave the Derry defence a real headache throughout and his 40 yard diagonal pass which sent Karl Sheppard through on goal for the opener was sublime. The former Derry City man settled matters when drilling his penalty kick past Ger Doherty in the final minutes of the game.

Forwards

David McMillan celebrates scoring their third goal Source: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

David McMillan (Dundalk) – The striker went into the game without a goal in eight starts. Here, his endeavour gave Limerick’s back four trouble throughout and he took his two goals with real aplomb. Far from the player who looked bereft of confidence before the break.

David Webster with Enda Curran Source: Donall Farmer/INPHO

Enda Curran (Galway United) – Curran announced his arrival to the game by scoring after 51 seconds and bringing Galway United into life in the second half. This was his ninth goal of the season and should have scored another but he couldn’t keep his shot down. He was a handful for the Hoops defence and United fans were left baffled as to why boss Tommy Dunne didn’t start the former Derry City marksman.

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