Thursday 2 February 2023 Dublin: 10°C
Laszlo Geczo/INPHO Pat Hoban celebrates scoring against Limerick on Friday night.
# Lilywhites
Superb Hoban hat-trick downs Limerick and sends Dundalk flying back top of the table
Stephen Kenny’s side returned to the top of the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division with a comprehensive win over Limerick.

Dundalk 4

Limerick 0

Barry Landy reports from Oriel Park

DUNDALK ROARED BACK to the top of the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division on Friday evening thanks to a hat-trick from the league’s leading scorer Patrick Hoban.

The red-hot striker hit the Lilywhites’ lead goal four minutes before the interval and added two more in the second half. Hungarian playmaker Krisztian Adorjan also netted on an easy night in the setting sun.

Struggling Limerick, who occupy second from bottom place in the division were no match for Stephen Kenny’s side. Tommy Barrett saw midfielders Conor Clifford and Barry Maguire depart through injury in the first half, allowing the home team to run riot.

Patrick Hoban celebrates scoring a goal Laszlo Geczo / INPHO Laszlo Geczo / INPHO / INPHO

In truth, they were already doing in total control and it was no surprise when Hoban eventually hit the lead goal. He had already drawn a brilliant save from Brendan Clarke while Michael Duffy’s deflected shot hit the post. Adorjan headed tamely into Clarke’s midriff too, after excellent wing play from Dylan Connolly.

Jamie McGrath, who signed a new deal in midweek, missed out through injury but all four of Dundalk’s attackers were in the mood to impress in his absence. Connolly’s corner was laid off by Duffy which allowed Hoban to fire in.

Michael Duffy and Shane Duggan Laszlo Geczo / INPHO Michael Duffy and Shane Duggan compete for possession. Laszlo Geczo / INPHO / INPHO

His second arrived from the penalty spot when Blues skipper Shane Duggan dragged speedster Connolly to the ground. After former Liverpool youngster Adorjan curled in for the third, there was still time for Hoban to stretch out a leg and divert in Connolly’s low cross.

He and Duffy could have scored more but the league’s top scorers will settle for extending their goal difference over Cork quite handsomely and keeping yet another clean sheet in the process. In truth, they were never tested at the back.

Hoban’s treble takes him to 18 for the year – a superb feat in early June – and 52 in a Dundalk shirt, across two spells at the Louth club.

DUNDALK FC: Gary Rogers, Sean Hoare, Brian Gartland, Dan Cleary, Dean Jarvis, Karolis Chvedukas (Sean Gannon, 52), Robbie Benson (Georgie Poynton, 85), Dylan Connolly, Krisztian Adorjan, Michael Duffy (Ronan Murray, 76), Patrick Hoban.

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LIMERICK FC: Brendan Clarke, Tony Whitehead, Eoin Wearen, Killian Brouder, Killian Cantwell, Conor Clifford (Shane Tracy, 13), Cian Coleman, Shane Duggan, Barry Maguire (Daniel Kearns, 28), William Fitzgerald (Jeff McGowan, 84), Mark O’Sullivan.

Referee: Neil Doyle

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