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Dublin: 11 °C Tuesday 23 April, 2019
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LOI wrap: Derry narrow the gap to 2 points as St Pat's end champs' winning streak

There were 14 goals in tonight’s five Airtricity League fixtures.

Killian Brennan of Pat's celebrates scoring his sides second goal from a penalty with Conan Byrne.
Killian Brennan of Pat's celebrates scoring his sides second goal from a penalty with Conan Byrne.
Image: ©INPHO/Donall Farmer

ST PAT’S ENDED Sligo Rovers’ winning streak as the champions slumped to their first defeat of the season in Inchicore.

Sligo came in search of their ninth straight win in the league but goals from Conan Byrne and Killian Brennan gave the Saints a 2-0 win in front of a delighted home support.

In truth it was no more than Pat’s deserved for a performance full of spirit and determination. The hosts dominated the opening exchanges and when Byrne opened the scoring in the 21st minute, they were full value for the lead.

Brennan’s corner from the right found the towering presence of Kenny Browne and when his header came back off the butt of the post, Byrne was on hand to scramble the ball over the line.

With goal threat Anthony Elding isolated and frustrated up front, Sligo boss Ian Baraclough attempted to shake things up after the break with the introduction of Pascal Millien in a supporting role.

But it was Pat’s who continued to create the better chances and they should have had a second when Chris Forrester picked out Ian Bermingham following some fine work by John Russell and Byrne. Bermingham thundered forward from left-back to provide the option but his composure deserted him at the vital moment and he fired over Gary Rogers’ bar.

When Greg Bolger saw his goal-bound effort hacked clear by Jeff Henderson, it looked as though Pat’s may come to rue their succession of missed chances.

But Sligo’s attempts to claw their way back into the game were snuffed out when referee Neil Doyle deemed Iarfhlaith Davoren’s tackle on Brennan to be worthy of a straight red card with three minutes remaining.

Doyle was in the spotlight again when Evan McMillan tangled with Russell in the box with a minute left on the clock. He pointed to the spot and Brennan proved that his was the coolest head in the house, chipping his penalty to seal a sweet three points.

Dour

Elsewhere, Derry City capitalised on Rovers’ slip-up by beating Shamrock Rovers 2-1 at the Brandywell.

All the goals arrived after a dour first half. Barry McNamee breaking the deadlock with a looping header in the 51st minute.

Karl Sheppard had two chances to equalise before Rory Patterson fluffed a chance when clear through at the other end. Patterson soon redeemed himself winning an 80th minute free-kick which McNamee used to set up Ryan McBride.

The Hoops’ consolation goal arrived through Stephen Rice in the 90th minutes, there was no time for it to be more than that and the Candystripes moved to within two points of the Bit O’ Red at the top of the table.

Rebound

With Dundalk beating Bohemians 2-0 in Dalymount Park, Sligo proved to be the only side in the top five not to win tonight.

Tiarnan Mulvenna pounced on Dean Delany’s 20th minute mistake to give the Louth side the lead. And they would seal the points 10 minutes from time with a speculative Richie Towell shot which left Delany helpless thanks to a deflection from Roberto Lopes.

Students left with too much to do

Drogheda moved into that fifth place, leapfrogging Shamrock Rovers, thanks to three goals in 51 minutes against UCD.

Gary O’Neill chipped in with two of them, either side of Gavin Brennan’s fine finish from a 32nd minute corner.

The students halved the deficit with Robbie Benson’s 38th minute effort. Dean Clarke brought the gap back to just one in the 69th minute, but the visitors couldn’t muster a dramatic equaliser.

Strugglers

In Cork, Shelb0urne claimed just their second point of the season thanks to Darren Tinnelly’s scrambled finish in the fourth minute of stoppage time.

The strugglers move off the bottom thanks to the frantic finish, necessary after Danny Murphy had controversially given the home side the lead with a Shels player down seeking treatment.

The Leesiders perhaps paid for breaking the unwritten rule of the game as Shels broke down the left deep in stoppage time and with City unable to clear, Tinnelly fired home.

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Niall Kelly

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