Dundalk moved back to the top of the Premier Division on Monday night with a comprehensive rout, while Shamrock Rovers returned to winning ways by sweeping Cork City aside.
To Tallaght first where Shamrock Rovers were under a bit of pressure going into the clash with the defending champions. Stephen Bradley’s Hoops had not won in their last six games in all competitions and were in danger of losing ground on the top four. City, for their part, had moved to the top of the league once again on Friday night after a 1-0 victory over title rivals Dundalk.
The home side took the lead with less than three minutes on the clock courtesy of a fine strike, with right-back Ethan Boyle doubling the lead midway through the first half. Goalkeeper Kevin Horgan, who had been coming in for some criticism this season, made some fantastic saves just before half time to ensure that Rovers went in at the break with their two-goal advantage at the break.
Roberto Lopes put the icing on the cake on the hour mark to make it 3-0, and that’s how it finished. Bradley and Rovers alleviate some of the pressure they had found themselves under, while John Caulfield and his side head back to Leeside to regroup.
Dundalk, meanwhile, bounced back from their first defeat of the season with a comprehensive victory over St. Patrick’s Athletic at Oriel Park. Stephen Kenny’s side eventually displayed the ruthlessness that was lacking at Turner’s Cross by throttling Pat’s 5-0, after a frustrating opening 45 minutes.
After a goalless first half, Ronan Murray opened the scoring less than a minute after the restart, his deflected effort finding its way past away keeper Barry Murphy. The lead was doubled just over five minutes later when Pat Hoban fired home, moments after Michael Duffy had struck the crossbar.
From there, it looked ever more likely that Dundalk were going to go for the jugular, and Murray notched in his second and the Lilywhites’ third midway through the half. Michael Duffy added his name to the scoresheet with a brilliant strike with less than ten minutes remaining, before Jamie McGrath completed the 5-0 rout five minutes from time.
Waterford bounced back from their 1-1 draw against Sligo at the RSC last weekend by coming away from Dalymount Park with a win. Courtney Duffus scored what turned out to be the only goal of the game on the 17th minute, firing past Shane Supple after some good work from Izzy Akinade in the build-up.
Bohs looked to fight their way back into the game in the second half, and Waterford keeper Lawrence Vigourouz was called into action on a number of occasions, but Alan Reynolds side came away with all three points to stay in third place, maintaining their push for Europe.
To Markets Field next, where in-form Derry City were looking to keep their run going against Limerick. Kenny Shiels’ side were unbeaten in eight league games as they made their way south, to take on a Super Blues side looking to build on last weekend’s victory over Bray Wanderers.
The visitors took the lead on the stroke of half time courtesy of Rory Patterson, setting the tone for the second 45. Limerick battled for a leveller but have found goals very hard to come by this season – and the game was put to bed with just over five minutes remaining courtesy of Aaron McEneff. The midfielder made it 3-0 in stoppage time, making it nine without defeat in the league now for Derry City.
Finally to the Showgrounds, and a clash between two sides at the wrong end of the table. Between them, Sligo Rovers and Bray Wanderers had won just two games from their last ten collectively, meaning both were desperate for points.
Two goals in the space of five first-half minutes put the home side in control, with Jack Keaney and Eduardo Pincelli giving Gerard Lyttle’s side some breathing space at half time. Cory Galvin pulled one back for Bray with less than ten minutes remaining to ensure a nervy finish, but Sligo Rovers held out to get all three points and leapfrog Bohemians to seventh in the table.
Premier Division Results:
Bohemians 0-1 Waterford
Dundalk 5-0 St. Patrick’s Athletic
Limerick 0-3 Derry City
Shamrock Rovers 3-0 Cork City
Sligo Rovers 2-1 Bray Wanderers