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Wednesday 7 December 2016

Towell scare for double-chasing Dundalk lift title

Richie Towell
Richie Towell

Dundalk star Richie Towell hopes to return to full training on Monday after a health scare which temporarily raised fears that he could miss next month's FAI Cup final.

The League of Ireland's top scorer was out shopping with his girlfriend earlier this week when he doubled over in agony with pain that required immediate medical assessment.

Towell (24) was struggling with his breathing and there were initial concerns that he had suffered a collapsed lung which would have confined him to the sidelines for the rest of this campaign and ruled him out of the Aviva Stadium showdown with Cork City on November 8.

However, the medical diagnosis was that the prolific midfielder had been struck down by pleurisy - an inflammation around the lungs which causes sharp chest pain.

Doctors believe that it may have been a delayed reaction to a heavy knock in last Friday week's Premier Division clash with Shamrock Rovers, a game where his late penalty ensured back to back titles for Stephen Kenny's side.

Towell has scored 22 league goals this year - ten more than his closest pursuers - but after being told to lighten his usual workload this week, the ex-Celtic youth missed lastnight's visit of Galway United to Oriel Park.

He expects it to be business as usual next week as the Lilywhites prepare for a Turner's Cross dress rehearsal with the Leesiders ahead of the eagerly awaited decider at the Aviva where Dundalk are seeking to complete a historic double.

Meanwhile, it was a gritty defensive performance from Galway United that earned them a very valuable point in their relegation battle, after they secured 0-0 draw.

They could have done better as, apart from the shots from John Mountney and Daryl Horgan which struck the frame of the goal, United's Conor Winn hadn't a save to make.

While his opposite number, Gabriel Sava had a few chances to impress, saving well from Jake Keegan attempt on goal.

Galway United boss Tommy Dunne can take great confidence from their display tonight while Lilywhite boss Stephen Kenny will be hoping that Towell and Brian Gartland return in time for their FAI Cup final clash with Cork City.

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