herald

Sunday 17 December 2017

Dundalk back on title track

Darren Meenan celebrates after scoring his side's first goal
Darren Meenan celebrates after scoring his side's first goal

DUNDALK bounced back from their recent defeat to St Patrick's Athletic to decimate Derry City 5-0 at Oriel Park last night and send a stark warning to their SSE Airtricity League Premier Division title rivals.

Stephen Kenny's side increased their lead at the top of the table to six points, although second-placed Cork City have a game in hand.

The Lilywhites amazingly took the lead after only 12 seconds when striker Pat Hoban picked up a bad pass from the Derry tip-off and played in Darren Meenan, who calmly slotted home.

Derry manager Peter Hutton, in fact, holds the record for the quickest League of Ireland goal which he converted after a seven seconds in a 3-1 loss at Shamrock Rovers in 2002.

Dundalk smelled blood and pounded the Derry goal, but their claims for a penalty in the 11th minute when Hoban's shot appeared to strike a Derry arm were waved away.

Richie Towell should have hit the target in the 22nd minute when he side-footed the ball wide of the mark.

But Dundalk finally doubled their lead in the 34th minute when Dane Massey's cross found Kurtis Byrne who turned the ball home from between both of Derry's central defenders.

And the home side added a third on 39 minutes when Massey unleashed a stunning free-kick from the corner of the box, giving Derry keeper Ciaran Gallagher no chance.

The Lilywhites started that second-half in similar form and Pat Hoban duly hit Dundalk's fourth goal in the 53rd minute with a low shot into the corner of the net from outside the penalty box.

Three minutes later and Derry were on their way to a record 5-0 Premier Division defeat when Brian Gartland headed home Meenan's corner.

Massey almost added a sixth in injury time but his shot flew just wide.

Meanwhile at the Showgrounds, Sligo Rovers recorded a 3-2 win over Bohemians.

David Cawley opened the scoring for Sligo after 39 minutes but Jake Hyland notched an equaliser for Bohemians in the 54th minute.

However, Eamon Zayed restored the home side's advantage on 60 minutes, before Danny North grabbed Sligo's third goal of the night on 87 minutes.

Dinny Corcoran then pulled a goal back for the Gypsies in the 90th minute.

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