IT WILL go down to the wire in the race for the Northern Section of the Airtricity U-19 League as Sligo Rovers U-19's were beaten 3-0 by Dundalk in the clash of the top two in Oriel Park last Saturday.
Fergal McMahon, Caolin Reilly and Glen Farrell all got the second half goals for Dundalk who now three points clear. They have one game left which is this weekend as they travel to play Derry City. Rovers though have two games left meaning their title destiny is in their own hands as they are home to Letterkenny Rovers on Sunday and then away to Fanad United the week after.
It was Rovers who were actually the better side in the first half and they should have opened the scoring in the 13th minute. Jake Dykes with a cross from the left which was headed down by Ben McGarry to Ruairi Keating whose close range effort was saved by the legs of Dundalk keeper Luke McMahon.
Two minutes later and Rovers threatened again as Gary Armstrong put in a cross from the right which wasn't cleared by the Dundalk defence and it came through to Patrick Woulfe but McMahon was equal to his effort. After that bright start Rovers began to fade with Dundalk looking the stronger side as the half wore on.
They got their breakthrough goal in the 51st minute. Kevin Loughran played the ball into Reilly who was tripped inside the box by Rovers defender Jack Selby. McMahon hammered home the resulting spot kick. They doubled their advantage in the 62nd minute. The ball was played long the right and a slip by Selby allowed Farrell to get in on goal. His shot was saved by Rovers keeper Adam Murphy but Reilly was on hand to score with a simple tap-in. They got their third goal in the 73rd minute.
Rovers were caught on the counter as John McKeown played a quick ball into the path of Farrell who slid it low under Murphy. Gavin Dykes's side must now put this result behind them as if they win their last two games, they will win the Northern Section and with it claim promotion to the Elite Division. Kick-off for the Letterkenny game is at 2pm on I.T. Sligo.
Luke McMahon, Sami Osobe, Kevin Loughran, Fergal McMahon, Josh Connell, Kevin Nolan, Ciaran O'Connor, John McKeown, Caolin Reilly (Kurt Murphy 76), Roy Kearins (Rob Zagoniskias 60), Glen Farrell.
Adam Murphy, Shane O'Rourke, Michael Casey (James O'Donnell 76), Hugh McFadden, Jack Selby, Jake Dykes, Gary Armstrong, Ben McGarry (Colm Feeney 81), Ruairi Keating, Cian Brennan (Shane McGinty 64), Patrick Woulfe.