A Pat Hoban hat-trick helped Dundalk to victory over Bohemians, Sean O'Connor inspired Shamrock Rovers to a win against title-chasers Derry City and Shels moved closer to survival with three points against Cork.
Dundalk 3 Bohemians 0
Dundalk kept their title ambitions very much intact as Pat Hoban’s hat-trick heroics gave them a fine 3-0 win at Oriel Park.
Bohs keeper Dean Delany was forced to pull off a world class save on 15 minutes after a fine effort from Kurtis Byrne and Delany denied him again in similar circumstances 11 minutes later.
Dundalk’s dominance was rewarded in the 26th minute when Pat Hoban got to a cross ahead of Delany and headed to the net for an advantage they held until the break.
The Lilywhites doubled their advantage 10 minutes into the second half when Hoban headed home Kurtis Byrne’s sublime header.
Hoban completed his hat-trick midway through the half when his cross-come-shot deceived Delany and found the net.
Owen Heary was sent-off for a late challenge on Hoban with 19 minutes remaining in front of the Dundalk bench as the home side eased to all three points.
Derry City have missed the chance to join St Pats at the top of the table after two wonder strikes from Sean O’Connor helped Shamrock Rovers to a 2-1 win at Tallaght Stadium.
Hoops midfielder Ronan Finn had a penalty appeal waved away early on as the game began well. Rovers were bossing the game, creating the better chances before they finally broke the deadlock on 38 minutes when Sean O’Connor smashed home an incredible left-footed volley from outside the area.
Trevor Croly would have been happy at the break but four minutes into the second period the sides were level after Billy Dennehy took down Eoghan Osbourne in the area and Michael Rafter finished from the spot.
Parity only lasted three minutes as O’Connor fired Rovers back into the lead with another fabulous goal, this time a beautiful curling effort.
Rovers had numerous chances to put the game to bed with Finn coming closest when he hit the post with just the keeper to beat late on.
Shelbourne 2 Cork City 1
Shelbourne’s battle for Premier Division survival got a major shot in the arm with a 2-1 win over Cork City in Tolka Park.
There was very little to separate the sides in the opening half with only half-chances for both sets of attackers.
Shels took the lead 10 minutes after the break when Sean Brennan’s deep header was kept in by Ian Ryan and new signing Lee Murtagh found the net.
Darren Tinnelly scored their second with nine minutes to go and it looked like Johnny McDonnell’s were heading for all three points but Kalen Spillane’s goal with two minutes of normal time remaining setup a nervy finish but Shels held on.