Sunday 21 December 2014

Flood cracker lights up Saints' title celebrations

St Patrick's Athletic 1 Derry City 1

Published 19/10/2013 | 05:00

St Patrick’s Athletic captain Conor Kenna lifts the Airtricity League Premier Division Trophy alongside his team-mates MATT BROWNE/SPORTSFILE

St Pat's won't mind not winning their last home game of the season and not even the pouring rain could dampen the party or the flares at Richmond Park as the Super Saints lifted their first League of Ireland title since 1999.

Sub Anto Flood's cracker nine minutes from time ensured a point. His right-footed shot flew in with the help of the crossbar and post to maintain their 14-game unbeaten run.

Derry wanted to be the party poopers, but they also wanted to cement fourth place and European football next season.

Declan Devine's team took the lead 11 minutes before half-time. Ryan Curran slid in Barry McNamee, who had the freedom of the box to slide the ball under the advancing Brendan Clarke and into the bottom corner.

Six of manager Liam Buckley's players are in the PFAI Team of the Year – midfielders Greg Bolger and Killian Brennan, as well as goalkeeper Brendan Clarke, while three members of a back four, who have conceded just 16 goals this season, are also in the team. Ger O'Brien, Kenny Browne and Ian Bermingham all made the 11.

Buckley knows the importance of an increased budget for next season. He hopes increased attendances at Richmond recently will continue into next season and the Champions League qualifying rounds await, which will certainly help the club's bank balance.

"It's been brilliant recently and if the ground could be like this every week it would be great," he said. "We have had over 3,000 people here for a last few games and hopefully they can come back next season.

"That would have a serious impact on my budget so we can get closer to some of the other clubs."

St Pat's – Clarke; O'Brien, Kenna, Price, Bermingham; Gannon (Russell, 46), Forrester (C Byrne, 46), McFaul, Brennan, Kelly; Fagan (Flood, 64).

Derry City – Doherty; Madden, McBride, Molloy, Jarvis; Patterson (Roy, 83), P MEleney, B McNamee, Curran; McDaid, Rafter (Griffin, 70).

Ref – P Sutton (Clare)

Irish Independent

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