Sunday 30 April 2017

Byrne pounces to rescue point

Drogheda United 2 Dundalk 2

JASON Byrne showed why he was sorely missed during his recent lay-off with a brilliant equaliser as the Louth derby ended in a thrilling draw at Hunky Dorys Park.

Drogheda looked to be heading for their third consecutive victory when Mark Griffin's early goal for the visitors was cancelled out by Tiarnan Mulvenna and then another ex-Dundalk player, Dave Rogers, put the hosts ahead.

But Byrne, who recently returned from a long-term hamstring injury, had the final say with a sweet strike as the Lilywhites gained some consolation for losing to their neighbours at Oriel Park in June.

The visitors took a grip of the game at the start and deservedly went ahead in the 12th minute.

Daniel Kearns sent an inviting cross to the near post for Griffin to volley neatly past Stephen Trimble.

It was no surprise when the Drogs levelled on 42 minutes with a brilliant team move.

Mulvenna was the instigator with an outrageous dummy in midfield, and the ball was swept wide to Philip Hand. Mulvenna continued his run into the box and lashed Hand's centre high to the net.

It got better for the Drogs seven minutes into the second half, when Mark O'Brien was tripped by Gaynor in the box. Referee Richie Winter pointed to the spot and Rogers slotted past Peter Cherrie.

Out of nothing Dundalk conjured an equaliser on 76 minutes when Byrne chipped over Trimble.

Neither wanted to settle for a point, and Drogheda had one final chance, but Dinny Corcoran shot weakly after being put through.

DROGHEDA UNITED -- Trimble; Quigley, McNally, Rogers, Hand; Gannon, Lynch, McMahon (M O'Brien 38), Brennan; Mulvenna, Corcoran.

DUNDALK -- Cherrie; Madden, McHugh, Bennett, Gaynor; Kearns, Bolger, Ward (Maher 62), Quigley; Byrne (Breen 78), Griffin.

Ref -- R Winter (Dublin).

Irish Independent

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