Quigley hat-trick brings Seagulls down to earth
Bray Wanderers 1 Dundalk 5
Something finally gave in Bray last night. Prior to this re-arranged League of Ireland Premier Division tie, Dundalk had won only four of their last 22 matches against Pat Devlin's side.
Their striker, Mark Quigley, by contrast, had frequently enjoyed a glut of goals against the Seagulls. And it was he, rather than his team, that kept a trend going last night.
Quigley claimed his second career hat-trick against 10-man Bray for an ultimately easy win and also made a point to the watching Damien Richardson after being overlooked for the League's squad for the upcoming Dublin Super Cup.
Quigley gave signal of his intent after just five minutes with an audacious volley that flashed just wide.
And, on 10, he went further. A lot further. Picking up the ball in his own half, the striker ran through a series of Bray defenders until he only had Matt Gregg to beat at the edge of box. Quigley picked his spot and slid the ball home for a fantastic goal.
As they've done so often this season, Bray responded admirably to the setback. John Mulroy headed just wide from a Joe Kendrick free-kick on 17 minutes before Danny O'Connor did even better from Chris Shields' cross on 25.
Launching himself into the air, the midfielder's diving header flew past Peter Cherrie for the equaliser.
The 29th minute, however, brought one setback too many for Bray. With Quigley picking Derek Prendergast's pocket at the edge of box, he left himself one-on-one with Gregg again, until Kendrick swept him from behind in a rushed attempt to claim the ball.
The defender was sent off before Quigley picked himself up to pick out the bottom corner. 2-1.
From there, Dundalk found all manner of space in the Bray defence. And Quigley found more again just before half-time.
His low shot from the edge of the box somehow made its way through Gregg's legs to make it 3-1.
Quigley then turned provider in the 67th minute, lobbing over the top of the high Bray backline for Mark Griffin to run through and roll the ball past Gregg.
Keith Ward then turned a procession into a pummelling in the final minute, driving home a long-range screamer.
BRAY WANDERERS -- Gregg; O'Connor, Kendrick, Last (Webster 45), Prendergast; Dempsey, O'Connor (Houston 71), Shields, Massey; Murphy, Mulroy (O'Neill 57).
DUNDALK FC -- Cherrie; Madden, Murphy, Bennett, Guthrie; Bolger, Ward, Kearns (Maher 74), Gaynor; Griffin (Breen 76), Quigley (Kerr 90).
REF -- A Buttimer (Cork).
•Shamrock Rovers assistant manager Trevor Croly yesterday unexpectedly resigned from the Tallaght club.