Christy Fagan's second-half equaliser earned SSE Airticity League champions St Patrick's Athletic a point away to Cork City at Turner's Cross last night – it finished 1-1.
With Cork leading at half-time after Garry Buckley's goal shortly before the interval, they found themselves pegged back early in the second period as Fagan (pictured) headed an equaliser for Pats. When home captain John Dunleavy was dismissed for a second booking midway through the second period, the hosts were up against it, but they more than deserved the hard-earned point.
Despite having to line out without late withdrawal Killian Brennan, the champions began brightly, with Keith Fahey looking as if he had never been away. He dictated the tempo in midfield despite the hosts' best pressing efforts and in the 13th minute Pats should really have taken the lead.
Gradually, though, Cork began to assert themselves and went close more than once. On 39 minutes, only a Ken Oman intervention prevented Anthony Elding getting on the end of Liam Kearney's cross, but Cork were firmly in the ascendancy now. After Elding was fouled on the edge of the area, goalkeeper Brendan Clarke needed to push Billy Dennehy's free-kick around the post, but the goal came from the subsequent corner.
From Colin Healy's delivery, captain John Dunleavy got the faintest of flick-ons and though Oman kept the ball out, Buckley was there to head home, to the delight of the large home contingent.
The opening stages of the second half brought little in the way of goalmouth action, though Pats were generally on top. In the 56th minute, they drew level when Lee Lynch's cross from the right found Fagan unmarked and he did well to head past Mark McNulty from 10 yards.
Things got worse for Cork when Dunleavy picked up another caution for what referee Pádraigh Sutton deemed persistent fouling, but despite the disparity, Cork continued to battle hard and ensured they took a share of the spoils.
BOHS HIT THREE PAST STUDENTS
BOHEMIANS got their campaign off to the perfect start last night by hitting UCD for three and showing signs of how good they could be this season.
Paddy Kavanagh got the Gypsies moving with an excellent first-half finish before Dinny Corcoran put them in firm control with a second and Jason Byrne capped things off. Kavanagh was the real star for Owen Heary's team with his winding runs, bursts of acceleration, and willingness to unload shots from distance leaving the Students dazed and confused.
Every good move that Bohs put together it seemed that Kavanagh was at the centre of it.
DROGHEDA CAUSE SENSATION
UNFANCIED Drogheda United caused a sensation on opening night with a crushing derby victory over Dundalk.
A half-time melee resulting in the sending-off of two substitutes was another major talking point as Drogheda's Philly Hughes and Simon Kelly got their marching orders, while Gavin Brennan saw red three minutes from time for a lunge on Stephen O'Donnell. But it was really all about the result.
Scottish keeper Peter Cherrie could do nothing in the 38th minute when Eric Foley's 30-yard free-kick went in off the underside of the bar.
Dundalk conceded twice more in a three-minute spell early in the second half. The Boynesiders launched another attack and Michael Daly's deep cross was volleyed into the ground by Brennan and over the stranded Cherrie.
Worse was to come for Dundalk as another Daly centre was turned into the net by Declan O'Brien. A double Dundalk substitution which paid quick dividends as the incoming Darren Meenan's far-post delivery was met by a well-directed Pat Hoban header – 3-1.
But almost immediately – on 65 minutes – Drogheda restored their three-goal advantage as Brennan's in-swinging free was met by a diving header from O'Brien and there was no way back for their neighbours after that.
TWO OFF AS BRAY HOLD LIMERICK
It finished 0-0 between Limerick and Bray Wanderers.
Shane Duggan returned to his hometown club to captain Limerick on his debut but a red card midway through the second half soured what should have been a proud occasion.
Bray's David Cassidy followed Duggan down the tunnel ten minutes later when referee Kevin O'Regan brandished a red card for a mistimed challenge on Shane Tracy.