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McDonnell's Lilies lifeline

DUNDALK and Waterford United fans are in for a nail-biting second leg in their League of Ireland promotion/ relegation play-off after last night's enthralling 2-2 draw at Oriel Park.

The 10-man Lilywhites had Stephen McDonnell to thank for keeping them in the tie after battling back to secure a draw.

Skipper Lorcan Shannon gave the hosts the lead against the run of play when he finished Chris Reilly's cutback to the net.

Dundalk were dealt a hammer blow on 33 minutes when skipper Stephen Maher was given his marching orders for needlessly lashing out at Peter Higgins.

With numerical advantage, Waterford drew level on 50 minutes thanks to Paul Phelan and 10 minutes later they were in front thanks to substitute Ben Ryan's well-guided header.

Dundalk refused to give in and McDonnell proved the hero with a 25-yard belter to restore parity and they held on to keep their survival chances alive ahead of the second leg at the RSC on Friday.