Doyle treble sinks Galway
ST PAT'S ATH 4
GALWAY UNITED 2
ST PAT'S remain top of the table after finally getting the better of Galway in an entertaining game at Richmond Park.
A Derek Doyle hat-trick and a Vinny Faherty volley sealed the win after the visitors had been 2-1 up.
St Pat's were ahead after just two minutes. Following neat play down the right involving Ryan Guy and Paul Byrne, Faherty's cross was swept home by Doyle from eight yards.
The Saints should have doubled their lead just after the half-hour. Faherty's shot-cum-cross found Byrne, but his header from six yards was brilliantly tipped around the post by Barry Ryan.
The Tribesmen's equaliser came against the run of play on 38 minutes. Karl Sheppard turned and played a pass into the path of strike partner Anto Flood, whose first-time shot from the edge of the box beat Gary Rogers.
Some poor defending gifted Galway another goal in added time at the end of the first half. Instead of playing a back-pass to his goalkeeper, St Pat's defender Noel Haverty turned on the edge of his own box and cleared the ball straight to Gary Curran, who skilfully lobbed the despairing Rogers from 30 yards.
St Pat's controlled the second half, and equalised on the hour. Conor Kenna's long free-kick was flicked on by Byrne and Faherty brilliantly volleyed the ball over Ryan and into the far corner.
The league leaders went 3-2 in front in the 74th minute. Derek Pender's cross from deep found Doyle, and his left-footed shot squirmed under Ryan's body and into the net.
Doyle completed his hat-trick from the penalty spot with seven minutes remaining, sending Ryan the wrong way after Rhys Meynell had fouled substitute Brian Cash to put Pete Mahon's charges two points clear at the top of the table.
St Pat's -- Rogers, Pender, Bermingham, Kenna, Haverty (McAllister, 45), S Byrne, Mulcahy, Doyle, Guy (Cash, 77), Faherty (North, 80), P Byrne.
Galway United -- Barry Ryan, Connelly, Creaney (Sinnott, 65), McKenzie, Meynell, O'Donnell, Foley (O'Brien, 70), Curran, Bobby Ryan, Sheppard, Flood.
Ref -- D Hancock.