Hoban injury a Cup final concern for Dundalk
Bohemians 1 Dundalk 1
Just hours after signing a new contract extension at Dundalk, Daniel Cleary secured the champions a share of the spoils at Dalymount Park in their final league encounter of the campaign but they left Phibsborough sweating on the fitness of Patrick Hoban who limped off with 10 minutes to go.
The league's top scorer started the night looking to hit the 30-goal mark but he looked in real distress after going down with a suspected ankle injury during the corner that led to Cleary's equaliser and with the FAI Cup final against Cork City just nine days away, Stephen Kenny and the people of Dundalk will be praying the striker can make a full recovery to lead the line at the Aviva Stadium.
Bohs manager Keith Long signed a new three-year contract during the week and his side deservedly pulled in front with 22 minutes played. Keith Buckley attacked Dundalk's left channel at pace, leaving Dane Massey in his wake, and his low cross was expertly tucked away by Dinny Corcoran.
Six of Kenny's players were named in the PFAI Premier Division Team of the Year on Thursday but three of them, Seán Gannon, Robbie Benson and Chris Shields, were absent here. As a result, Dundalk looked unbalanced in midfield and it was no surprise to see the Lilywhites boss tinker with his formation as the half wore on.
It was the hosts who continued to catch the eye and Gary Rogers had to make a brilliant double save on the half hour to deny the busy Keith Ward and then Devaney from making it 2-0 following a delightful passage of play.
The veteran 'keeper produced an even better stop three minutes later, keeping Ward's half-volley out with his feet after Corcoran sent the little midfielder through on goal with a neat flick.
Dundalk looked uncharacteristically flat but they almost drew level when a fizzing Patrick McEleney pass from right to left found Michael Duffy in space. His effort looked destined for the net but Dan Casey made a fabulous block to deflect the ball over the top.
The woodwork came to Dundalk's rescue in the 52nd minute when Corcoran collected a deft reverse pass by Ward to beat Rogers again only to see the ball crash off the post.
Dundalk pulled level with 13 minutes to go when Cleary powered a Duffy corner past Shane Supple and they could, and probably should, have won it but McEleney blazed over late on but their main concern is Hoban's injury.
Bohemians - Supple; Pender (Cornwall 75), Casey, Morris, Kirk; Buckley, Lunney; Kelly (Byrne 89), Ward (Stokes 83), Devaney; Corcoran.
Dundalk - Rogers; Hoare, Gartland, Cleary, Massey, O'Donnell (Poynton 57); Mountney (Murray 71), McEleney, Duffy, Connolly; Hoban (Kelly 80).
Ref - R Hennessy