Hoban hat-trick puts Dundalk back on top
Dundalk 4 Limerick 0
Patrick Hoban bagged a hat-trick as Dundalk regained top spot in the SSE Airtricity League table with a scintillating display against Limerick at Oriel Park.
After an indifferent spell in England, there were a few questions being asked about Stephen Kenny's decision to bring the 26-year-old back to Dundalk. However, an incredible return of 18 goals in 20 starts has been quite an emphatic response.
After a week when Limerick's finances were put under the microscope off the pitch, Blues manager Tommy Barrett would have been praying for a change in fortune on it but the loss of both Conor Clifford and Barry Maguire before the game had even reached the half-hour mark will have done little to help Barrett's mood.
In contrast, the hosts purred with Michael Duffy missing a gilt-edged chance to make the breakthrough in the 26th minute before crashing a drive at Brendan Clarke's post shortly after. The pressure was incessant at this stage and Clarke had to make a fine stop to deny Hoban a stunning opener.
The visitors almost silenced the natives when Mark O'Sullivan saw a looping header cleared off the line by Benson. Play switched to the other end and after Limerick failed to clear a corner, Hoban was there to power home.
The second half was all one-way with Dundalk's second arriving in the 66th minute later when Hoban slotted home from the penalty spot after Dylan Connolly was fouled by Shane Duggan.
Krisztian Adorjan found the top corner three minutes later after a beautiful dummy by Benson and Hoban claimed the match ball late on to make it seven wins on the trot for the rampant Lilywhites.
Dundalk - Rogers; Hoare, Gartland, Cleary, Massey; Benson (Poynton 85), Chvedukas (Gannon 52); Connolly, Adorjan, Duffy (Murray 76); Hoban.
Limerick - Clarke; Whitehead, Wearen, Brouder; Cantwell, Coleman, Maguire (Kearns 28), Clifford (Tracy 13), Duggan; Fitzgerald (McGowan 85), O'Sullivan.
Ref - N Doyle