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Kearns settles derby

DANIEL KEARNS' late header steered Setanta Sports Cup finalists Dundalk to their first away win in the league and piled more misery on their Louth neighbours.

Dundalk almost went ahead on 12 minutes when Mark Quigley turned provider for midfielder Keith Ward, who got in behind the home defence only to toe-poke his shot against the upright.

It was very much against the run of play when Drogheda went ahead with the simplest of goals. Mark Nolan's throw-in was allowed to run through to Daniel Corcoran 18 yards out and he swept the ball home.

After several frustrating moments close to goal, the visitors finally drew level on 56 minutes when Colin Hawkins rose to divert a Ross Gaynor corner powerfully into the net.

Dundalk threw on an extra attacker, Johnny Breen, as they chased all three points and it paid off on 85 minutes when Kearns -- surely the smallest player on the field -- diverted a looping header over Trimble from Gaynor's hopeful cross.

DROGHEDA UTD -- Trimble; Nolan, McNally, Ekanem, Hand; Gannon, M O'Brien (Flynn 85), Quigley, Freeman; Corcoran (C O'Brien 72), Hanaphy.

DUNDALK -- Cherrie; Madden, Hawkins, Hector, N Murphy; Kearns, Ward (Breen 73), McDonnell, Gaynor; Byrne, Quigley.

Ref -- Alan Kelly (Cork).

Irish Independent