Dundalk 6 Bohemians 1
Patrick Hoban left Bohemians in a purple haze at Oriel Park last night, bagging a 14-minute hat-trick as treble-chasing Dundalk booked their place in the EA Sports Cup final.
Bohs made the trip up the M1 in fine form after a 10-1 demolition of UCD on Friday night but they were blown away by the Dundalk hitman who had the game wrapped up - and the match ball secured - with less than a quarter of an hour played.
Wearing their purple third kit in support of Temple Street Children's Hospital, Vinny Perth's men showed no let-up and Patrick McEleney made it 4-0 while Hoban and Daniel Kelly added further goals in the second half to book a cup final showdown with Derry City on September 14th.
After mixing things up for the 5-0 win over Finn Harps on Friday, Perth restored a number of heavy hitters to his starting XI with the likes of Hoban, Jamie McGrath, Andy Boyle and Sean Gannon all included.
Long made wholesale changes of his own. With James Talbot suspended, former Longford Town and Cabinteely goalkeeper Mick Kelly started his first game for the club and what a baptism of fire it turned out to be!
The 23-year-old was helpless to stop Dundalk from making the breakthrough after just four minutes. Derek Pender never looked comfortable trying to control a crossfield pass in the centre circle and Michael Duffy picked his pocket before feeding Hoban who angled a left-footed drive past Kelly.
Things went from bad to worse for the visitors with Hoban adding a second in the ninth minute. With Bohs asleep from a corner, the striker darted to the corner of the six-yard box to steer Duffy's delivery inside the far post.
That goal came with his right-foot and Hoban completed the perfect hat-trick with 14 minutes on the clock, rising to meet Daniel Cleary's cross and guide a fine header past the hapless Kelly.
Bohs never recovered from the early blitz but they had a good opportunity to pull one back when Ryan Swan raced on to Ross Tierney's through ball but Cleary recovered brilliantly to get back and take the ball off his toe.
Hoban had further chances to increase his tally and Dundalk added a fourth before the break when McEleney picked the ball up on the left, weaved his way through a number of challenges and stroked home with a delightful finish.
Any notions that Dundalk might ease up were dispelled just six minutes after the restart. Kelly did brilliantly to parry Jamie McGrath's thumping effort but Hoban was on hand to gobble up the rebound.
Bohs did pull one back when Ross Tierney beat Aaron McCarey but Dundalk had the final say with Daniel Kelly adding a sixth and it could have been more with Georgie Kelly seeing a header cleared off the line and a goal ruled out for offside before the death.
DUNDALK: McCarey; Gannon, Cleary, Boyle, Massey; Shields, McEleney (D Kelly 52); Mountney, McGrath, Duffy (Murray 57); Hoban (G Kelly 75).
BOHEMIANS: Kelly; Pender, Barry, Barker, Kirk; Buckley (McCourt 64); Tierney, Mandriou, Devaney (Wright HT), Ward (Allardice 56); Swan.
REFEREE: Paul McLaughlin.