Football | League of Ireland talking points

There were only three SSE Airtricity League games on Friday night, but there were plenty of goals.

Here are the main talking points from Phibsboro, Louth, and Inchicore.

Here Comes the Swan

Bohs came out on top in an eight-goal thriller against Finn Harps at Dalymount Park.

There was action aplenty in Phibsboro with Bohs taking the lead inside a minute, and eventually winning 5-3 against the visitors from Donegal.

After 40 seconds, Kevin Devaney gave the hosts the lead with a poacher’s finish after Keith Ward’s low strike rebounded off the post.

Niall Logue drew Harps level just two minutes later.

Bohs failed to clear the danger after a long throw, and Logue was on hand to finish when Daniel O’Reilly’s header bounced back off the bar.

Keith Long’s home side – seeking their first win in six league outings – went ahead for the second time in the 27th minute.

Ryan Swan converted his first goal of the season from close range after Danny Mandroiu’s initial effort was cleared off the line.

Raff Cretaro restored parity two minutes into the second half.

James Talbot could only push his swerving low effort from 20 yards into the net via the post.

Three minutes later, Mandroiu’s free kick bouncing past Burke – who should have done better – to give Bohs a 3-2 lead.

Swan scored his second in the 53rd minute, dinking the ball beautifully over the back-pedalling Burke to double his tally.

10 minutes later, Harps had Caolan McAleer sent off for a second bookable offence on Paddy Kirk.

Ward lifted Andy Lyon’s deflected cross into the top of the net to make it five in the 80th minute, but Harps struck a consolation goal six minutes later.

O’Reilly scored a wonderful free kick which cannoned in off the post, leaving Talbot watching on helplessly.

The final whistle heralded a much needed win for Bohs, with Ollie Horgan’s 200th game in charge of Harps ending in disappointment after a hugely entertaining spectacle.

Magic Mountney sinks Sligo

John Mountney plundered a hat-trick as Dundalk thumped Sligo Rovers 4-0 at Oriel Park.

Patrick Hoban scored the other goal as the Lilywhites moved three clear of title rivals Shamrock Rovers – having played a game more – in emphatic style.

Mountney’s hat-trick was the first of his career, and he set Dundalk on the way to a rout inside a minute.

The Dundalk midfielder rose highest in the box to power an excellent header past Ed McGinty after Patrick McEleney’s improvised cross.
Hoban made it two in the 62nd minute.

The league’s leading scorer found the net from the penalty spot after his shot was blocked by the arms of Kyle McFadden.

Six minutes later, Mountney scored his second header, this time from a Michael Duffy cross.

The 26-year-old scored his third – and Dundalk’s fourth – from a penalty in the 81st minute after McFadden’s foul on Hoban inside the area.

It was an excellent night for Mountney and Vinny Perth’s men against the Bit O’Red, and the pressure is now on Shamrock Rovers to keep pace with the champions.

Dundalk lead the table with 46 points from 20 games, with the Hoops three points behind after 19 games.

This could go right to the wire.

St. Pat’s Madden Cork with late goal

Simon Madden rescued a point for St. Patrick’s Athletic in stoppage time against Cork City at Richmond Park.

Cork had taken the lead in the 54th minute through Karl Sheppard.

The Leesiders lost Shane Griffin to injury after just 11 minutes, with John Cotter turning to Daire O’Connor to replace the defender.

It was a turgid first half devoid of chances or quality.

Conor McCarthy reacted brilliantly to block Jake Walker’s effort late in the opening period, and Kevin Toner barely tested Mark McNulty with a header from a corner.

James Tilley squandered too decent chances early in the second half, before Sheppard calmly slotted Garry Buckley’s cross home from eight yards in the 54th minute.

Cork dominated the second half and produced a few good chances, but Cotter’s visitors were stung in the tail in the 95th minute.

Brendan Clarke launched the ball deep into the Cork half, and it eventually fell kindly to Madden.

He squeezed his low shot past McNulty’s with the last kick of the ball, much to the delight of the home fans in Inchicore.

The draw leaves Cork in eighth place in the table on 23 points, with St. Pat’s sitting in fifth on 27 points, three points off the top four.