St. Patrick’s Athletic eased five points clear at the top of the Premier Division table as they beat UCD 5-0 to record their biggest win of the season and stretch their unbeaten league run to twelve games.
Goals from Killian Brennan, Conan Byrne, Chris Forrester and a brace from Jake Kelly blew UCD away in the second half at Richmond Park as Liam Buckley’s side capitalised fully on champions Sligo Rovers losing 1-0 at home to Dundalk.
Having huffed and puffed in front of goal in the first half, it took St. Pat's just a minute of the second to finally get their noses in front.
Kenny Browne’s header from Byrne's corner was pushed out by keeper Conor O’Donnell and Brennan reacted well to rifle to the net off his left foot.
Five minutes later it was 2-0. Eagle-eyed John Russell slipped Byrne through on goal and the former Student drilled a left-foot shot past O’Donnell.
A defensive slip then gifted Forrester a clean run on goal and he raced in to dink the ball cleverly over O’Donnell for the third on 71 minutes to end the game as any kind of contest.
Substitute Jake Kelly added the fourth on 83 minutes, a solo run putting him in on goal to drill a low shot past O’Donnell
Kelly added his second four minutes later, confidently finishing off a move involving Sean Gannon and Forrester.
Both sides finished with ten men at the Showgrounds as Dundalk stunned the champions.
Dane Massey put Dundalk ahead on 41 minutes with a fine strike from distance.
Sligo's task became harder when striker Anthony Elding was sent off on 71 minutes following an off the ball incident with Massey.
Pat Hoban blew a chance for Dundalk to double their lead when shooting a 78th minute penalty off a post before the visitors had their captain Stephen O'Donnell sent off for a second booking in stoppage time.