Byrne the four-goal hero as Pat's back to winning ways

Conan Byrne celebrates scoring his fourth

Conan Byrne scored four times as St. Patrick's Athletic got back to winning ways to stun nine-man Shamrock Rovers 4-0 at Tallaght Stadium to maintain their one-point lead at the top of the Premier Division table.

St. Pat's, eager to avenge a 3-0 beating at Tallaght back in March, were quickly out of the blocks with Byrne putting them ahead after five minutes. Rovers' defender Derek Foran allowed the ball to bounce through for the run of winger Byrne who shot past Richard Brush.

Foran was then sent off in conceding a penalty on 34 minutes for a foul on Anto Flood which Byrne, in the absence of suspended regular penalty taker Killian Brennan, duly converted.

It got worse for Rovers eight minutes into the second half when winger Sean O'Connor, who played for St. Pat's last year, was also sent off for a foul on Chris Forrester.

Four minutes later Byrne made it 3-0 from another penalty after Hoops' midfielder Ronan Finn had pulled down Forrester.

Byrne then added his and St. Pat's fourth goal on 62 minutes when scooping home the rebound after substitute 'keeper Barry Murphy had parried a header from Flood.

Dundalk beat Shelbourne 2-1 at Tolka Park to stay a point behind St. Pat's in second place after they recorded a remarkable ninth away win of the season.

Stephen Kenny's side blitzed Shels to score twice inside the opening 13 minutes as Shels were duly punished for shocking defending at corners.

The first goal came after just 72 seconds when Andy Boyle was left unmarked to head home Darren Meenan's corner.

It should have been 2-0 on five minutes, but John Dillon's penalty was well saved by Lee Murphy.

But in an almost identical scenario to the first goal, Boyle's central defensive partner Brian Garland was left unattended to double Dundalk's lead from another Meenan corner.

Shels rallied well in the second half and got a goal back on 73 minutes, Graham Gartland sweeping home after Dundalk failed to clear Sean Brennan's corner.

The chief consolation on the night for Shels was that relegation rivals Bohemians and UCD both lost.

In Bohs' case it was a cruel defeat as Cork City scored the only goal of the game four minutes into added time at Turner's Cross. City left-back Danny Murphy put over a cross and Danny Morrissey headed to the back of Dean Delany's net.

Rory Patterson scored twice to earn Derry City their second win in five games as they beat UCD 3-1 at the UCD Bowl to move back to third place in the table overnight.

Striker Patterson scored twice inside three first half minutes to stun College. The first came on 34 minutes when Michael Duffy threaded the ball through for Patterson to finish past Mark McGinley.

Minutes later, the former Northern Ireland international was there again to convert a cross from Paddy Kavanagh.

A fine solo goal from Samir Belhout got UCD back into the game nine minutes into the second half. But Duffy sealed Derry's win with their third goal six minutes later, volleying home Simon Madden's cross.

Brennan brothers Gavin and Ryan were on the scoresheet as Drogheda United beat Limerick 3-0 at Hunky Dorys Park to record a first win in ten in the league.

Declan O'Brien sent Drohgeda on their way with the lead goal five minutes before half-time. Gavin Brennan added a second goal on the hour before Ryan slotted home a 76th minute penalty.

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