Dundalk call the tune again

On the night the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division title returned to Oriel Park, Dundalk FC served up a five-star display against managerless Sligo Rovers.

Dundalk call the tune again

[team1]Dundalk[/team1][score1]5[/score1][team2]Sligo Rovers[/team2][score2]0[/score2][/score]

On the night the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division title returned to Oriel Park, Dundalk FC served up a five-star display against managerless Sligo Rovers.

Exactly 12 months ago today, Dundalk hosted Bohemians in what was their first match in almost exactly three years without the tag of champions. As the sides took to the field before kick-off the club’s PA operator Mickey Duffy opted to play the Pavarotti classic ‘Nessun Dorma’.

The track was a nod to the fact that the Louth men had been officially dethroned by Cork City three nights earlier.

‘Nessun Dorma’ translates to ‘Nobody Shall Sleep’ with the reference being that no one at Oriel Park would rest until Dundalk reclaimed their position as champions.

Last night, 364 days after its first airing, it was officially retired with a live performance by the man whose voice has greeted each of the other nine Premier Division sides to the Co Louth venue this season, David Martin — a son-in-law of club president Des Casey.

The song’s ending will be familiar to all who know it.

‘Vinceró! Vinceró! Vinceró!’ ‘I will win! I will win! I will win!’ Stephen Kenny’s men have had that mantra this season. New chief executive Mal Brannigan, brought in at the start of February by the club’s new US owners Peak 6, said Dundalk had only loaned Cork the title. He, his manager, and the players have been good to their word. Dundalk did it in record breaking style by overtaking Bohs’ record from a decade ago of most points in a League of Ireland season. That tally of 85 points now stands at 86, with still a game to be played away to The Gypsies next Friday, and a cup final against Cork to come the following weekend.

Despite Pat Hoban having a penalty pushed onto the post by Ed McGinty after just five minutes, it took the Lilywhites just four more minutes to break the deadlock when John Mountney lifted the ball over the Sligo keeper from Ronan Murray’s pass.

Michael Duffy doubled the lead on 33 minutes for his 13th league goal of the season before Mountney left it 3-0 at the break with a brave header from Dean Jarvis’ cross.

The champions didn’t take their foot off the gas in the second half with the league’s leading scorer Hoban adding a brace. The first arrived from the penalty spot on 59 minutes after Sean Gannon was felled by Niall Morahan and he added his 29th league goal of the season just six minutes later after finishing Dylan Connolly’s cutback.

‘Nessun Dorma’ might have been retired but there was plenty of singing and dancing at the full-time whistle.

DUNDALK:

Rogers; Gannon, Gartland, Hoare, Jarvis; Shields (Massey 77), McEleney; Mountney (Connolly HT), Murray (McGrath 63), Duffy; Hoban.

SLIGO ROVERS:

McGinty; Callan-McFadden, Sharkey, Mahon, Keaney (Morrison 65); Lynch, McCabe; Twardek, Wixted (Morahan HT), Kerrigan (Collins 74); Drennan.

Referee:

Rob Rogers (Dublin).

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