Ciarán Kilduff stars as Dundalk get off to stylish start

Ciarán Kilduff scored twice as Dundalk got their title defence up and running with an emphatic 3-1 defeat of Bray Wanderers at the Carlisle Ground on Saturday night.
Ciarán Kilduff stars as Dundalk get off to stylish start

In manager Stephen Kenny’s 100th league game in charge of his back-to-back title winners, Dundalk exorcised their 2-0 loss and poor display in the President’s Cup defeat to Cork City with a potent performance.

Kilduff showed composure to put Dundalk ahead on four minutes, controlling John Mountney’s cross and sweeping the ball past Peter Cherrie.

The big striker then showed pace and strength to hold off a defender and race on to Dane Massey’s pass to double the lead on 27 minutes. Dean Kelly’s free kick took a deflection off the wall to beat Gary Rogers to give Bray hope.

Bray left-back Curtis Murphy was sent off for a second yellow on 80 minutes and Dundalk added another a minute later as Ronan Finn drilled low to the corner from the edge of the area.

A sublime free kick from Brandon Miele was the highlight of a 2-0 win for Shamrock Rovers at the Showgrounds, as Sligo Rovers finished with nine men.

Fielding nine new signings, Dave Robertson’s Sligo started well, but fell behind to Hoops’ midfielder Miele’s stunning free kick from 30 yards on 42 minutes.

It got no better for Sligo just on half-time when midfielder Kieran Sadlier was shown a straight red card for a challenge on Killian Brennan. The home side were reduced further on 74 minutes as midfielder Craig Roddan was also sent off following a second booking. The Dubliners sealed the win a minute from time when Miele turned provider to send Danny North in on goal for the ex-Sligo striker to shoot past new Rovers keeper Mícheál Schlingermann.

In the First Division, favourites Limerick came from behind to beat 10-man UCD 4-1 at Markets Field. UCD stunned the home crowd by taking a 19th minute lead as central defender Maxi Kouogun headed home skipper Gary O’Neill’s free kick. A superb goal on his debut from Aaron Greene had Limerick level nine minutes later, the winger lashing a shot past UCD keeper Niall Corbet.

UCD defender Brian Shortall was sent off after an off the ball incident just before half-time. Limerick then all but sealed victory with two goals before the hour, Greene on target on 57 minutes and two minutes later ex-UCD midfielder Chris Mulhall added the third after Corbet parried a Garbhan Coughlan shot.

Shane Tracy got a fourth for Limerick when shooting home after Corbet again couldn’t hold a shot, this time from substitute John O’Flynn.

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