Dundalk put down another marker in hat-trick bid

Shamrock Rovers 0 Dundalk 3: Dundalk continued their pursuit of a third successive Premier Division title with this comprehensive win over Shamrock Rovers at a cold and wet Tallaght Stadium.
Dundalk put down another marker in hat-trick bid

Whilst Tuesday’s victory over the pursing Cork City at Oriel Park was very much the Daryl Horgan show, the current man of the moment took something of backseat role in Dublin 24 as goals from Brian Gartland, Dane Massey and Ciaran Kilduff secured victory.

All the goals came in the second half of an entertaining game that had plenty of chances. Rovers had been very much in the game from the start but a total collapse in the second 45 minutes, coupled with some really great Dundalk play, saw victory go to the reigning champions.

Dundalk started with the same 11 that began Tuesday’s win over Cork City but were forced into making a change here after just 13 minutes. Captain Stephen O’Donnell picked up a hamstring injury and was replaced by Chris Shields.

Dundalk should have taken the lead on 19 minutes when David McMillan headed John Mountney’s cross to Patrick McEleney on the edge of the six yard box. However, from the perfect goalscoring position McEleney contrived to hook the ball high over the bar.

Then on 25 minutes McMillan teed up Horgan for a left-footed shot but it went straight at Rovers goalkeeper Barry Murphy who spilled the ball before gathering at the second attempt.

At the other end, Dundalk goalkeeper Gabriel Sava had a quiet first half but did well on 37 minutes to cut out the threat from a Gary Shaw cross before Dean Clarke could do any damage.

Dundalk started the second half well and Horgan had a chance on 52 minutes with a rasping shot but was denied by Murphy. Dundalk, however, took the lead a minute later. Mountney’s corner was headed toward goal by Gartland but Murphy made the save. The ball bounced perfectly for Gartland and he prodded home from close range.

Dundalk continued their good play and doubled their lead on 62 minutes. Mountney and Gartland were involved in the build-up before substitute Kilduff played in Massey who made no mistake as he slotted into an empty net.

Kilduff scored the third goal on 71 minutes. Mountney stole the ball off David O’Connor and offloaded to Ronan Finn, who in turn picked out Kilduff who made no mistake with a fine finish past Murphy.

Sava pushed away a Shaw effort on 75 minutes before substitute Luke Kiely had a chance for Rovers on 87 minutes but failed to trouble Sava with his effort that flashed high and wide.

It was another brilliant night for Dundalk in Tallaght and they return to the venue for their Europa League tie against Zenith next Thursday.

Shamrock Rovers:

Murphy; Madden, Heaney, O’Connor, T Clarke; Webster, McCabe; Miele (Doona 65 mins), Shaw, D Clarke (Kiely 62 mins); Boyd.

Dundalk:

Sava; Keane, Gartland, Boyle, Massey; O’Donnell (Shields 13 mins), Finn; Mountney, McEleney (Shiels 77 mins), Horgan; McMillan (Kilduff 55 mins).

Referee:

Paul McLaughlin (Donegal).

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