Dundalk celebrate title in style

Dundalk 4 Galway Utd 1: Dundalk ensured their Airtricity Premier League of Ireland title celebrations started on a winning note by comfortably seeing off Galway United at Oriel Park last night before lifting their third title in a row.

Dundalk celebrate title in style

Dean Shiels’ first-half double either side of Paddy Barrett’s goal against his former club, coupled with Ciarán Kilduff’s last gasp strike meant that Stephen Kenny’s side ended the league campaign on a winning note.

In truth, this was just the stroll in the park the Louth side would have wanted ahead of next week’s trip to Russia to face Zenit St Petersburg and the FAI Cup final against Cork City on Sunday week.

On a night of celebration at Oriel Park, the visitors threatened to spoil the party on nine minutes when Paraic Cunningham turned Paddy Barrett at the edge of the box only to fire straight at Gabriel Sava.

Galway had a let-off three minutes later though when Conor Winn had to push a long range drive from David McMillan onto the crossbar.

The breakthrough would arrive just moments later on 13 minutes when Shiels latched onto Kilduff’s flick to fire across Winn to the bottom left-hand corner.

The lead was then doubled on 21 minutes following a howler by Winn, who spilled Barrett’s 35 yard effort into his own net for what was the defender’s third league goal of the campaign.

Dundalk then struck for a third on 37 minutes with Shiels dinking over Winn for his third goal in two matches after a neat exchange with Robbie Benson.

It could have been four on the stroke of half-time but Andy Boyle’s header was cleared off the line by Colm Horgan.

The visitors did manage to pull a goal back 10 minutes after the restart, with Ryan Connolly poking home at the second attempt after seeing his initial effort saved by Sava.

Kilduff had a chance to wrap the game up on 66 minutes when he latched onto a Daryl Horgan pass before attempting to round Winn. However, the goalkeeper managed to palm the ball off the striker meaning that the chance went abegging.

Kilduff would score in the third minute of stoppage time though with a goal that sparked a pitch invasion as Dundalk fans celebrated another fabulous season.

Their year is far from over though with plenty more still to play for in the weeks ahead.

Dundalk:

Sava; Gannon, Barrett, Boyle, Massey; Benson (C O’Connor 74), Shiels (Poynton 67), O’Donnell (Gartland 63), Horgan; Kilduff, McMillan. Subs not used: Meenan, M O’Connor, Dalton, Rogers.

Galway Utd:

Winn; Cantwell, Aganovic, Folan, C Horgan; Shanahan (Devers 78), Byrne, Connolly, Sinnott (Melody 58), Devaney; Cunningham (Faherty 58). Subs not used: Garcia, Kinneen, K Horgan.

Referee:

D Tomney (Dublin).

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