Pat Hoban scored twice as Dundalk maintained their fine form to beat Shamrock Rover 3-1 at Oriel Park to move to within a point of leaders St. Patrick's Athletic at the top of the Premier Division table.
Striker Hoban gave Stephen Kenny's side the perfect start with the lead goal inside two minutes when latching onto a weak back pass by Conor Powell to take the ball round keeper Richard Brush and slide it home.
Hoban was then left unmarked from a Darren Meenan corner to double Dundalk's lead with a 14th minute header.
Karl Sheppard got Rovers back into it when curling home a shot from a Sean O'Connor pass two minutes before half-time. But Kurtis Byrne sealed Dundalk's big win with their third goal eight minutes into the second half when scooping home the rebound after Brush could only parry a header from Andy Boyle.
Rovers had substitute Stephen Rice sent off five minutes from time when shown a straight red card following a clash with Chris Shields.
Despite dominating Drogheda United at Richmond Park, leaders St. Patrick's had to settle for a frustrating 0-0 draw.
Champions Sligo Rovers got back to winning ways to beat Derry City 2-1 at the Brandywell to leapfrog the Candystripes into third place in the table.
For the second match running Derry missed a penalty as Rory Patterson's 55th minute spot kick was saved by Gary Rogers.
Ten minutes later Sligo took the lead when David Cawley punished poor defending to score from 20 yards.
Substitute Danny North added Sligo's second on the counterattack on 80 minutes leaving Sean Houston's goal four minutes from time a mere consolation for Derry.
UCD gave their survival hopes a massive boost as they beat bottom side Bohemians 3-1 at Dalymount Park to move four points clear of the Gypsies.
Anto Murphy headed Bohs in front on seven minutes after UCD failed to clear a Darragh Reynor corner.
But, led by the influential Craig Walsh in midfield, UCD stormed back with Cillian Morrison sweeping home the eqauliser from a Sean Russell corner on 17 minutes. Four minutes later College went ahead when Walsh's stunning free kick came back off the crossbar and Dave O'Connor scooped home the rebound.
Despite Bohs second half pressure, Dean Clarke shot home from a tight angle for UCD's clinching third goal on 80 minutes.
Limerick bounced back from two defeats to beat Cork City 2-1 at Thomond Park.
Craig Curran beat Cork keeper Mark McNulty with a fine curling shot to give Limerick the lead on 56 minutes before man-of-the-match Shaun Kelly added a second on 70 minutes.
Despite having winger Daryl Horgan sent off on 83 minutes, Cork rallied late on but Danny Morrissey's 88th minute goal wasn't enough to prevent a third defeat in four games.