St. Pat's in the driving seat as Dundalk slip up

Without having to kick a ball, St. Patrick's Athletic were the main winners on another night of important action in the Premier Division of the Airtricity League.

Without having to kick a ball, St. Patrick's Athletic were the main winners on another night of important action in the Premier Division of the Airtricity League.

Second-in-the-table Dundalk were beaten 2-1 at home by much improved Limerick to surely all but end their title challenge.

That result means St. Pat's, who won 3-1 at Bray Wanderers on Thursday night, remain six points clear of Dundalk and are now five ahead of Sligo Rovers who move into second place after a 2-0 home win over bottom-of-the-table Shelbourne.

Rory Gaffney was Dundalk's tormentor in chief, scoring both Limerick's goals at Oriel Park.

Gaffney opened the scoring on 17 minutes when volleying a pass from Stephen Bradley past home 'keeper Peter Cherrie.

Limerick doubled their lead on 35 minutes with striker Gaffney again finding the net after beating the offisde trap onto Patrick Nzuzi's ball over the top.

Dundalk battled back in the second half, scoring from a 66th minute penalty from Richie Towell following a handball by Sam Oji, but Limerick held out for their second big win of the week having beaten Shamrock Rovers at home on Tuesday.

Goals from skipper Danny Ventre and Iarfhlaith Davoren earned Sligo their win over Shelbourne at the Showgrounds as they leapfrog Dundalk into second place.

Ventre struck for the opener on 25 minutes when getting on the end of a Kieran Djilali free kick. Left-back Davoren added the second three minutes before the interval with a terrific 30-yard drive.

Ryan McEvoy scored twice as Bohemians did their survival hopes a power of good with a fine 2-0 win over ten-man Derry City at Dalymount Park to move above UCD into ninth place.

Midfielder McEvoy gave Bohs the perfect start with the lead goal on four minutes from a penalty after Ryan McBride had fouled Stephen Traynor.

Keith Buckley broke down the right to cross for McEvoy to head the second goal on 22 minutes. Derry had McBride sent off on 20 minutes from time.

Derry losing gave Shamrock Rovers the opportunity to get their challenge for fourth place, and a possible Europa League spot via the league, back on track and they duly did that with a 3-1 win over Drogheda United at Tallaght Stadium.

Tommy Stewart put Rovers ahead on 23 minutes when tapping home after Drogheda keeper Gabriel Sava spilled a shot from Conor Powell.

Gavin Brennan showed good feet and composure to level for Drogheda ten minutes before half-time.

Gary McCabe, who had earlier hit the crossbar, then scored the goal of the night with a fine 25-yard shot to restore Rovers' lead on 63 minutes before Stewart sealed the win with his second goal in the first minute of added time.

Ian Turner scored twice inside the opening 16 minutes as Cork City made it two wins in the week by beating relegation-threatened UCD 2-0 at Turner's Cross.

Winger Turner sent visiting 'keeper Mark McGinley the wrong way from a 10th minute penalty following a handball by Gary Burke.

Turner added his second six minutes later when cutting in from the right to score with the help of a deflection off College defender Mick Leahy.

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