After missing the last five games with injury, Patrick McEleney was back on the pitch for Dundalk FC tonight. PICTURE: MICHAEL P RYAN

DFC | McEleney happy after getting vital minutes under his belt ahead of cup final

25-year-old scores another stunning goal in Galway

With the FAI Cup final against Cork City just nine days away, the sight of Patrick McEleney coming off with just less than an hour played against Galway United would have frayed the nerves of most Dundalk supporters.

However, speaking to RTE after the game, the 25-year-old allayed any fears and said that the plan was always to get an hour under his belt after missing the last five games with a thigh strain.

“It was the schedule beforehand, to get a run out,” said McEleney. “It’s the first time I’ve done anything in a couple of weeks so I’m happy it went okay.”

McEleney’s 10th goal of the season was a thing of beauty, the maverick attacker caressing a sensational chip over the sizeable frame of Conor Winn to put Dundalk 3–1 ahead.

“It was more down to my bad touch,” he said modestly. “I took a bad touch and had to take a quick glance and luckily it came off.”

At that stage, it looked like the Tribesmen were dead and buried but a spirited second-half comeback saw them draw level before Michael Duffy’s injury time winner confirmed Galway’s relegation.

“It wasn’t an easy game and I think a lot of credit has to go to Galway,” said McEleney.

“I thought they were excellent to be honest and they did everything they could for their manager tonight.

“We’re just pleased to have come out with the three points and happy to have got through it tonight with no injuries.”

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