DFC | Six wins on the trot now as Dundalk FC stroll to victory on Shannonside

SSE Airtricity League Premier Division | Limerick 0–3 Dundalk FC

It’s six league wins on the trot now for Dundalk after a stroll by the Shannon on Tuesday night saw them put hapless Limerick to the sword for the second time this season.

Stephen Kenny’s side racked up eight goals without reply in the corresponding fixture at Oriel Park in February and although they had to settle for just the three here, the outcome was just as inevitable.

Goals from John Mountney and Patrick Hoban had the visitors in cruise control at the break with Michael Duffy adding a third in the second-half to keep Dundalk two points ahead of Cork City at the top of the table and six ahead of in-form Derry City who they entertain on Friday.

After grinding out a win in Bray four nights earlier, Kenny made three changes to his starting XI with Gary Rogers returning from a calf injury to take Gabriel Sava’s place between the sticks. Another shutout means that the Meathman has still to concede this season with 729 minutes of action under his belt.

Elsewhere, a tight hamstring and a head injury put paid to Dan Cleary and Krisztian Adorjan respectively with Sean Hoare and John Mountney coming in, the latter making his first league start of the season.

Hoban and Mountney scored the goals in the win at the Carlisle Grounds and they repeated the trick here, albeit in reverse order, to leave Dundalk coasting at the break.

Eight minutes was all it took for the Lilywhites to make the breakthrough. Jamie McGrath was the architect, bursting past his old teammate Clifford in the middle of the park to head for the heart of the Limerick back four.

He switched left to Michael Duffy and the winger’s cross was inch perfect for the incoming Mountney at the far post, the Mayo man glancing a superb header past Brendan Clarke.

It came at a time when the struggling Blues were just trying to establish a foothold in the game, forcing a couple of corners in front of the away supporters who made the long trip south.

Prior to that, Duffy snapped a wicked drive at Clarke after collecting a pass from McGrath and Dundalk continued to boss things with Clarke holding efforts from McGrath and Sean Hoare.

Balls over the top seemed to be the home side’s preferred method of penetration but Hoare showed great levels of speed to get back and mop up on a couple of occasions.

Things became scrappy as things wore on but another well crafted opening put Dundalk firmly in the box seat on the half hour mark.

Robbie Benson was the creator this time. With the byline fast approaching, he somehow managed to scoop out a brilliant cross and Hoban wasn’t going to turn down the invitation, burying a downward header past Clarke from close range to make it seven goals in 10 starts.

The natives became very restless as the teams left the pitch at half-time with referee Damien McGrath the subject of their frustration.

A fast start was what they required in the second-half and Connor Ellis gave them some encouragement by cutting in and smacking a low effort at Rogers with just two minutes played.

Any hopes of a miraculous recovery were shattered seven minutes later, though, as they were ruthlessly punished for overplaying at the back.

The excellent Chris Shields brushed Shaun Kelly off the ball outside the penalty area and fed McGrath. With Kelly out of position, Duffy darted into space and he made no mistake, drilling the ball through Clarke to make it game, set and match.

LIMERICK: Brendan Clarke; Shaun Kelly (Karl O’Sullivan 59), Tony Whitehead, Killian Brouder, Kilian Cantwell, Will Fitzgerald, Cian Coleman (Barry Maguire 83), Shane Duggan (Eoin Wearen 55), Conor Clifford, Billy Dennehy; Connor Ellis. Subs not used: Tommy Holland (GK), Shane Tracy, Colm Walsh-O’Loghlen.

DUNDALK FC: Gary Rogers; Sean Gannon, Sean Hoare, Stephen Folan, Dane Massey; Chris Shields, Robbie Benson (Stephen O’Donnell 73); John Mountney, Jamie McGrath, Michael Duffy (Dylan Connolly 79); Patrick Hoban (Marco Tagbajumi 64). Subs not used: Gabriel Sava (GK), Brian Gartland, Ronan Murray, Dean Jarvis.

REFEREE: Damien McGrath.

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