Dundalk Break Goals Record!
The SSE Airtricity League season came to a close on Friday evening with champions Dundalk finishing their campaign with a 4-0 victory over Bray Wanderers.
First half goals from Ciaran Kilduff and Daryl Horgan were added to by Richie Towell who scored twice in the second half to take his league tally to 25 for 2015, equaling the total from Jason Byrne and Glen Crowe in the previous decade, while also scoring the goal which set a new league of Ireland record for goals in a season.
On a night of celebration, Bray Wanderers had an early chance to spoil the party but Ryan McEvoy couldn’t direct his long range effort on target in the opening 2 minutes.
Dundalk did take the lead when Daryl Horgan’s excellent ball found the run of Darren Meenan and he got away from Alan McNally before squaring for the waiting Ciaran Kilduff who fired past Peter Cherrie in the Bray goal.
It was 2-0 4 minutes later when Richie Towell’s lofted ball over the top looked to be initially dealt with by the Bray defence however Horgan was waiting to pounce and he capitalised on the hesitancy within the backline and shot to the net.
The Lilywhites were dominant when Towell then tried his luck from just outside the area but Cherrie saved well while Ronan Finn had his first effort of the evening but could only fire wide.
Chris Shields was introduced for captain Stephen O’Donnell who felt a groin strain in but the champions continued to dominate and it was Horgan next tried to add to his tally but he shot over the bar.
Kilduff almost grabbed his second just before half-time however just as he pulled the trigger after being put in by Towell the ball was taken from him brilliantly by Michael Barker.
Kilduff turned provider in the opening minutes of the second half when he played in Horgan but his delightful chip was over Cherrie but also just over the crossbar in what was a terrific move.
Kilduff had an effort go over the bar shortly after and the ever influential Towell almost got on the scoresheet however Cherrie saved down to his right.
After substitute John Mountney was brought down 25 yards from goal, Dane Massey stepped up and tested the reflexes of former teammate Cherrie in goal.
It was 3-0 on 79 minutes. Niall Cooney put his hands on substitute David McMillan and referee Paul McLaughlin pointed to the spot.
Towell stepped up and fired to the bottom right corner to make it 3 and put Dundalk level on 77 goals with the all-time record.
With 10 minutes remaining, it looked like they would be denied the league of Ireland goal record by a combination of poor finishing and their former netminder Cherrie.
Mountney shot wide but Towell came agonisingly close to sealing the record when his curling effort whistled past the post when it looked destined for the net.
McMillan looked like he had sealed the record with the fourth on 86 minutes when Meenan’s cross found him but somehow his driven shot was clawed away by Cherrie once again.
Finally though the 4th goal did come and it came when a diagonal ball came from Massey was over hit however Meenan brilliantly retrieved the situation and he crossed for Towell. He seemed to have all the time in the world before settling himself and calmly slotting to the net for his 25th league goal and the 78th league goal of the season thus breaking the league of Ireland’s 92 year goal record!
Referee McLaughlin blew the full-time whistle which ended the season on a high for the club with records galore on the night which finished with the presentation of the 2015 SSE Airtricity League trophy!