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Match by Match: 1978/79 League & FAI Cup Double

Match 1            3rd September 1978            League Cup            Dundalk 2-4 Home Farm

Dundalk’s season got off to the worst possible start with this home defeat by Home Farm in the League Cup. Dundalk were, admittedly, understrength for this match. Dundalk were without Blackmore, Dunning and Keely among others. Stephen Craig set up Joe McCann for the opening goal for Home Farm early on. Cathal Muckian levelled the scores after 40 minutes but Pat O’Connor gave the visitors a half-time lead when he scored after 44 minutes. Dundalk equalised after 48 minutes when assistant-manager Frank O’Neill rolled back the years to set up Mick Lawlor to score. A future Dundalk star, Martin Murray, put Home Farm back in the lead on the hour mark before Craig completed the scoring ten minutes later.

Dundalk: McArdle, Byrne, Martin Lawlor, McConville, Coburn, Flanagan, O’Neill, Mick Lawlor, Muckian, Crawley, Dainty. Sub: Munroe & Reid for Coburn and Crawley.

Home Farm: Finnerty, Buttner, Williams, Breslin, Brady, O’Connor, Synnott, Whelan, McCann, Craig, Murray.

Match 2            10th September 1978            League Shamrock Rovers 1-2 Dundalk


The opening fixture of the season provided an early indication that Dundalk were serious challengers for league honours. Shamrock Rovers were managed by Johnny Giles (balancing his other commitment managing the Republic of Ireland national side) and the media were confident that Rovers could get off to a winning start. Eamon Dunphy was also back in side after injury. Dundalk had injury concerns. Richie Blackmore required stitches in his knee after a collision late in the Donegan Cup match (the Jim Malone Cup of the day) against Drogheda United three days earlier. Brendan Muckian was called upon to deputise ahead of Peter McArdle. Paddy Dunning had also not returned from his successful spell in America with  the Los Angeles Skyhawks. On the positive side, Dermot Keely was available after serving a suspension.
Dundalk fully deserved the win. Rovers were a huge disappointment in front of their expectant supporters at Milltown as Dundalk dictated the play from start to finish. The only reason the scoreline remained respectful was because of stand-in Rovers keeper John Osborne – signed from West Brom to replace the injured Alan O’Neill. Dundalk even gifted Rovers their only goal in the closing stages when Tommy McConville lashed a clearance against Dermot Keely and the ball rebounded past Muckian.

This allowed for a grandstand finish – but Dundalk held out to secure the win. Dundalk’s star player was local Willie Crawley who was only playing his third league match. Martin Lawlor was the other newcomer to impress at left-back. The first goal came after 14 minutes when Leo Flanagan amd Mick Lawlor combined to set up Crawley who forced Osborne into a good save but was on hand to score from the rebound. Osborne then saved from both of the Lawlor brothers and Cathal Muckian also came close to adding a second. Crawley was denied early in the second half by Osborne but Dundalk eventually scored a deserved second goal when Mick Lawlor passed to Phil Fitzgerald who finished superbly.

Shamrock Rovers: Osborne, Gannon, O’Leary, Dunphy, Synnott, Fullam, Cervi, Lynex, Byrne, Giles, Tambling.
Dundalk: Muckian (B), Byrne, Lawlor (Martin), McConville, Keely, Flanagan, O’Neill, Lawlor (Mick), Muckian (C), Crawley, Dainty. Subs: Fitzgerald for O’Neill, McLaughlin for Crawley.

Match 3            14th September 1978            Leinster Senior Cup R1 Dundalk 0-1 Aer Lingus


In 1978, the Leinster Senior Cup was still a reasonably big deal – so this was a genuine shock at Oriel Park. The goal came after 42 minutes when Peter McCann benefited from poor defending to finish nicely. Aer Lingus keeper Shay Kavanagh was the hero for the visitors with several great saves in the second half.

Dundalk: Muckian (B), McConville, Wiseman, Coburn, Keely, Flanagan, Fitzgerald, Nixon, Muckian (C), Crawley, Dainty. Sub: McLaughlin for Crawley.
Aer Lingus: Kavanagh, Doyle (G), McSweeney, O’Meara, Murun, Gore, Cash, Garvan, O’Sullivan, McCann, Doyle (S). Sub: Moore for Murun.
MATCH 4            17th September 1978            League Dundalk 2-0 Limerick

Dundalk won their second league game at a canter at Oriel Park. Only a fine goalkeeping display from Kevin Fitzpatrick and some wayward finishing kept the scoreline down. Paddy Dunning made his debut in the Dundalk defence to partner Dermot Keely in the centre. Tommy McConville moved over to right back with Sean Byrne taking Frank O’Neill’s place in midfield. Early on, a header from Crawley was cleared off the line by Meaney. But, after 24 minutes, Keely and Crawley combined to send Cathal Muckian through to score. Fitzpatrick saved from Muckian and Flanagan kept the score at 1-0 at the interval. Sean Byrne confirmed the points when he converted after Jimmy Dainty and Martin Lawlor combined on the left-wing.

Dundalk: Muckian (B), McConville, Martin Lawlor, Keely, Dunning, Flanagan, Byrne, Mick Lawlor, Cathal Muckian, Crawley, Dainty. Subs: Fitzgerald for Lawlor, McLaughlin for Flanagan.
Limerick: Fitzpatrick, Nolan, McDonnell, Storan, Meaney, Collins, Walsh, Fitzgerald, Duggan, O’Brien, Quinlivan. Sub: Kelly for McDonnell.

MATCH 5            24th September 1978            League        Athlone Town 2-2 Dundalk

MATCH 6            1st October 1978                        League      Dundalk 2-0 Home Farm

Dundalk gained revenge for the League Cup defeat by overcoming Home Farm in this Sunday evening kick-off. Dundalk were well on top throughout but it was not until the 75th minute that the points were secured. Again, the opposition keeper, Finnerty, was the star of the show. Dundalk’s first goal came after 32 minutes when Hilary Carlyle made a powerful run from the half-way line to set up Paddy Dunning who scored with a twenty yard drive.

That man Martin Murray skimmed the Dundalk crossbar early in the second half. Dundalk soon settled down and dominated the remainder of the match. Willie Crawley sealed the points when he headed home Martin Lawlor’s cross. This win put Dundalk top of the table on goal difference from reigning champions Bohs.

Dundalk: Blackmore, McConville, Martin Lawlor, Dunning, Keely, Flanagan, Mahon, Mick Lawlor, Muckian, Carlyle, Dainty. Subs: Crawley & Wiseman for Muckian and Mick Lawlor.

Home Farm: Finnerty, Smith, Williams, Breslin, Kelly, O’Connor, Synnott, Daly, Pollard, Craig, Murray. Subs: McCann and Haffort for Smyth and O’Connor.

MATCH 7            8th October 1978                        LEAGUE       St Patrick’s Athletic 2-2 Dundalk


Dundalk were lucky to escape Richmond Park with a point as wins for Bohemians, Finn Harps and Drogheda United resulted in Jim McLaughlin’s team drop to fourth after the fifth round of games. Garry Barrett, who gave Tommy McConville a torrid time throughout, gave St Pats the lead after 25 minutes when he finished off a fine Munroe-Doyle move with a header into Blackmore’s far corner. Willie Crawley was hacked down by Tommy Doyle just before the break to allow Jimmy Dainty to level from the spot. Dundalk were off-form with only Kevin Mahon playing at optimum level.

Paddy Munroe, George Luke and Martin Harding won the midfield battle for St Pats. Blackmore saved from Munroe at the expense of a corner before McConville cleared a Barrett effort off the line. Keely somehow denied Barrett with a last ditch tackle after the St Pat’s man had broken free of Dundalk’s offside trap. St Pats’ finally took a deserved lead in the 81st minute when Derek Carthy, who had been on trial with Dundalk during the summer, latched onto a pass from Munroe to smack a powerful low left-footed effort beyond the reach of Blackmore.

Dundalk looked dead and buried at this point – but in the 87th minute St Patrick’s keeper Mick Reilly was penalised for taking too many steps with the ball. Leo Flanagan, back at his former club, tapped the indirect free-kick to substitute Frank O’Neill. The 38 year old former Irish international (who had scored a hat-trick for Dundalk’s reserves against St Pats 24 hours earlier) demonstrated his class by cracking home a great shot through the wall past Reilly. St Pat’s frustration was not over: Carthy had another goal disallowed for offside in injury time.

St Patrick’s Athletic: Reilly, Barnes, Cummins, T Doyle, Harding, P Doyle, Carthy, Munroe, Luke, McEvoy, Barrett. Sub: Kelly for Luke.

Dundalk: Blackmore, McConville, Lawlor, Keely, Dunning, Flanagan, Mahon, Fitzgerald, Crawley, Carlyle, Dainty. Sub: O’Neill for Fitzgerald, Wiseman for Crawley.

MATCH 8            15th October 1978                        League Dundalk 1-1 Sligo Rovers

Dundalk again failed to sparkle as they were fortunate to survive an excellent second half display by Sligo Rovers. Dundalk dominated the opening half and should have been three goals ahead. The star of the show for Sligo was Dundalk legend Tony Cavanagh who played a starring role in Dundalk’s 1976 league championship success. Dundalk had taken the lead after 13 minutes when a fierce drive by Jimmy Dainty was deflected into the path of Leo Flanagan who steered it past Patterson in the Sligo goal. Patterson made a great save to deny a point blank Mick Lawlor header within a minute of the goal.

After the break, Sligo were transformed. Cavanagh smashed the crossbar with a shot from 25 yards. Sligo, however, did pull level after 53 minutes when Cavanagh chipped the ball into the box for Gary Hulmes to head home. Dundalk therefore remained in fourth place with Drogheda United going top of the table on goal difference from Bohs after a 2-1 win over Limerick.

Dundalk: Blackmore, McConville, Martin Lawlor, McLaughlin, Dunning, Flanagan, Mahon, Mick Lawlor, Muckian, Carlyle, Dainty. Sub: Crawley for Dainty.

Sligo Rovers: Patterson, Fielding, Mercer, Fagan, Rutherford, Stenson, Cavanagh, McLoughlin, Murty, Hulmes. Sub: Frickleton for Murty.

MATCH 9                        22nd October 1978                        League      Cork Alberts 1-1 Dundalk


Dundalk’s rocky form continued at Flower’s Lodge. Dundalk should have won comfortably but sorely missed Cathal Muckian’s presence as they squandered chance after chance. Alex Ludzic made several fine saves and also was relieved to get away with a bad error after 30 minutes. Kevin Mahon’s corner should have been easily gathered by Ludzic but the ball slipped from his grasp and in the ensuring goalmouth scramble both Crawley and Dainty had shots blocked on the line. After 44 minutes Dunning made a run from defence to lob the ball over the advancing Ludzic but Notley managed to get back in the nick of time to head clear. Dundalk finally broke the deadlock after 48 minutes when Byrne headed in a corner from Jimmy Dainty. However, Albrts were level after 63 minutes when Nodwell punished an error by Keely to beat Blackmore from 20 yards.
Dundalk stayed fourth in the table with Bohemians capitalising on Drogheda’s failure to beat Cork Celtic to go top after a 2-0 win over Finn Harps.

Cork Alberts: Ludzic, Carroll, O’Mahony, Notley, Lane, Punch, Nodwell, Keane, Waters, Murphy, Morley. Subs: Turner for Keane, Tobin for Carroll.

Dundalk: Blackmore, McConville, Keely, Dunning, Lawlor, Mahon, Byrne, Flanagan, Crawley, Carlyle, Dainty. Sub: O’Neill for Mahon, McKeever for Crawley.

MATCH 10                        29th October 1978            League      Dundalk 1-0 Drogheda United


Despite the rivalry between the two Louth sides – a top of the table encounter between the two sides is very rare. This match was possibly one of the biggest Louth Derby’s since Drogheda’s election to the league back in 1963. Both sides had genuine league championship hopes.


MATCH 11                        5th NOVEMBER 1978                        League    Bohemians 0-0 Dundalk


Despite being the better team, Dundalk were forced to accept a 0-0 draw against the reigning Champions Bohemians at Dalymount Park. Bohs had not been beaten at home since February 1977 when Dundalk had won 3-1 thanks to two goals by Seamus McDowell and a Jackie McManus penalty. This performance merited another victory. In particular, Mick Lawlor exuded class throughout the game and deserved more than just one point for his masterly performance. Bohs keeper Mick Smyth made several good saves to keep his team in the match. He denied a spectacular 30 yard effort from Jimmy Dainty and, in the dying moments of the first half, made the save of the match when he tipped Mick Lawlor’s header over the crossbar following a free-kick by ‘Pop’ Flanagan. Defences were on top for the second half. Bohs’ star performer was left-back Austin Brady while future Dundalk player Eamonn Gregg was also in fine form. Paddy Dunning and Martin Lawlor also enjoyed fine outings. Dunning had to contend with Bohs captain Turlough O’Connor.

The other Bohs player that stood out was a certain Eugene Lawless who was enjoying his first season in senior football. Richie Blackmore had to be sharp to deny O’Connor after the future Dundalk manager broke the offside trap. Dundalk had one final glorious chance when Hilary Carlyle slipped the ball through to Cathal Muckian but the former Drogheda striker shot wide. This result allowed Drogheda United to get back to the top of the table on goal difference after goals from Damien Byrne and Gerry Brameld gave the Boynesiders a 2-0 win over Shamrock Rovers.

MATCH 12                        12th NOVEMBER 1978            LEAGUE       DUNDALK 4-1 THURLES TOWN


Dundalk had no problems in this encounter against lowly Thurles Town. The visitors featured two former Dundalk players in their line up with Declan Ingoldsby and Terry Flanagan in their front line. Both, however, were well marshalled by the Dundalk defence. Dundalk scored twice early on with Hilary Carlyle scoring after just 37 seconds when he headed home from a Jimmy Dainty corner. Dainty again supplied the corner for Leo Flanagan to make it 2-0 after 11 minutes. Thurles keeper Pat Dunne was the only reason why the margin was not greater by half-time. Dundalk went 3-0 ahead after 60 minutes when Carlyle scored with a strong drive. Donal Madden pulled one back for Thurles but Cathal Muckian scored Dundalk’s final goal three minutes from time.
This result put Dundalk back to the top of the table on goal difference from Bohemians.

Dundalk: Blackmore, McConville, Martin Lawlor, Keely, Dunning, Flanagan, Mahon, Mick Lawlor, Carlyle, Muckian, Dainty.

Thurles Town: Dunne, Doran, McNevin, O’Dea, Last, McQuaid, Humphries, Stephens, Madden, Flanagan, Ingoldsby. Sub: Steedman for McQuaid.
MATCH 13                        NOVEMBER 19th 1978                        LEAGUE      GALWAY ROVERS 2-2 DUNDALK


With Bohemians winning in Limerick, Dundalk dropped to second place after a late collapse at Terryland Park against Galway Rovers. Dundalk were leading 2-0 with just eight minutes remaining and appeared to be in little danger. The first goal came after 38 minutes when Leo Flanagan scored with a 30 yard drive. Tommy McGrain upended Hilary Carlyle and Jimmy Dainty scored from the resultant spot-kick to make it 2-0 in the 63rd minute. Des Kennedy pulled one back in the 83rd minute when he headed home Tony Murphy’s cross. Rovers earned a point when Mike Nolan scored from close range.

Galway Rovers: O’Donnell, Murphy (A), Lymer, Nolan, Murphy (T), Callaghan, Quinlavin, McGrain, Kennedy, Collins, Daly.

Dundalk: Blackmore, McConville, Martin Lawlor, Keely, Dunning, Flanagan, Mahon, Mick Lawlor, Carlyle, Muckian, Dainty.

MATCH 14                        26th NOVEMBER 1978                        LEAGUE       DUNDALK 3-1 SHELBOURNE


The scoreline does not reflect the fact that this was a very tough game for Dundalk. Dundalk took the lead after 11 minutes when Martin Lawlor sent over a 25 yard free-kick over a wall of players that deceived keeper Christy Devlin and entered the net at the top left-hand corner. But two minutes later, Shelbourne equalised with a fine goal. Sean Sheehy and Liam Buckley profited from a weak clearance by Keely to send John Delamere through to shoot inside Blackmore’s post. Shelbourne were unlucky not go in front when Buckley’s shot was brilliantly saved by Blackmore just before the break. Dundalk needed a break to get ahead and it came five minutes after the interval. Kevin Mahon was brought down in the area and Jimmy Dainty shot them into the lead. Shelbourne’s challenge receded in the late stages as Dundalk dominated. Devlin saved superbly from Muckian, Dunning and Carlyle.

Former Dundalk man Sheehy did, however, shave the Dundalk crossbar with a 25 yard effort. Dundalk made the points safe when Carlyle broke through to the backline and his low cross was kicked into the net by a Shels defender.  Better news for Dundalk came when they heard that both Bohs and Drogheda had been beaten which meant that Dundalk were back at the top of the table.

Dundalk: Blackmore, McConville, Martin Lawlor, Keely, Dunning, Flanagan, Mahon, Mick Lawlor, Carlyle, Muckian, Dainty. Sub: Byrne for Mahon.

Shelbourne: Devlin, Higgins, Roche, Givens, Tierney, Heffernan, Sheehy, Martin, Delamere, Devine, Buckley. Sub: Shields for Martin.

MATCH 15                        3rd DECEMBER 1978                        LEAGUE      FINN HARPS 2-1 DUNDALK


Dundalk’s 12-match unbeaten run in the league came to an end at Ballybofey. Dundalk took the lead after 29 minutes when Kevin Mahon scored direct from a corner kick that deceived Harps keeper Charlie McDermott. The Harps keeper made up for his error with a great save from Leo Flanagan while Cathal Muckian saw his shot hit the top of the crossbar and also had a fine header go narrowly wide following a cross from Jimmy Dainty. Finn Harps totally dominated the second half.

Richie Blackmore had to make a good save from a cross-shot from John Minnock – while McGroarty put Paul McGuinness clear through but he wasted his chance. The equaliser came after 60 minutes when Minnock crossed from the right for Joe Healy to send a brilliant diving header to the net. The winner came just one minute later when McGroarty went on a mazy run before playing a 1-2 with Logan before finishing expertly from 20 yards.

MATCH 16                        10th December 1978            LEAGUE         DUNDALK 2-0 CORK CELTIC

Dundalk recorded a facile victory over Cork Celtic to keep level with Bohemians at the top of the table and one point ahead of Waterford United and Drogheda United. Dundalk went ahead after 11 minutes when Hilary Carlyle broke the offside trap to slot home Mick Lawlor’s throughball. The second came just four minutes later when Celtic keeper Wykes failed to hold a long-ball into the box from Martin Lawlor and Jimmy Dainty was on hand to force it over the line. Only once was Richie Blackmore called upon to make  a save when he cut out a dangerous cross-shot from Dunphy. Dundalk went close in the second half though Mahon and Dainty.

Dundalk: Blackmore, McConville, Martin Lawlor, Keely, Dunning, Flanagan, Mahon, Mick Lawlor, Carlyle, Muckian, Dainty. Subs: Crawley & Byrne for Carlyle and Mahon.

Cork Celtic: Wykes, Ryan, Nolan, Hynes, Reynolds, B Neiland, McQuaid, Dunphy, Wiggington, P Neiland, Shaw. Subs: Noonan & O’Gorman for McDaid & Dunphy.

MATCH 17            17th DECEMBER 1978                        LEAGUE      WATERFORD UNITED 1-0 DUNDALK


Dundalk dropped to fourth in the table after this disappointing result in Kilcohan Park. Jim McLaughlin was on the receiving end of some criticism following the match due to his decision to play Tommy McConville behind the back four of Sean Byrne, Dermot Kelly, Paddy Dunning and Martin Lawlor. He was also without the services of Hilary Carlyle due to suspension and Kevin Mahon and Jimmy Dainty through injury.
Dundalk forced the first chance of the match when Peter Thomas produced a superb one-handed save to deny Cathal Muckian after good work by Mick Lawlor. Waterford then produced a period of sustained pressure and took the lead after 13 minutes when Jackson crossed for Roche, Waterford’s big American striker, to slide the ball past Blackmore from close range. Wallace had a chance to increase Waterford’s lead but he shot wide from eight yards. Thomas then made another great save from Muckian.

Waterford United: Thomas, O’Mahony, Gardiner, Finucane, Dunphy, Keane, McCarthy, Jackson, Wallace, Rocks, Matthews. Sub: Carey for Roche, Hall for Finucane.

Dundalk: Blackmore, Byrne, McConville, Dunning, Keely, Martin Lawlor, O’Neill, Mick Lawlor, Flanagan, Muckian, Crawley.

MATCH 18                        24th DECEMBER 1978                        LEAGUE      DUNDALK 3-2 SHAMROCK ROVERS


Dundalk needed a big result to get their league championship hopes back on track. In front of a large crowd on Christmas Eve, Dundalk came from behind to win an enthralling contest by 3-2. Shamrock Rovers had played very well throughout and were on course for victory. This was despite of the fact that they had been reduced to ten men after just 25 minutes when Ray Treacy was sent off. Rovers took the lead just seven minutes later when Eddie Byrne chipped the ball into the top corner. Dundalk equalised in the 38th minute when Hilary Carlyle charged down Dave Henderson in the Rovers goal and as the ball ran loose Sean Byrne forced it over the line. Rovers went ahead again a minute after the break when Lynex got the better of Keely and crossed to Meagen who scored from close range. Dundalk received a blow when Mick Lawlor was stretchered off with torn ligaments. The home side pegged Rovers back in their own half for the final twenty minutes.

Henderson made several fine saves including a one handed effort to turn Cathal Muckian’s shot around the post. However, Muckian was to finally get on the scoresheet after 78 minutes when he headed home a close range effort. In the 90th minute a Carlyle-Dainty-Muckian move let Flanagan in to score the winner. So Dundalk were second on goal difference behind Bohs in the table at Christmas.

The exciting win over Rovers came at a high cost as it was revealed after the game that Mick Lawlor was to be out of action for at least two months after tearing his knee ligaments. “Replacing a man of Mick Lawlor’s ability is virtually impossible but the player I have in mind is capable of doing a job for us” said Jim McLaughlin. “The injury could not have come at a worst time for after getting through a sticky patch we were just beginning to get it together again. It was a heavy price to pay for the win over Rovers – easily the best Rovers team I have played since taking over at Dundalk – but the rest of the players are determined that it won’t stop us keeping our place at the top of the table”.

MATCH 19                        28th DECEMBER 1978                        LEAGUE       LIMERICK 0-2 DUNDALK


Dundalk built on their fine win over Rovers with a professional performance at the Market’s Field against Limerick. Jim McLaughlin had requested that the match be called off beforehand such was the amount of rain that fell overnight. However, thankfully the referee decided to proceed and Dundalk overcame one of their closest challengers to go back to the summit of the league table. Dundalk’s opener came after 25 minutes when Hilary Carlyle headed past Kevin Fitzpatrick following a corner kick.

After Duggan wasted a good opportunity to equalise – Cathal Muckian doubled Dundalk’s advantage when he scored a beautiful goal from the edge of the box following a Tommy McConville free-kick. Limerick were reduced to ten men after 67 minutes following a hard tackle by Tony Fitzgerald on Dermot Keely. Limerick had a loud appeal for a penalty turned down which proved too much for one supporter who jumped the hoardings to confront the referee before being stopped by Limerick Chairman Michael Lipper.

Dundalk: Blackmore, McConville, Martin Lawlor, Keely, Dunning, Flanagan, Byrne, Crawley, Carlyle, Muckian, Dainty.
MATCH 20                        7th JANUARY 1979            LEAGUE       HOME FARM 0-1 DUNDALK


Dundalk took advantage of the weather conditions playing havoc with fixtures over the Christmas period to go three points clear of Bohs and Drogheda United having played two more games. Dundalk were made to work hard by Dave Bacuzzi’s Home Farm side – but the result was never in much doubt. Dundalk even survived being reduced to ten men following Hilary Carlyle’s sending off in the 64th minute.

This match marked the debut of former Shelbourne player Liam Devine – who came close to opening his Dundalk account when Finnerty punched Jimmy Dainty’s cross directly into his path after 10 minutes only for the new boy to mishit his shot. Cathal Muckian also went close when he forced Finnerty into an excellent save from a well struck shot from 20 yards. Muckian was to get his goal when, three minutes after the restart, Flanagan arched a free-kick into the goalmouth and Muckian headed home. Home Farm – with Martin Murray (about to return to Everton) and Ronnie Whelan (being watched by Celtic manager Billy McNeill) both playing very well – had a few chances to level the match. Whelan tested Blackmore’s reflexes with a 25 yard chip. However, Dundalk were able to see out the game without any great difficulty.

Home Farm: Finnerty, Williams, Kelly, Breslin, Daly, Synnott, Murray, Whelan, Moran, Craig, O’Connor. Sub: Thomas for Williams

Dundalk: Blackmore, McConville, Keely, Dunning, Martin Lawlor, Byrne, Flanagan, Devine, Dainty, Muckian, Carlyle. Sub: McKenna for Byrne.

MATCH 21                        14th JANUARY 1979                        LEAGUE     DUNDALK 5-1 ST PATRICK’S ATHLETIC


Dundalk dismantled lowly St Pats to consolidate their position at the top of the table. It was simply no contest after Dundalk raced into an early two goal lead and stretched it to four goals by half-time. Cathal Muckian, Liam Devine and Hilary Carlyle  were in devastating form. Tommy McConville gave Dundalk an early lead before Jimmy Dainty added a second from the penalty spot. Muckian set up Carlyle for the third before he capitalised on a poor throw intended for the St Pats keeper to make it 4-0 at half time. Carlyle wrapped the game up with a fifth in the second half.

Dundalk: Blackmore, McConville, Dunning, Keely, Lawlor, Byrne, Flanagan, Devine, Carlyle, Muckian, Dainty.

St Patrick’s Athletic: Garland, Barnes, Glynn, Collins, Murphy, Doyle, Carberry, Beardsley, Jenkins, Luke, Barrett.

MATCH 22                        21st JANUARY 1979                        LEAGUE     SLIGO ROVERS 1-2 DUNDALK


Dundalk overcame the tough challenge of Sligo Rovers to keep their place at the top of the table. This win was seen as a major stepping stone to regaining the league title they last won in 1976. Sligo started strongly and, after forcing three corners, took the lead after 17 minutes. Tony Cavanagh’s corner was deflected into the path of Chris Rutherford outside the penalty area and, with Richie Blackmore unsighted, drove a shot through a cluster of players to the net. Sligo came close to extending their lead when Gary Hulmes nearly capitalised on a mix-up between Tommy McConville and Blackmore but his shot was blocked by Dunning. Dundalk levelled after 41 minutes when Rutherford was disposed in his own half by Cathal Muckian who blasted past Patterson from close range.

Sligo had most of the play in the second half but McConville won his joust with Cavanagh. With only seventeen minutes remaining Dunning’s header was cleared by Paul Fielding into the path of Carlyle 25 yards out. Carlyle struck a curling left-footed effort past Patterson’s despairing dive into the top corner. It was a fabulous strike worthy of league champions. Vinny McKenna, who came on for the injured Liam Devine, almost made it 3-1 when his header came off the crossbar.

SLIGO ROVERS: Patterson, Fielding, Stenson, Rutherford, Fox, McCool, Fagan, Tobin, Hulmes, Kane, Cavanagh. Sub: Sheridan for Cavanagh, McKenzie for Fielding.
DUNDALK: Blackmore, McConville, Keely, Dunning, Lawlor, Byrne, Flanagan, Devine, Dainty, Muckian, Carlyle. Sub: McKenna for Devine.

MATCH 23                        25th JANUARY 1979                        LEAGUE     DUNDALK 3-0 ATHLONE TOWN


One of the biggest crowds of the season attended this Thursday night match to see Dundalk overcome Athlone Town in an enthralling encounter in Oriel Park. This was an electrifying performance by Jim McLaughlin’s men that helped them back to the top of the table. Dundalk suffered a blow before the kick-off when Hilary Carlyle failed to turn up due to travel difficulties. Vinny McKenna, recently signed from Shelbourne, made his first start in Carlyle’s place. The star of the show was Sean Byrne. Athlone’s midfield featured talent such as Harry McCue and Larry Wyse – but they couldn’t handle Byrne’s display of controlled aggression and class. Dundalk opened the scoring after 11 minutes when Jimmy Dainty swung in a corner that was headed home by Cathal Muckian. Athlone, who were unbeaten in 12 matches, gave away a soft goal after 30 minutes when goalkeeper Willy Byrne cleared out to Kevin Smyth but Byrne nipped the ball away from him and went on to smash the ball to the net.

Willy Byrne tipped a Liam Devine effort over the bar but it was 3-0 after 56 minutes when Sean Byrne broke on the left and beat two Athlone defenders before crossing to find McKenna who slammed home an unstoppable shot. A memorable evening for Dundalk! The win put Dundalk back to the top of the table by a single point from Bohs.

DUNDALK: Blackmore, McConville, Keely, Dunning, Lawlor, Flanagan, Byrne, Devine, Muckian, Dainty, McKenna. Sub: Crawley for Dainty.

ATHLONE TOWN: Byrne, Smyth, Whelan, Fenuik, Conway, Wyse, McCue, Clarke, Daly, Bradley, Devlin. Subs: Larkin for Whelan, Mannion for McCue.
MATCH 24                        JANUARY 28th 1979                        LEAGUE     DUNDALK 3-0 CORK ALBERTS


Heavy snowfall had put this match at risk. The match went ahead on a snow covered pitch but Dundalk produced another fine display. Dundalk took the lead after 35 minutes. Dundalk had a penalty appeal turned down when Nodwell appeared to push Cathal Muckian but, as Dundalk made their appeals, Tobin’s attempt to pass back to Finucane in the Alberts goal was intercepted by Hilary Carlyle who took the ball around the keeper and slotted into the empty net. Muckian added a typical effort in the 55thminute when he scored from fifteen yards after been set up by Carlyle. Muckian then returned the favour with twenty minutes remaining by heading on Keely’s clearance into Carlyle’s path who gave Finucane no chance.

DUNDALK: Blackmore, McConville, Dunning, Keely, Lawlor, Byrne, Flanagan, Devine, Dainty, Carlyle, Muckian. Subs: McKenna for Dainty, Crawley for Dunning.

CORK ALBERTS: Finucane, Tobin, Notley, Carroll, Nodwell, Punch, Lawson, Lane, Murphy, McCarthy, Tambling. Subs: Waters for Murphy, Brohan, for Carroll.

MATCH 25                        31st JANUARY 1979                                    FRIENDLY   DUNDALK 2-1 BIRMINGHAM CITY


Birmingham City contacted Dundalk FC about a friendly for some match practice after a number of their fixtures were postponed. The big attraction was the appearance of Trevor Francis who was on the verge of becoming the first £1 Million footballer. Also on display was Ireland international Don Givens and Argentinian World Cup winner Alberto Tarantini. Dundalk – who had narrowly failed to qualify for European football in 1978 – produced arguably their best performance of the season. Dundalk took the lead after 21 minutes when Hilary Carlyle converted after good build up play by Jimmy Dainty and Cathal Muckian.

Dainty then provided the second goal three minutes later when he crossed for Tommy McConville to score. In the 34th minute Birmingham reduced the lead when Buckley headed home a corner kick by Towers. Dundalk’s defence held firm in the second half although Blackmore had to make great saves from Francis, Tarantini and Buckley. The nearest to an equaliser for Birmingham was when Dillon struck the crossbar.

DUNDALK: Blackmore, McConville, Lawlor, Keely, McKenna, Flanagan, Byrne, Devine, Carlyle, Muckian, Dainty.
Subs: Crawley for Devine, O’Neill for Dainty.

BIRMINGHAM CITY: Freeman, Tarantini, Pendry, Page, Gallagher, Broadhurst, Towers, Francis, Buckley, Bertchin, Givens.

MATCH 26                        4th FEBRUARY 1979                        LEAGUE     DROGHEDA UNITED 1-0 DUNDALK


With Bohemians hammering Cork Celtic 6-0 at Dalymount Park, this defeat at Lourdes Stadium left Dundalk in second place in the table on goal difference with Bohemians also having played a game less. Dundalk had their chances – Flanagan had a clear run at goal but his effort was pushed over the bar by Forrestal and Dainty and Muckian also had chances. The goal came from Martin who sent a looping header under the crossbar.

Drogheda United: Forrestal, Herrick, Ferguson, Donnelly, Cameron, McAuley, Campbell, Martin, Clarke, Byrne, Brammeld.

Dundalk: Blackmore, McConville, Dunning, Keely, Lawlor, Byrne, Flanagan, McKenna, Carlyle, Muckian, Dainty. Sub: Devine for Dainty.

MATCH 27                        11th FEBRUARY 1979                        FAI CUP 1st ROUND    DUNDALK 1-0 ST PATRICK’S ATHLETIC


While not repeating the 5-1 rout of a few weeks previously – Dundalk still enjoyed a comfortable passage into the next round of the FAI Cup. The goal came after 13 minutes when St Pats’ defender Paul Doyle failed to cut out a long ball from Martin Lawlor and Hilary Carlyle tucked away the ball into the corner of the net past Mick O’Brien. Blackmore made a great save after 60 minutes to thwart Gary Barrett while Hilary Carlyle missed an open goal ten minutes later. O’Brien subsequently made great saves from Flanagan and Muckian to keep his side in contention until the final whistle.

DUNDALK: Blackmore, McConville, Lawlor, Keely, Dunning, Devine, Byrne, Carlyle, Muckian, Flanagan, McKenna. Sub: O’Neill for Dunning.

ST PATRICK’S ATHLETIC: O’Brien, Barnes, Daly, T Doyle, Murphy, P Doyle, Munroe, Collins, Carthy, Luke, Barrett.

MATCH 28                        18th FEBRUARY 1979                        LEAGUE         DUNDALK 1-0 BOHEMIANS


Dundalk responded magnificently to the pressure of playing in front of their biggest crowd of the season against their closest challengers with a 1-0 win over Bohs at Oriel Park. However, Dundalk had to rely on an unlikely hero. Paddy Dunning was doubtful with a pulled muscle right up to kick-off time – yet it was his 66th minute goal that sealed the vital victory. Sean Byrne’s superb through-ball allowed Flanagan some freedom who produced a measured cross for Dunning to apply the finish. It was no more than Dundalk deserved. Jim McLaughlin’s mean had earlier squandered three golden opportunities.  Smyth, in the Bohs goal, made first class saves from Byrne and Muckian in the opening twenty minutes. Bohs only had one half chance late on when Paddy Joyce fired over the bar. Representatives from Liverpool, Birmingham and Celtic were present to witness fine performances from Keely, Byrne, McConville and Dunning. This win gave Dundalk a two point advantage over Bohs who still had a game in hand.

Dundalk: Blackmore, McConville, Dunning, Keely, Lawlor, McKenna, Byrne, Flanagan, Carlyle, Muckian, Dainty.

BOHEMIANS: Smyth, Shelly, Burke, McCormack, Brady, P O’Connor, Kelly, Lawless, T O’Connor, Joyce, Eviston.

MATCH 29                        25th FEBRUARY 1979                        LEAGUE    THURLES TOWN 1-3 DUNDALK


Dundalk took a major step towards the title on this day. While victory over Thurles was expected – a major boost came in the form of a penalty from Larry Murray that gave Shamrock Rovers victory over Bohemians at Dalymount Park. This gave Dundalk some breathing space with a four point lead at the top of the table having played one game more. It took 21 minutes for Dundalk to take the lead through Hilary Carlyle. Sean Byrne scored from close range after 44 minutes and he scored his second goal after 76 minutes from Dainty’s cross. Philip Paisley scored a late consolation for the home side.

THURLES TOWN: Dunne, Doran, McQuaid, Lyons, Last, Ingoldsby, Humphries, Paisley, Madden, Stephens, Harding. Sub: Steedman for Ingoldsby.

DUNDALK: Blackmore, McConville, Lawlor, Keely, Dunning, Flanagan, Byrne, McKenna, Carlyle, Muckian, Dainty.

MATCH 30                        4th MARCH 1979                        LEAGUE       DUNDALK 2-1 GALWAY ROVERS


Dundalk endured a nervous afternoon against Galway Rovers at Oriel Park but extended their lead at the top of the table to five points. Tom Lally produced a one man show to keep Galway in the game in the early stages. He first denied Sean Byrne who latched on to a poor pass back by Tommy Callaghan only to shoot straight at Lally. Vincent McKenna also saw his effort well saved. Cathal Muckian should have opened his account after 18 minutes but he shot straight at the keeper. Then, Muckian miskicked went straight through on goal while Jimmy Dainty also miscued his effort after breaking free on the right. Lally produced the save of the match when he dived full length to keep out Carlyle’s left footer. Dundalk finally took the lead after 61 minutes. Dainty’s cross was headed back into the penalty area by Dunning for Muckian to tap home from five yards. However, Galway stunned the large crowd when they equalised just two minutes later. Gerry Quinlivan tried a shot from the right but Wally Ffrench diverted the ball past Blackmore. Thankfully, Dundalk restored their lead after 73 minutes when Muckian rose highest to Dainty’s corner to score. With Bohemians being held to a 0-0 draw at Limerick – Dundalk now lead the table by five points.

DUNDALK: Blackmore, McConville, Lawlor, Keely, Dunning, Flanagan, Byrne, McKenna, Carlyle, Muckian, Dainty.

GALWAY ROVERS: Lally, A Murphy, McDaid, Nolan, T Murphy, Callaghan, Quinlivan, McGraine, Kennedy, McKenna, French.

MATCH 31                        11th MARCH 1931                        FAI CUP       DUNDALK 2-0 FINN HARPS


Dundalk qualified for the semi-finals of the FAI Cup in windy conditions at Oriel Park. Both sides struggled with the blustery wind and, as a consequence, the large crowd witnessed a scrappy game. However, with the wind at their backs, Dundalk gradually took command of the game. Dundalk took the lead after the first real incident of the game. Flanagan got clear on the right wing and sent over a teasing ball into the penalty area which Tony O’Doherty handled when trying to bring it under control. Jimmy Dainty’s firmly struck spot-kick hit the underside of the crossbar on its way to the net to bring the crowd to their feet. Chances were at a premium for the remainder of the half. Cathal Muckian shot over the bar after 21 minutes and Charlie McDermott made a great save to deny Hilary Carlyle. Mick Lawlor, making his first appearance since Christmas, blazed over the crossbar following a Vinny McKenna cross just before the break. Harps applied the pressure following the break.

In the 61st minutes, John Duffy found Joe McGrory clear in the penalty area with the home defence standing still looking for an off-side decision and he headed just wide of Richie Blackmore’s post.  Blackmore was again called into service a minute later when he saved an effort from Duffy. However, Dundalk finally put the game beyond Harps’ reach in the 70th minute when Flanagan received the ball midway inside the Harps half and sent a perfect throughball to Muckian, who with little space to spare, slotted the ball past McDermott.

Dundalk: Blackmore, McConville, Martin Lawlor, McKenna, Dunning, Flanagan, Byrne, Mick Lawlor, Carlyle, Muckian, Dainty.
Finn Harps: McDermott, Duffy, Monagle, T O’Doherty, Sheridan, Healy, Logan, McNally, McGrory, Minnock, P McGuinness.

MATCH 31                        18th March 1979                        LEAGUE          SHELBOURNE 0-3 DUNDALK


Dundalk took a giant step towards the league title following a superb late goal spree at Tolka Park. This victory left Dundalk just requiring four points to recapture the title. The heavy rainfall deprived the attendance of a spectacle. Shels kept Dundalk at bay until the 66th minute. Dainty produced some of his legendary wing-play to beat Roche and Forsyth to send over a perfect cross for Carlyle to outjump Devlin to heat to the net.  Dainty then struck a vicious shot past Devlin to make it 2-0. Finally, in the 70thminute, Dainty again was the provider when he crossed to the far post for Leo Flanagan to shoot home off the post.

Shelbourne: Devlin, Higgins, Mason, Clink, Tierney, Roche, Heffernan, Forsyth, Buckley, Dillon, Sheehy.

Dundalk: Blackmore, McKenna, Dunning, McConville, Martin Lawlor, Byrne, Mick Lawlor, Flanagan, Carlyle, Muckian, Dainty. Sub: Devine for Dunning.
MATCH 32                        25th MARCH 1979                        LEAGUE           DUNDALK 1-1 FINN HARPS


The biggest cheer at Oriel Park during this match came when the PA announcer gave the news of what was happening at Tolka Park. The Dundalk fans had little else to cheer as the home side struggled with the pressure of being so close to the title. Dundalk nearly got off to the perfect start when Vinny McKenna put Sean Byrne straight through only for Byrne’s shot to smash off the crossbar.

Later in the game, Paddy Dunning and Tommy McConville would also head against the Harps crossbar. Inevitably on a afternoon of such tension, Finn Harps had taken a 37th minute lead when Joe McGrory’s shot was deflected past Blackmore by McKenna. Dundalk finally secured a point when Leo Flanagan produced a superb through-ball for Hilary Carlyle to score with a superb strike from the edge of the box. A dropped point – but the news came through that a Ronnie Whelan inspired Home Farm had defeated Bohs 2-1 at Tolka Park that meant that Jim McLaughlin’s men just needed one more point to win the league.

Dundalk: Blackmore, McConville, Dunning, Keely, Martin Lawlor, Byrne, Flanagan, McKenna, Dainty, Carlyle, Muckian. Sub: Mick Lawor for McKenna.

Finn Harps: McDermott, D O’Doherty, Monagle, T O’Doherty, Sheridan, Healy, Logan, McNally, McGrory, Minnock, McLoughlin.

MATCH 33            1st APRIL 1979                        FAI CUP SEMI FINAL       DUNDALK 2-1 CORK ALBERTS

Dundalk kept their chances of a double on course when a late goal accounted for Cork Celtic at Dalymount Park in the FAI Cup semi-final. While the margin of victory of small, Dundalk should have accounted for the Cork team much more easily than the scoreline suggests. Dundalk had taken the lead after just three minutes after a terrible error by Alberts keeper Alex Ludzic. The keeper misjudged a floated centre by Tommy McConville and the ball, carried on in the wind, was headed home by Sean Byrne.

Leo Flanagan nearly benefited from a further error by Ludzic when the keeper pushed another McConville cross into this path but his shot went narrowly wide. Paddy Dunning then headed against the crossbar from Dainty’s corner kick. Alberts were at sixes and sevens – yet managed to conjur an unlikely equaliser after 34 minutes. Neiland, in a moment of magic, unleashed a 25 yard shot that struck the crossbar and Murphy hammered home the rebound. Dundalk remained frustrated until the 88thminute when Ludzic failed to deal with Dainty’s corner and Dunning was on-hand to score from close range. Despite loud protests that the keeper was impeded, Dundalk had qualified for the FAI Cup Final.

MATCH 34                        7th APRIL 1979                                    LEAGUE          CORK CELTIC 0-3 DUNDALK


Despite another “edgy” performance, Dundalk produced the goods to capture their second league title in four years at Flower Lodge, Cork with a 3-0 win. Cork Celtic were a club in total disarray and, following a mishap over travel arrangements, were without four Dublin based players. To make matters worse for the hosts, they lost another man after a collision with Richie Blackmore after 15 minutes that resulted in Celtic being only able to play with ten men for the remaining 75 minutes. Yet, it was Hibs that should have taken the lead after 27 minutes when McDaid’s shot from 25 yards caught the angle of post and crossbar.

Dundalk regained their composure to take the lead in the 40th minute. Jimmy Dainty, as so often during this season, crossed for Sean Byrne to head home. Hilary Carlyle, who had earlier seen an effort taken off the line by Nolan, headed the second from another Dainty cross after 62 minutes. Unfortunately for Hilary – his afternoon was soon to come to an end when he was sent off following an incident with McDaid. Dunning finished the scoring after 87 minutes when he timed his run superbly to head home Flanagan’s free-kick.

Cork Celtic: Grady, Neiland, Sheehan, Fogarty, Nolan, O’Mahony, Murphy, McDaid, Punch, Wigginton, Shaw.

Dundalk: Blackmore, McConville, Keely, Dunning, McKenna, Byrne, Mick Lawlor, Flanagan, Muckian, Carlyle, Dainty.

MATCH 35                        APRIL 10th 1979                        LEAGUE


With an upcoming FAI Cup Final against Waterford United to come – Jim McLaughlin didn’t wish to show his hand. Despite an entertaining game – Waterford went home with the points following a 3-0 win.

MATCH 36                        APRIL 22nd 1979                                    FAI CUP FINAL



Dundalk achieved their first league and cup double – and the first at all since Shamrock Rovers in 1964 – with a comfortable victory over Waterford in the FAI Cup Final at Dalymount Park. 14,000 people were in attendance for the victory – which witnessed Dundalk repeat their feat in the semi-final by scoring goals early and then late in the game to secure the famous win. Dundalk opened the scoring after just four minutes in controversial fashion. The linesman had his flag up for offside against Cathal Muckian but referee Paddy Daly overruled the decision and allowed play to continue. Hilary Carlyle crossed into the box for Sean Byrne volleyed past Peter Thomas from 20 yards. Waterford had some long spells of pressure and Dundalk relied on Richie Blackmore to come to the rescue on two occasions. After 22 minutes, Ger O’Mahony stole possession from Martin Lawlor and struck a tremendous effort from 30 yards only for Blackmore to tip the ball over the top.

Within a few moments, Tommy Jackson’s through pass caught out both Paddy Dunning and Dermot Keely as Sid Wallace bore down on goal. Again, Blackmore came to the rescue by sprinting off his line to save with his legs at the expense of a corner. After 55 minutes, Blackmore again came to his sides rescue when he made a superb one handed save to deny Johnny Matthew’s header. Dundalk provided most of the attacking play in the closing half hour. Mick Lawlor’s cross sent Jimmy Dainty clear after 67 minutes but Thomas saved his chip. Dundalk finished the job off in the 91st minute. Keely’s long clearance was collected by Carlyle who burst through the middle and squeezed his shot between Thomas and his left hand post to make it 2-0.

Dundalk: Blackmore, McConville, Keely, Dunning, Martin Lawlor, Flanagan, Mick Lawlor, Byrne, Dainty, Carlyle, Muckian.

Waterford: Thomas, O’Mahoney, Dunphy, Finucane, Gardiner, Madigan, Jackson, McCarthy, Smith, Wallace, Mathews.