Hoban Hat-Trick Seals Win
Dundalk returned to the top of the table at Oriel Park on Friday evening as they secured a 4-0 win over Limerick on a fine summer evening.
A superb hat-trick from no.9 Patrick Hoban was added to by Krisztián Adorján in the second half to seal a seventh consecutive league win.
It was Limerick who had the first opportunity to shoot when Conor Clifford won a free-kick 30 yards from goal and the former Lilywhite took it himself however he blazed well over the bar.
Dundalk began to get on top after that and Krisztián Adorján had a superb chance to make it 1-0 close to the 20 minute mark when he had a free header in the box but he could only direct Dylan Connolly’s cross into the arms of Brendan Clarke.
Michael Duffy teed himself up on the left hand side and he unleashed a powerful drive but it hit off his own teammate – Karolis Chvedukas – and went out of play.
Duffy then had an even better chance to put the Lilywhites in front.
A ball through the middle by Robbie Benson was flicked on by Patrick Hoban. Duffy found himself through on goal but with just Clarke to beat, he fired inches wide of the left hand post.
The winger should have and could have had just past the half hour mark. He got onto the end of Benson’s through ball but his left footed shot was somehow deflected onto the post from close range.
Hoban was next to try his luck when he was first to react to Dean Jarvis’ cleared cross. He chested it down and shot on the turn but it was pushed away brilliantly by Clarke.
Duffy’s ball into the box then caused panic but it was eventually cleared by Limerick just as Hoban was about to pull the trigger and the danger was gone.
For all the pressure, Dundalk almost fell behind in the 40th minute when Mark O’Sullivan’s header from a corner looped goalwards and beat Gary Rogers however Benson was on the line to head it away.
From the break away the Lilywhites took the lead.
The ball broke to Connolly who won a corner and Duffy’s kick broke to Hoban on the edge of the area. He struck a rasping shot, which took a deflection, past Clarke and into the net.
Hoban almost made it two moments later when he took control of the ball 20 yards from goal but his shot was just wide of the target.
As we edged closer to half-time, Hoban found himself through on goal again after Adorján’s through ball but he snatched at it and it went well wide.
There was still time for Benson to have a go but his curler after being laid off by Duffy was easily saved by Clarke in what was the final action of the half.
Dundalk had the first chance of the half when Cleary got his head onto the end of Duffy’s corner however it looped into the air and allowed Clarke gather with ease.
It was almost 2-0 moments later when Connolly showed his incredible pace on the right and placed a teasing cross into the box which was missed by both Hoban and Adorján. It fell to the waiting Duffy but he fired well over the bar from six yards.
Duffy was played through on goal by Benson once more but his shot was deflected wide for a corner. He took the kick himself but Cleary couldn’t guide his header goalwards.
Adorján was played in by Hoban but his shot was deflected into the arms of Clarke.
With 25 minutes to go, Dundalk did make it 2-0.
Connolly did exceptionally well to pounce on a loose touch from Shane Duggan. He took the ball into the box and as he lined up to square the ball to the waiting Duffy he was hauled down by the Limerick man.
Up stepped Hoban and he calmly dispatched the kick to Clarke’s right, sending him the wrong way.
Connolly found himself in space but he fired well wide when through on goal.he
The third goal did come with 20 minutes left on the watch. Duffy’s corner was cleared back to him and he laid it off to Hoare. His expert ball across the box was superbly dummied by Benson. It was left to the impressive Adorján to fire to the top left hand corner giving Clarke no chance.
Hoban had a downward header go into the arms of Clarke before Adorján shooting from distance but his shot, deflected, was palmed away by Clarke in goal.
Cleary headed wide once more while Hoban missed an opportunity to grab a hat-trick again however Clarke was equal to his header.
A wonderful flowing move saw Jarvis, Murray and Hoban link up to lay it off to Benson but he couldn’t catch his shot properly first time and it went harmlessly into the arms of Clarke.
Hoban would indeed get the hat-trick when a wonderful cross on the run from Connolly on the right wing was sent into the six yard area and he was first to respond to send the ball to the net.
There was just time for substitute Ronan Murray to try a trademark dipping free-kick however he couldn’t get it to drop enough and it went over Clarke’s crossbar.
That was the final action of the game as referee Neil Doyle ended proceedings with Dundalk on the winning trail once again, to round off a good week for the club ahead of the trip north to the Brandywell next Friday.
DUNDALK: Gary Rogers; Sean Hoare, Brian Gartland (capt), Daniel Cleary, Dean Jarvis; Karolis Chvedukas (Sean Gannon 52), Robbie Benson (Georgie Poynton 85); Dylan Connolly, Krisztián Adorján, Michael Duffy (Ronan Murray 75); Patrick Hoban.
Substitutes not used: Gabriel Sava (GK), Sam Byrne, Stephen Folan, Marco Tagbajumi.
Sent off: None.
LIMERICK: Brendan Clarke; Tony Whitehead, Killian Cantwell, Killian Brouder, William Fitzgerald (Jeff McGowan 85); Barry Maguire (Daniel Kearns 28), Shane Duggan (capt), Conor Clifford (Shane Tracy 13), Cian Coleman, Eoin Wearen; Mark O’Sullivan
Substitutes not used: Tommy Holland (GK), Colm Walsh O’Loughlin, Ger Barry, Jason Cross.
Booked: Duggan (64), O’Sullivan (76)
Sent off: None.
Referee: Neil Doyle