The 174th Louth Derby will always be remembered as a historic one thanks to Patrick Hoban’s brace at Weaver’s Park on Friday night.
After equalling Joey Donnelly’s club goalscoring record with a hat-trick over UCD at Oriel Park on the June Bank Holiday, Hoban moved into a league of his own when he planted a trademark header past Drogs goalkeeper Andrew Wogan to register his 143rd goal for Dundalk Football Club.
The 31-year-old wasn’t finished, though, and goal number 144 followed from the penalty spot shortly after as the Lilywhites overturned a one-goal deficit to claim their third derby win of the season.
Speaking afterwards, Hoban agreed that United Park/Weaver’s Park was probably the sweetest place possible to break a record that stood since Donnelly’s last goal for the club all the way back in 1946.
“Yeah, I think so,” he said. “Away from home to Drogheda in the derby? You probably couldn’t get any better really. It’s a great feeling. It’s probably something I’m not going to be able to appreciate probably enough right now because I’m in mid-season but it’s a great honour.
“Like I said before, when I equalled it against UCD, it is a huge honour for myself, for my family, for everyone who supported me in the town, and for the boys that I have been playing with over the years too. It is a great feeling and I just want to say thank you to all of them.
The historic moment came in the 77th minute when substitutes Cameron Elliott and Robbie McCourt combined for Hoban to score Dundalk’s equaliser. It sparked scenes of joy amongst the travelling supporters but the Loughrea-man said he was more concerned about getting the game restarted!
“It was a great ball into the box by Cami and it was a great header back in by Robbie McCourt but I had mixed feelings,” he smiled. “I couldn’t really celebrate the equaliser because you have to get the ball back to the halfway line and win the game, because we had serious momentum and after that, we played really well.
“I felt like we were going to get another chance and it came, albeit from a penalty. I’m not going to lie, it’s actually a bit daunting taking the penalty on that side of the pitch in Drogheda because it’s a bit uphill and the goal looks a lot smaller, compared to the other end but I got good power in it and he had no chance.”
Whereas Donnelly completed his haul in 519 games, Hoban did it in his 276th game for the club, an astonishing achievement by a centre-forward who said he remembers the ones he missed, as much as the ones he scored!
“I remember the goals I should have had, the offsides when I was two yards onside, I remember every single one of them! I remember every single goal I’ve scored and I remember every single chance I’ve missed. I remember everything,” he laughed.
“My career has gone so quickly,” he added. “It’s like I blinked and I’m here. It’s amazing at the same time, to equal an unbelievable record that’s been set since 1946. It’s something I definitely need to be proud of and cherish.”
It is a record that is unlikely to be ever matched but Hoban said the would love a Dundalk player of the future to join himself and Donnelly in the pantheon of the greatest ever.
“You never know,” he said. “I’d like to see someone try and beat it and become a long servant at the club like myself and a good few other lads that have been here over the last 10 years.
“I hope we have players here that want to stay at the club and win things with this club because it’s an unbelievable club with a great history. I love playing here. I love the town. I love playing under the Friday night lights at Oriel Park. You can’t get anywhere better than that.”
And a town loves you, Patrick.