Dundalk clinch 14th league title

Dundalk supporters were singing in the rain last night as Vinny Perth’s side beat Shamrock Rovers 3-2 to secure the Premier Division title for the 14th time in the club’s history.
There can be no doubting the pedigree of this side given that last night’s league triumph was the fifth in six seasons beginning in 2014 when Stephen Kenny led the Carrick Road side to glory in just his second year in the job. S
ince then there have been some amazing evenings for supporters and last night’s match against title rivals Shamrock Rovers was up there with the best of them.
A total of 3,634 fans made their way to Oriel with the vast majority in attendance hoping to see the Lilywhites beat Rovers to secure the title with four games to spare. The home side started well and deservedly took the lead after 28 minutes when Sean Hoare towered above the Rovers defence to send a bullet header into the net from a Michael Duffy corner.
That goal cranked the atmosphere around Oriel up a notch and just before half-time the roof was almost lifted off the stand as Robbie Benson nipped in behind the Rovers defence to head home.
Rovers got back into the match ten minutes after the restart through Aaron Greene. Tension and nerves began to permeate around the ground but that was quickly lifted thanks to a goal of the season contender from man of the match Michael Duffy. McEleney received a pass from Dane Massey before laying the ball into fellow Derryman Michael Duffy who ran towards the Rovers goal before unleashing an absolute thunderbolt which flew into the top corner.
That it seemed was that but Rovers had not read the script and they made things nervous for Dundalk once more as Aaron McEneff capitalised on a Daniel Cleary error to make it 3-2. Dundalk, however held on thanks to some gutsy defending and good goalkeeping from Rogers and with the rain now pouring down the final whistle sparked wild celebrations as supporters ignored the pleas of stadium announcer Michael Duffy to stay off the pitch.
Five titles in six years and a club record of 23 league matches unbeaten now for Perth’s side but the season is not finished just yet for this magnificent team who face Sligo this weekend in the FAI Cup semi-finals as they look to get a step closer to a domestic treble.

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