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Bohemians earned Dublin City bragging rights on Friday night as decisive goals from Dinny Corcoran and George Poynton wrapped up a 3-1 win over St. Patrick’s Athletic in Richmond Park having trailed at half time.
Football resumed in the capital following the mid-season break and with a radiant glow from the summer sunshine and a more than reasonable crowd in Inchicore all indicators pointed towards a night of fine football between sides with contrasting fortunes from the first half of their respective campaigns.
St. Pat’s secured just three wins in the first half of the season, two coming in Dublin Derbies, one of which was a resounding 4-0 win in Dalymount Park when Conan Byrne scored a wondergoal from inside his own half.
This game, however, lacked the drama of the pair’s last encounter in the opening period before exploding into life after the break.
A disappointing opening half an hour saw few shots at goal bar a snapshot from Keith Ward which flew by the pos. Both sides tested the waters with occasional chances coming the way of Byrne, including a low shot which flashed inches wide of the post.
The Saints took the lead five minutes before the break when first-half substitute Alex O’Hanlon manoevered his way inside and out of his markers, taking on all comers before spotting an appealing empty corner in Shane Supple’s goal.
Edging his way ever closer into the box, O’Hanlon deftly side-footed the ball into the corner – a smart finish for his first Premier Division goal for the club having replaced the injured Kurtis Byrne just minutes before.
Just six minutes after the interval Bohemians had the scores level. An unforgivable lapse of concentration from the St. Pat’s backline allowed Oscar Brennan to dribble his way behind enemy lines.
Moving slowly and steadily towards the post with the ball finely balanced between his feet, Brennan got the feet from out of his feet and stuck it beyond Conor O’Malley, swinging it across his body, bouncing towards the far corner, where it nestled to make it 1-1.
With all to play for St. Pats went on the attack and very nearly regained the lead. Industrious work by captain Ian Birmingham saw the ball ping and bobble around the penalty area menacingly. Conan Byrne picked up the pieces and offered a shot which was blocked down.
The ball fell to Darragh Markey, who laid it on a plate for JJ Lunney. He cracked a powerful effort that almost flew into the top corner, but missed the crossbar by the smallest of margins as Supple let out a sigh of relief.
The tension levels rose higher and higher as the second half wore on. Clashes and tackles were shared as both sides snarled and bit into one another as the game’s billing as a Dublin derby was finally realised.
Conan Byrne saw a lot of the ball and almost saw his free-kick cross the line, however it was well held by goalkeeper Supple before he launched a devastating counter-attack.
That concluded with former Saints forward Dinny Corcoran sliding the ball expertly past Conor O’Malley as Bohs took a 2-1 lead having gone a goal down.
A challenge by Ian Bermingham caused animosity between both sets of players as George Poynton went down along the touchline, sending both sets of teams and coaches into a shouting match which ended with the St. Pat’s captain being booked. The home supporters accusing Poynton of simulation.
The final nail in the coffin was inflicted with four minutes remaining as Keith Ward found Poynton unmarked breaking fast at the back post. Like Brennan’s earlier finish to draw the sides level, Poynton swung the ball into the far corner to make it 3-1 and make all three points a dead certainty.
Bohemians climb further up the table with their seventh win of the season, while St. Pat’s are dealt a hammer blow in the relegation zone, a ninth defeat from 18 games, leaving many questions to be answered at Richmond Park.
St. Patrick’s Athletic: Conor O’Malley; Graham Kelly, Rory Feely, Lee Desmond, Ian Bermingham; JJ Lunney, Darragh Markey (Jack Bayly 85), Sam Verdon (Aidan Keena 76); Conan Byrne, Kurtis Byrne (Alex O’Hanlon 21), Christy Fagan.
Subs not used: Barry Murphy (gk), Ciaran Kelly, Stephen Grogan, Billy Dennehy.
Yellow Cards: Ian Bermingham (71).
Bohemians: Shane Supple; Derek Pender, Robert Cornwall (Warren O’Hora 76), Daniel Byrne, Oscar Brennan; Keith Ward, Ian Morris, Fuad Sule (Phillip Gannon 68), George Poynton, Kaleem Simon (Paddy Kavanagh 45); Dinny Corcoran
Subs not used: Greg Murray (gk), Dean Casey, Eoghan Moran, Jamie Doyle
Booked: Fuad Sule (54), Oscar Brennan (71), Dan Byrne (81)
Referee: Neil Doyle
Attendance: 1,800 (estimate)
Extratime.ie Player of the Match: Keith Ward (Bohemians)