Drogheda United capped off a remarkable season with a 4-1 demolition of Bohemians, a team they hadn’t beaten at Dalymount since 2006. Tiarnan Mulvenna, deputising for the suspended Declan O’Brien showed what he is capable off with a blistering hat-trick while Alan McNally headed past the helpess Greg Murray.
Evan McMillan scored for Bohemians to put a small gloss on the scoreline. Another surprise in the night was the the fact that in his final game of his career, Damian Hancock resisted the urge to red-card a single player, but the sometimes controversial referee did brandish a yellow for a rather innocuous Derek Prendergast challenge.
Aaron Callaghan started Owen Heary, Andy Mulligan, Michael Barker and Derek Pender despite ruling them unavailable in the build-up to the game.
They Boynesiders pressed from the out-set and Paul Crowley almost opened the scoring after two minutes, but his shot was deflected just wide. Mulvenna bagged the first of his three when he got between the two centre backs and fired home from the edge of the box on 24 minutes.
Mulvenna had a chance to double the lead on 41 minutes, a Sean Brennnan break through saw the midfielder bare down on goal, but rather than shoot he tried to lay off to Mulvenna who couldn’t get the ball from under his feet and scooped a shot wide.
The former Lilywhite made amends three minutes later when he Stephen Quigley broke into the Bohs box before laying off to Mulvenna who finished from close range in front of the travelling fans.
There was some light for the hosts as they pulled one back just before the final whistle, the Drogheda defence lost concentration for a minute and Sava managed to spill the ball into the path of McMillan who finished into the bottom corner.
A 2-1 lead is always the most tenuous in football, but Drogheda made sure that Bohs fail to gain any momentum from the goal as Ryan Brennan and John Sullivan both had chances right after the break before Alan McNally made it three one with a headed goal from a perfectly delivered Philip Hand corner.
Chances were few and far between for the hosts, but Keith Ward struck the post from a well placed free-kick 25 yards out. The rout was complete on 69 minutes as Mulvenna secured the match ball when he capitalised on a mistake by Murray to score from close range.
However, Mulvenna’s night ended on a sour note as he was stretchered off after a very soft challenge. After the final whistle all the Drogheda players along with manager Mick Cooke made their way to the travelling support located in the Des Kelly stand before throwing several items of clothing into the crowd.
Bohemians: Greg Murray; Owen Heary, Kevin Feely, Evan McMillan, Michael Barker; Keith Buckley, Derek Pender, Stephen Traynor (Keith Ward, 46), Ryan McEvoy, Andy Mulligan (Karl Moore, 46); Dinny Corcoran (Dave Scully, 71).
Subs not used: Andy McNulty, Roberto Lopes, Dylan Connolly, Kevin Devaney.
Drogheda United: Gabriel Sava; Stephen Quigley, Alan McNally, Derek Prendergast (Jason Marks, 86), Philip Hand; Brian Gannon (John Sullivan, 25), Alan Byrne, Paul Crowley, Ryan Brennan; Sean Brennan, Tiarnan Mulvenna (Johnny Breen, 88).
Subs not used: Michael Schlingermann, Conor O'Keefe, Cathal Brady.
Booked: Prendergast (59).
Referee: Damien Hancock.
Extratime Man of the Match: Tiarnan Mulvenna (Drogheda United).