IRE Prem
Date: 5:15 p.m. Oct. 13, 2013
Venue: Richmond Park
Ref: Alan Kelly
Att: 3,211

Greg Bolger 33' -
Scored: 33'


Anthony Flood 42' -
Scored: 42'




St Patrick's Athletic secure league title

Sun, Oct 13 2013

Credit: Billy Galligan

The party began early for St. Patrick’s Athletic on Sunday evening as they claimed the 2013 League of Ireland title with two games to spare after a 2-0 win over Sligo Rovers in Inchicore. Goals from Greg Bolger and Anto Flood won the Saints the game and ultimately a thoroughly deserved championship for Pat’s.

 

There was a celebratory mood in a packed and rocking Richmond Park all evening, a throwback to an earlier era, the last century to be exact, as Pat’s claimed their first league title for 14 years. “We are going to party like it’s 1999” sang Prince over the PA ahead of kick off and the coronation of the new Kingpins of Ireland was just 90 minutes away. President Michael D Higgins and interim Ireland manager Noel King were in attendance to see Sligo Rovers lose their league of Ireland crown.

 

Some had questioned Pat’s ambitions at the start of the season but Saints boss Liam Buckley always had the belief that his squad could claim the title. The addition of Killian Brennan at the beginning of the campaign and Daryl Kavanagh mid-season were the catalyst for the championship win but the ingredients were already there in Richmond Park from the last campaign.

 

Sligo had started the season with eight league wins in a row but Pat’s ended that run with a 2-0 win in Inchicore back in April. Ian Baraclough’s men had qualified last weekend for the FAI Cup Final and were looking for a win over the Saints to keep their slim double chances alive. Pat’s knew after Saturday’s late drama in Dalymount, with Dundalk’s Stephen O’Donnell missed Panenka penalty, that all they needed was a point to effectively claim the title thanks to their superior goal difference. A win though, would guarantee them it and that is what the Pat’s faithful sought from their team.

 

It was Sligo though who created the best openings in the first half an hour of the game. Alan Keane got forward on the right and cutting inside his fourth minute shot brushed the top of Kavanagh’s head but didn’t deviate enough to take it past Brendan Clarke in the Pat’s goal. An Evan McMillan header, a Kieran Djilali shot spilled by Clarke and another header, this time from Gavin Peers, had Pat’s fans were wondering would their team wake up and get into the game.

 

They needn’t have worried though as the roof was lifted off Richmond Park in the 33rd minute. Greg Bolger has been influential all season for the Saints with his measured passing and defensive cover in front of the back four but this time it was his goalscoring that helped Pat’s. His effort from 25 yards out flew past Gary Rogers into the top corner of the net. A great time for him to score his first league goal of the campaign and what a shot to do it with.

 

The game turned on that goal and Pat’s piled on the pressure in the remaining time in the first half especially. Kavanagh and Ian Bermingham both got in each other’s way before Bermingham lifted the ball over the bar with a shot. A Brennan free kick was beautifully turned around the post by Rogers but the coup de grace came three minutes before the break. John Russell’s penetrating run into the box allowed him to roll the ball to Flood who tapped home from two yards to make it 2-0 at half-time.

 

It may have been a bit presumptuous of the Pat’s PA to play the theme tune to the Champions League during the break or have Queen’s “We are the Champions” playing as the team’s emerged from the tunnel for the second half but the result wasn’t going to read any other way.

 

Rogers was required to save Anto Flood’s low shot on the hour mark. Anthony Elding came off the bench for Sligo but he hasn’t been able to find the form that propelled the Bit O’Red to their early league lead before slipping back. His first touch saw him get a shot away that Clarke easily dealt with. The ‘keeper did really well on 73 minutes with a double save from Keane and David Cawley to snuff out any Sligo comeback.

 

Even when the Pat’s netminder made a mistake with an awful attempt at a punched clearance, man of the match Bolger was on hand to get back and clear the ball over the bar just as it looked like it would go over the line.

 

Referee Alan Kelly’s final whistle sparked a joyous pitch invasion and you couldn’t begrudge the Saints supporters for that. They will see their team collect the league trophy at next week’s home game against Derry City while Sligo hope to get their hands on some silverware of their own in the upcoming FAI Cup final. But the night, and the season, belongs to St. Patrick’s Athletic who picked up their eighth league crown, as the Super Saints became the 2013 League of Ireland champions.

 

St Patrick’s Athletic: Brendan Clarke; Ger O’Brien, Conor Kenna, Kenny Browne, Ian Bermingham; Greg Bolger; Conan Byrne, John Russell, Killian Brennan, Daryl Kavanagh (Chris Forrester 70); Anto Flood (Christy Fagan 78).
Subs not used: Rene Gilmartin, Aidan Price, Sean Gannon, Lorcan Fitzgerald, Jake Kelly.

Booked: None

 

Sligo Rovers: Gary Rogers; Alan Keane, Evan McMillan (Lee Lynch 87), Gavin Peers, Iarflaith Davoren; Raffaele Cretaro (David McMillan 75), David Cawley, Danny Ventre, Kieran Djilali, Aaron Greene; Danny North (Anthony Elding 64).
Subs not used: Ciaran Kelly, Seamus Conneely, Pascal Millien, Liam Martin.

Booked: Cawley (79).

 

Referee: Alan Kelly.

Attendance: 3,211.

Extratime.ie man of the match: Greg Bolger



St. Patrick's Athletic
Brendan Clarke
Goalkeeper
Ger O'Brien
Defender
Conor Kenna
Defender
Kenny Browne
Defender
Ian Bermingham
Defender
John Russell
Midfielder
Daryl Kavanagh
70'
70Subbed Off: 70'
Midfielder
Conan Byrne
Midfielder
Killian Brennan
Midfielder
Greg Bolger
33Scored: 33'
Midfielder
Anthony Flood
42Scored: 42'
78'
78Subbed Off: 78'
Forward

Substitutes
Aidan Price
Defender
Jake Kelly
Midfield
Rene Gilmartin
Goalkeeper
Sean Gannon
Defender
Chris Forrester
70'
70Subbed On: 70'
Midfield
Lorcan Fitzgerald
Defender
Christy Fagan
78'
78Subbed On: 78'
Forward
Sligo Rovers
Gary Rogers
Goalkeeper
Gavin Peers
Defender
Evan McMillan
Defender 87'
87Subbed Off: 87'
Alan Keane
Defender
Iarfhlaith Davoren
Defender
Aaron Greene
Midfielder
Kieran Djilali
Midfielder
Raffaele Cretaro
Midfielder 75'
75Subbed Off: 75'
David Cawley
Midfielder
79Booked: 79'
Danny Ventre
Midfielder
Danny North
Forward 64'
64Subbed Off: 64'

Substitutes
Pascal Millien
Forward
David McMillan
Forward
75Subbed On: 75'
75'
Liam Martin
Midfield
Lee-J Lynch
Midfield
87Subbed On: 87'
87'
Ciaran Kelly
Goalkeeper
Anthony Elding
Forward
64Subbed On: 64'
64'
Seamus Conneely
Midfield


Photo Gallery for St. Patrick's Athletic -v- Sligo Rovers