Date: 7:45 p.m. May 1, 2009
Venue: Dalymount Park
Ref: Anthony Buttimer
Att: 2,000 (est)
Despite the host’s dominance, it took them eighteen minutes to create their first clear chance when Glen Crowe flicked a long ball on to Gary Deegan inside the Dundalk half. The midfielder cut inside from the right and volleyed a great left foot shot at goal which was well turned behind by Chris Bennion, who enjoyed a busy night in Dundalk’s goal.
Ten minutes later and it was Jason Byrne who threatened for Bohs. Graham Carey’s corner found the striker free six yards out however he failed to connect from in front of goal. A minute later and Byrne had possession on the corner of the box. He turned and shot in one movement however his effort, which seemed destined to bend into the far corner, drifted just over the bar.
The visitors gifted Bohemians the lead midway through the first half when Michael Coburn’s poor back pass was intercepted by Jason Byrne behind the Dundalk defence. Coburn was on the halfway line when he attempted a backpass without looking to see where the Bohs players were in the pitch. Byrne simply ran at Chris Bennion in the Dundalk goal and unselfishly rolled in Glen Crowe to score an easy goal from ten yards.
The final ten minutes of the half saw a spate of corners for Bohs with Ken Oman perhaps disappointed to have not scored form one of his three clear chances in front of goal.
The second half started the same as the first with Bohs in complete control. Harpal Singh did not make things any easier for Dundalk, earning himself two quick yellow cards and with that a dismissal not long after the break. The first was for dissent following Paul Keegan’s heavy challenge on Christ Turner going unpunished and the second was for a late and bad challenge on Killian Brennan.
From Brennan’s resulting corner, Glen Crowe headed onto the underside of the bar however the ball somehow bounced the wrong side of the line – from a Bohs perspective.
Tackles were beginning to fly in now so Bohs’ second came at just the right time to kill the game off. Another Brennan free kick found its way to Graham Carey wide on the left. He jinked his way amongst a host of bodies in the box before Michael Coburn brought him to ground. The referee pointed to the spot and Jason Byrne slotted home the penalty.
Michael Daly suffered a bad injury towards the end of the game and, with Dundalk having made all their substitutions, Sean Connors men were forced to play the remaining ten minutes with just nine on the pitch. Bohs clinically capitalised on the situation with Byrne adding three more strikes in the remaining ten minutes.
The first came from a lightening break where Dundalk chased no more than shadows, with Byrne finishing off the move from ten yards.
His hat trick was thanks to Neale Fenn’s wonderful chip over the Dundalk back line, finding Byrne in front of goal to round Chris Bennion and tap in. All this came moments after Killian Brennan’s great run and shot produced a fine save from Bennion, which landed at Fenn’s feet to start the move.
His fourth, and Bohs fifth, came as a result of another Dundalk error when Michael Coburn – who had an awful night – failed to deal with a simple ball in front of goal, letting the ball squirm to the free Byrne at the back post for another easy strike.
Extratime.ie man of the match: Jason Byrne
Bohemians: B. Murphy, Heary, Powell, Deegan, Shelley, Oman, Carey, Keegan, Crowe, Byrne, Brennan
Subs: Gregg, A. Murphy, Cronin, McGuiness, Fenn
Dundalk: Bennion, Kelly, Rodgers, Mulvenna, Turmer, Mansaram, Singh, Synott, Coburn, Rowe, O’Callaghan
Subs: Heary, O’Brien, McGinley, Daly, Coulter