Date: 7:45 p.m. March 26, 2010
Venue: Oriel Park
An entertaining first half ended level as two hard working outfits did their best to nullify each other and deny their opponents time and space. The first real opportunity of the half fell to Tom Miller as a Neale Fenn free kick from around 20 yards deflected off the wall but Miller's right footed effort from around 12 yards rolled agonisingly wide of Gary Rogers left hand post.
JJ Meligan was again showing up well in midfield and a great break down the right ended with him cutting in to roll a teasing ball across goal in an effort to find Ross Gaynor at the far post. Rogers claimed with some difficulty.
David Mulcahy was not holding back from challenges and was perhaps lucky to survive the first half as he was booked for a flying challenge on Shaun Kelly after 24 minutes as they both attempted to win a loose ball.
Mulcahy's challenge looked high and seemed to be show his studs - he was lucky to be only booked. Just before half time he was marginally late and also seemed to follow through the challenge with his shoulder on Stephen Maher and despite uproar over the incident, referee Anthony Buttimer saw fit to lecture rather than brandish the red.
The half time break took a bit of fizz out of the game and when the teams settled St. Patrick's had the upper hand. They nearly opened the scoring as a lovely delivery from wide on the right by Ian Bermingham was met by the head of Conor Kenna. However, Peter Cherrie in the Dundalk goal was equal to it.
Dundalk fought their way back into the contest and came close when a Melligan cross was met by an unmarked Wayne Hatswell, his header was unfortunately straight at Rogers in the Pat's goal.
He repeated the trick a minute later, meeting a far post corner with a header agonisingly back across goal and wide.
Alex Williams nearly snatched the winner for the visitors on 84 minutes as he found himself bearing down one on one with Cherrie. The Lilywhites netminder stood tall, though, and blocked down the ex-Dundalk man's effort.
So honours even and both managers must be delighted with their charges as this was a great advert for the league regardless of the lack of goals. Dundalk now look forward to a trip to Galway whilst Pats next league action is against Sporting Fingal at Richmond Park.
Dundalk: Peter Cherrie; Shaun Kelly, Garry Breen, Liam Burns, Wayne Hatswell; JJ Melligan, Stephen Maher, Tom Miller, Ross Gaynor; Fahrudin Kudozovic, Neale Fenn.
Subs not used: Michael Synnott, Ciaran McGuigan, Johnny Breen, Billy Smith, Matt Gregg.
St Patricks Athletic: Gary Rogers; Derek Pender, Ian Bermingham, Conor Kenna, Shane Guthrie; David McAllister (Conor Sinnott, 83), Stuart Byrne, David Mulcahy, Ryan Guy; Alex Williams (Paul Byrne 90), Vinny Faherty.
Subs not used: Brian Cash, Gareth Coughlan, Dan Connor
extratime Man of the Match: Tom Miller.
Referee: Anthony Buttimer
Attendance: 2000 (estimate).