DINNY HAT-TRICK ALLOWS BOHS TO REST EASY

BRAY WANDERERS  0-5  BOHEMIANS

Sometimes, it all just falls into place. After weeks and weeks of toiling in the Airtricity League, struggling for goals, points, and wins, Bohemians managed to put a supreme performance together – and destroyed Bray Wanderers at the Carlisle Grounds.

A Dinny Corcoran hat-trick, an own-goal, and a Keith Buckley effort gave the Gypsies their third league win of the season, and lifted Owen Heary’s men clear of the relegation places as the league enters a mid-season break, writes KEVIN FAGAN.

Forced into two changes, Owen Heary kept faith with the 4-4-2 formation that worked well in Limerick, with Jack Memery replacing the injured Derek Pender and Kevin Devaney replacing the suspended Steven Beattie.

Devaney and Corcoran formed an instantly-effective partnership, but it was the latter who starred in front of a small crowd on the seaside. The game was just 5 minutes old when it exploded into life. Keith Buckley played a neat one-two with Corcoran, and was almost bearing down on goal when Robert Maloney dragged him down. Paul McLoughlin pointed to the spot, and Dinny fired Bohs into the lead.

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A bit like Dublin buses, the goals decided to all come in quick succession – and Dinny doubled Bohs’ lead after just 10 minutes. A precision Paddy Kavanagh corner was knocked down by Anto Murphy, and Corcoran slid the ball home to send the visiting fans wild for a second time.

Eoin Wearen and Roberto Lopes continued their midfield partnership, and it was Wearen who created the third on 26 minutes. His driving run and beautiful through ball left Corcoran one-on-one with Bray keeper Shane Redmond, and he made the decision to take Dinny out. Referee McLoughlin had little choice but to send the Seagulls’ shotstopper off. Dinny dusted himself down and grabbed his hat-trick, a dream first half for the Donabate man. On the stroke of half time he nearly had a fourth, but his shot could only be turned into his own net by Robert Maloney.

4-0 up at half time, it was inevitable that Bohs would take their foot off the gas in the second half, perhaps thinking about their two-week holiday already. Positive performances included the return of Jack Memery, the increasingly solid partnership of Dan Byrne and Aidan Price, and the continued improvement of Eoin Wearen. Keith Buckley is also staking his claim for a regular starting spot, and performed excellently here. He completed the rout on 73 minutes with a neat finish from Paddy Kavanagh’s cross. Bohs can now put their feet up, watch some of the World Cup, and relax in the relative heights of 9th place. Athlone Town await at the end of the break, and a chance to continue a two-game winning streak.

Bray Wanderers: Shane Redmond, Shane O’Connor, Eric McGill, Danny O’Connor, Robert Maloney, Adam Hanlon (Shane Byrne, 74), David Cassidy, Dean Zambra, Shane O’Neill, David Scully (Jake Kelly 46), Ismahil Akinade (Gavin Sheridan 25). Subs not used: Cillian Byrne, Niall Cooney, Michael Brown, Gary Curran.

Bohemians: Dean Delany, Anto Murphy, Aidan Price, Daniel Byrne, Jack Memery (Jason Byrne, 79), Paddy Kavanagh, Roberto Lopes, Owen Wearen, Keith Buckley, Dinny Corcoran (Jake Hyland 84), Kevin Devaney (Gavin Moore 74). Subs Not Used: Stephen Traynor, Craig Walsh, Ryan McEvoy, Karl Moore.

BohemianFC.com Man of the Match: Dinny Corcoran

LIMERICK FEEL THE BEAT AS BOHS MARCH ON

LIMERICK  1 – 2  BOHEMIANS

Owen Heary may well be applying to the FAI to see if his side can play cup games every week as the Gypies marched into the FAI Cup last 16 with a well deserved away win against Limerick. A goal and an assist for Man of the Match Steven Beattie put Bohs in control on a sandy Thomond Park pitch, though the away side were made to sweat for the last 15 when Rory Gaffney pulled one back for the hosts.

Compared to just 2 league wins in 15 games, Bohs have now won 4 out of 4 in the League Cup and FAI Cup. Boss Heary went back to basics with a direct 4-4-2 formation featuring Beattie and Dinny Corcoran up front. The selection of recognised defenders Roberto Lopes and Eoin Wearen in central midfield raised more than a few eyebrows, but the battling partnership flourished in a hard-fought victory, writes KEVIN FAGAN.

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Heary made 4 changes from the well-beaten side of last Friday, with Corcoran, Wearen, Lopes, and Keith Buckley replacing Jason Byrne, Craig Walsh, Dave Mulcahy, and Karl Moore. In front of a paltry crowd of just 842, Bohs made the most of the summertime atmosphere to largely negate Limerick’s threat. The Gypsies had the better of the opening exchanges, and should really have been in front after 14 minutes. Steven Beattie showed great pace to beat Shaun Kelly, and his byline pull-back was enticing. Keith Buckley stepped over the ball nicely to leave Dinny Corcoran with a simple tap-in from 6 yards, but the striker somehow contrived to skew his shot off the post and wide.

Limerick themselves were cursing the woodwork a little over a minute later when a scramble from a long throw fell to Shane Duggan, but his hooked effort cannoned up off the crossbar and was cleared. That was as good as it got for the home side in the first half as Bohs slowly began to dominate. The lead goal was well deserved, and came 10 minutes from the half. Operating from the left flank, Paddy Kavanagh put in a lovely out-swinging cross that fell kindly for the on-rushing Beattie, who finished brilliantly from 14 yards on the half-volley. Barry Ryan had no chance, and Beattie celebrated passionately in front of the jubilant away fans.

The second half started just as positively for Bohs, and they should have had a second within 5 minutes. A swift counter attack fell to Buckley on the right wing, who put in a nice square ball for Corcoran on the penalty spot, but the striker again scuffed his shot, this time well wide. If Corcoran is a confidence player, it must be very low at the moment. Happily, the misses didn’t matter as Bohs got the comfort-goal on the hour mark. Another swift counter attack clearance set Beattie free down the right, and his acrobatic hooked pass sent Paddy Kavanagh through on goal. Kavanagh just about got the ball around the diving Ryan, steadied himself, and squeezed the ball past Stephen Folan on the line. Kavanagh also came away with a goal and an assist which will delight his manager.

With 20 minutes to go, Limerick struck back. Rory Gaffney flattened Dan Byrne in the build-up, which meant he was free to be slipped in on the left channel. His curling shot could have been saved by Dean Delany, but the keeper’s hand wasn’t strong enough. Although the goal might have galvanised the home side, Owen Heary’s men were solid at the back and in midfield. Happily for their nerves, no clear cut chances arose for the home side in the last 20. There was no doubting the Man of the Match as Beattie continuously relieved pressure with lung-bursting runs and terrific hold-up play. Strangely marooned at right back for much of the early part of the season, the Skerries man showcased his pace and power in a terrific display. With just 7 Premier Division teams left in the last 16, Bohs can dream of an FAI Cup run to match their EA Sports Cup form. Next week sees a return to League action and a crunch game with Bray Wanderers on the seaside.

Limerick FC: Barry Ryan, Shaun Kelly, Stephen Folan, Samuel Oji, Shane Tracy (Ross Mann 25), Patrick Nzuzi (Kieran Hanlon, 89), Shane Duggan, Darragh Rainsford (Tony Whitehead, 63), Danny Galbraith, Tam McManus, Rory Gaffney. Subs Not Used: Shane Cusack, Michael Leahy, Shane Costelloe, Barry Sheedy.

Bohemians: Dean Delany; Derek Pender (Dave Mulcahy, 46), Aidan Price, Roberto Lopes, Dan Byrne; Eoin Wearen, Anto Murphy, Keith Buckley (Craig Walsh, 77), Paddy Kavanagh; Steven Beattie (Kevin Devaney, 88), Dinny Corcoran. Subs Not Used: Gavin Moore, Stephen Traynor, Jason Byrne, Karl Moore.

LILYWHITES CANTER AS BOHS’ HOME WOES CONTINUE

BOHEMIANS  0 – 2  DUNDALK

The statistics make for unpleasant reading if you are of a Bohemians persuasion. No goals in the last 4 league games… Just 3 goals in the last 9 league games (all from Jason Byrne)… 4 points from the last available 27… No home wins since September 2013…

League leaders Dundalk rolled into town with a plan to continue Bohs’ Dalymount woes, and executed it perfectly. Manager Stephen Kenny has crafted a slick side with a penchant for excellent counter attacking, and they weren’t under any real pressure at any stage of this SSE Airtricity League clash. They cemented their place at the top of the table with a comfortable 2-0 win which featured a contender for goal of the season, writes KEVIN FAGAN.

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Bohs boss Owen Heary kept faith with the same starting 11 that came away with a well-deserved point from the bowels of Tallaght, with captain Dave Mulcahy passing a late fitness test. Unfortunately for his Bohs side, they were never really in this game having been on the back foot from the 8th minute. Dundalk’s Darren Meenan fed Daryl Horgan all-too-easily on the edge of the Bohs box. The sandy-haired winger jinked once, found himself in a square-mile of space, and planted a solid left-footed shot that found the bottom corner.

Bohs huffed and puffed for the entire first half, but the only real threat they posed came from the hands of Anto Murphy. His long throws were the only occasion when Dundalk looked ruffled, and resulted in Bohs only opening of the game. In the 34th minute, his Delap-style arrow evaded the scrum on the six yard line, bounced high into the air, and fell to Jason Byrne at the back post. The veteran striker couldn’t quite get over his shot and skewed it horribly over the bar.

The second half started in almost an identical fashion as the first. Seven minutes in, and a quick Dundalk counter fell to Patrick Hoban’s feet 25 yards from goal. His one touch lay off sat perfectly for Richie Towell, who unleashed a superlative curling effort into the top corner. The large Dundalk contingent in the Des Kelly Stand knew it was in from the moment it left Towell’s boot, and it’ll definitely be one to drool over on Soccer Republic on Monday. However, Towell’s arrogant celebration was unnecessary as he preened like a boyband member in a leisurely yet-inflammatory jog front of the Jodi Stand.

Coming from 2 down against this Dundalk team was pretty much an impossibility. The underrated Andy Boyle was a colossus at the back, marshalling Jason Byrne with some ease. Byrne was visibly tired for much of the game, and may well be feeling the effects of a long run of starts. Dave Mulcahy, too, was clearly struggling from the outset, and failed to get stuck into the game. Next week sees a welcome break from league action, but a daunting trip to Thomond Park nonetheless. Defeat in the FAI Cup 2nd Round to Limerick doesn’t bear thinking about.

Bohemians: Dean Delany, Anto Murphy, Dan Byrne, Aidan Price, Derek Pender, Dave Mulcahy, Craig Walsh (Kevin Devaney, 79), Paddy Kavanagh, Steven Beattie, Karl Moore (Dinny Corcoran, 59), Jason Byrne. Subs not used: Gavin Moore, Roberto Lopes, Stephen Traynor, Ryan McEvoy, Keith Buckley, Gavin Moore.

Dundalk: Peter Cherrie, Sean Gannon, Brian Gartland, Andy Boyle, Dane Massey, Chris Shields, Richie Towell, Daryl Horgan, Kurtis Byrne (John Mountney, 80) Darren Meenan, Patrick Hoban (David McMillan, 83). Subs not used: Gabriel Sava, Ruaidhri Higgins, Mark Griffin, Mark Rossiter, Simon Kelly.

MrGreen.ie Man of the Match: Daniel Byrne

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