West Dublin natives to fore for Dundalk

by Gazette Reporter

A 1-1 DRAW in Tallaght Stadium last Friday night was enough for Dundalk FC to retain their SSE Airtricity Premier Division crown and it was no surprise that a Richie Towell goal clinched the title.
As well as Towell, the Dundalk squad is packed with players who learned their trade in west Dublin. Palmerstown local Andy Boyle grew up playing alongside Towell in a prominent Crumlin schoolboy team.
Chris Shields was on the books of Clondalkin club St Francis for a number of years while Meenan (St Joseph’s), Sean Gannon (St Kevin’s), and Kurtis Byrne (Cherry Orchard) also got a footballing education in the city, as well as several other members of the Lilywhites squad.
Rovers went ahead via Danny North’s rebound. It took Dundalk a while to regroup after going behind. Had they lost and Cork got a win against Drogheda, Stephen Kenny’s side would have had to wait another week to be crowned champions.
With the game creeping into the final five minutes, and word reaching Tallaght that Cork were level in Drogheda, belief that a draw would be enough began to spur Dundalk on.
On 84 minutes, Dane Massey’s cross was take down on the chest by Darren Meenan but before he could take a second touch, Rover’s Pat Cregg hacked him down from behind and gifted the champions a penalty.
Up stepped Towell and he made no mistake from the spot, firing in his 25th league goal of the campaign. From then on, Dundalk were on top. They couldn’t add a second, but didn’t need to as Cork drew and the Lilywhites retained the title for the first time in their history.
Speaking to the club’s website afterwards, the Drimnagh Castle graduate revealed how good it felt to score that crucial spot-kick.
“It was an amazing feeling to score the penalty,” said Towell. “I took a few deep breathes in the run up to it and thankfully it went, as they have done all year.”
Dundalk are now on course for a league and cup double when they face Cork in the Aviva stadium in November in the FAI Senior Cup final. “I’m really excited now about the possibility of doing the league and cup double,” Towell remarked.
“I love Dundalk and I have made that very clear since the first day I’ve came here. I love everything about this club, the fans, the manager and my team-mates.”

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