Farewell to the Lilywhite Legends – five players who won 67 medals for Dundalk

Farewell to the Lilywhite Legends – five players who won 67 medals for Dundalk

When Dundalk return to pre-season training at the end of the month there will be a few familiar faces missing. While Lilywhite supporters have had several weeks to contemplate a future without the likes of Gary Rogers, Sean Gannon, Dane Massey, John Mountney and Sean Hoare, James Rogers looks back on the contribution of five players who collectively won an incredible 67 honours during their time at Oriel Park.

The article as it appeared in The Argus on January 19th 2011

Gary Rogers
Perhaps the biggest compliment that can be paid to Gary Rogers is that he made people very quickly forget about his predecessor Peter Cherrie, the hugely popular goalkeeper he who he was brought in to replace just weeks after the first league win of this era at the end of 2014. Rogers had his critics at times, which you’d expect given his position, but even in his few bad moments he had a remarkable resilience to always be able to bounce back – even overcoming a broken bone in his hand to regain his place in the side after briefly being dropped in 2016. As someone who witnessed Rogers in action perhaps more than most, there are so many moments when he made a big save at 0-0 or 1-0 before Dundalk went on to win 2-0 or 3-0. To those just looking at results, it regularly looked like a comfortable win for his side but it could have been so different but for his contribution. On a grander scale, Dundalk would not have been able to pull off that memorable victory over BATE Borisov in Tallaght in 2016 were it not for some top saves from Rogers in the first leg in Belarus in which Stephen Kenny’s side were fortunate to escape with just a 1-0 defeat. As well as equalling Alan O’Neill’s record of 23 clean sheets in a league season – also achieved with Dundalk in 1990/91 – Rogers made crucial saves in shoot-out victories away to Riga and Sheriff in 2019 and 2020 which not only earned the club millions in revenue but also arguably saved Vinny Perth’s job in Latvia and earned Filippo Giovagnoli his in Moldova.

Sean Gannon
Had you told me Sean Gannon would go on to the career he had after his Dundalk debut in March 2014 I’d have laughed at you. A relative unknown when he was signed from St Patrick’s Athletic by Stephen Kenny, Gannon was given a truly torrid time by Gavin Brennan as Drogheda won 4-1 at United Park. He was taken out of the firing line after 80 minutes of that game and actually dropped for the following week’s victory at home to Limerick in which his replacement Mark Rossiter both scored and gave a man of the match display. A hamstring injury for Rossiter late on in that game gave Gannon an immediate route back into the side though and he never looked back, even scoring a memorable team goal to cap off a resounding 4-1 win for his side away to then champions St Patrick’s Athletic a few weeks later which really showed that Stephen Kenny’s side were ready to challenge for the title. He has been largely a fixture in the side since then and the fact Dundalk dropped 16 points in the eight league matches he missed in 2017 shows how important he became. He would chip in with some big goals over the years too, most notable the 1-0 win over Shamrock Rovers in Tallaght in 2019 and in the EA Sports Cup final away to Derry City in the same year. He was also one of the side’s biggest attacking threats with his cross for Patrick McEleney’s winner in the 2018 FAI Cup final one fo the most memorable of his many assists. It will be tough seeing him in Rovers colours next season but it shouldn’t taint his achievements for Dundalk.

John Mountney
Of all the departures from Oriel Park this winter, John Mountney’s probably tugs on the heart strings the most. Having been part of the squad which narrowly avoided relegation in the play-off in 2012 – a year when the club itself was perhaps fortunate to survive – his story, along with that of Chris Shields, was one of the best. The Mayo man had been there during the dark days but went on to play a big role in the best ones. While he might never have achieved the status of a regular, Mountney was frequently called upon for the big occasion and never really let the side down. Indeed, he was the side’s lucky general with Dundalk winning on each occasions in which he scored. Mountney would have been 10 seasons at Oriel Park this year but it’s understandable that he feels, at 27, that he needs a new challenge and to play more regularly. One of the biggest compliments you can give him is that he arrived at Oriel Park as a teenager and always carried himself with the utmost class and dignity when it would have been easy for someone of his age living away from home for the first time to let success go to their head. Dundalk will miss Mountney’s versatility going forward but hopefully as a town we haven’t seen the last of him. At the end of last year he got engaged to local girl Shannon Moran – a member of a well known family from Bay Estate – so he will still be a familiar sight in the area at least. A quiet lad overall, he’ll have some story to tell in years to come.

Dane Massey
Often the most overlooked of Dundalk’s famous back four in which he regularly featured alongside Gannon, Gartland and Boyle, there was definitely no lack of appreciation for Dane Massey from Dundalk supporters. For much of his time at Oriel Park he was Denis Irwin-like – solid in defence, a threat in attack and ultra consistent. While rightly remembered for his defensive displays, Dane scored some big goals over the years for the club as well. His superb double in the 3-2 EA Sports Cup final win over Shamrock Rovers at Oriel Park in September 2014 earned Stephen Kenny’s side the first trophy of this era while he also scored the first goals of both Vinny Perth and Filippo Giovagnoli’s reigns. A bit like Tommy McConville against Celtic in 1979, people in years from now will always wonder what might have happened had Massey’s effort – at a time in which Dundalk were 1-0 up – had gone in off the post rather than rebounded off it against Zenit St Petersburg in Tallaght in 2016. Of all the departures this off-season, the left back’s is perhaps the saddest. Having scored a cracker away to Cobh Ramblers in Giovagnoli’s first game in charge, he would suffer a hip injury in training in the days after that which required surgery that ended his season. It was cruel for all players who ended their time at the club this year that they didn’t get to sign off in front of fans who had adored them for so long but the fact Massey’s time at the club came to an end doing TV punditry was not what he deserved for his service at Oriel Park.

Sean Hoare
While it’s fair to say that Sean Hoare is perhaps not held in the same sort of bracket of affection as the other four long-serving members of the squad which departed Oriel Park this winter, I’d imagine history will remember him more fondly. Many players can only dream of scoring a goal in an FAI Cup final but Hoare got to do it twice as Dundalk lifted the trophy in 2018 and 2020. While he perhaps isn’t as adored as the others having only joined in the days after the memorable 2016 season came to an end, Hoare made a superb contribution to title wins in 2018 and 2019 which shouldn’t be forgotten. His leap to score against Rovers when Dundalk clinched the title at Oriel Park in September 2019 summed up the sort of threat he offered at set pieces. He was a player with a fantastic attitude who was often selfless to his own detriment. An accomplished centre half, he was often asked to fill in at either right back or in central midfield. While he did many a fine job there, at times he was exposed as well from not playing in his best position. Another who has departed for Shamrock Rovers, his legacy at the club shouldn’t be forgotten just because of where he has ended up. It sums up how successful the last decade or so has been in the club’s history that another departure this week, Jordan Flores, won every trophy possible during his time here and yet will probably only be a footnote in the club’s history. Hoare made a big contribution to recent success and that shouldn’t be forgotten or overlooked.

Gary Rogers: One of the all-time great League of Ireland careers

Gary Rogers: One of the all-time great League of Ireland careers

Gary Rogers announced his retirement after more than 20 years this evening. For the night that’s in it I thought I’d share some stats on one of the League of Ireland’s all time greats.

Gary Rogers made 752 career appearances in over 20 years as a professional. This included 575 league appearances, second only to Al Finucane in the all-time list, who played 634 league matches. He also made 520 Premier Division appearances, second only to Peter Hutton with 537. Sixteen of Rogers’ appearances were expunged following Dublin City’s demise in 2006.

Gary’s honours list reads as:
5 Premier Division titles
1 First Division title
5 FAI Cups
3 League Cups
1 Unite the Union Champions Cup
1 Setanta Sports Cup
2 Leinster Senior Cups
1 Connacht Senior Cup

He holds the record appearances for a League of Ireland player in Europe with 54 games, 13 clear of Ollie Cahill and Ronan Finn in second.

Shay Given with 23 is the only Irish goalkeeper with more clean sheets in European football than Rogers, who ends his career with 14. This is 4 clear of Bonner and seven ahead of Mick Devine.

Gary Rogers has won three SWAI Goalkeeper of the Year awards (2012, 2015 and 2019) – a joint record with Mark McNulty (2014, 2016 and 2017) and Brian Murphy (2007, 2008, 2009).

Gary made his League of Ireland debut for St Francis in a 2-1 defeat away to Sligo Rovers at The Showgrounds on Sunday October 22nd 2000. Carel van der Velden (49) and Steve Birks (53) got the goals for Sligo. Paul Irwin scored a penalty on the hour mark as a consolation for St Francis.

The heaviest defeat of Gary Rogers’ career came on his first visit to Oriel Park 20 years ago this week on December 14th 2000 when Dundalk beat St Francis 7-0 with goals from David Ward, Anto Reilly (2), Tommy Byrne, Donal Broughan, Martin Reilly and John Flanagan.

His first clean sheet in the League of Ireland came on January 28th 2001 in a 3-0 win over Cobh Ramblers for St Francis at John Hyland Park. Wayne Fitzell (2), Shane Doherty (35) and John Chandler (62) got the goals on the day. It would be his only clean sheet in 25 matches for St Francis.

In total Rogers would keep 291 clean sheets throughout his career. This included 114 in 225 matches for Dundalk FC. He also kept 54 for Drogheda Utd, 49 each for Sligo Rovers and St Patrick’s Athletic, 20 for Galway Utd, four for Dublin City but none in a brief seven match tenure at Bray Wanderers in 2006.

Rogers would end his domestic career with an FAI Cup win over Shamrock Rovers. It was his 68th game in a competition he would win 5 times. The first man to score against him in the FAI Cup was Alan Reynolds for Waterford in 2000. Earlier this year Reynolds was his assistant manager briefly at Dundalk.

Rogers may not have ever played League of Ireland football were it not for a red card for his club St Ultan’s in a Leinster Club Championship in 2000. The Bohermeen/Martry club won their first Meath JFC in September 2000. Gary’s father Dessie was the first secretary of St Ultan’s when they were founded in 1991 and captain when the Meath juniors reached the All-Ireland final in 1987. Gary would score two of five late points as St Ultan’s came from 0-9 to 0-5 behind with seven minutes to go against Ballinabrackey in the semi-final to set up a final pairing with St Peter’s Dunboyne. He would also score a number of times in the final which his side won 1-11 to 0-6. That saw him elevated to the Meath senior panel from the juniors under the guidance of Sean Boylan but a red card in a Leinster Club Championship match meant he was dropped from the panel. A three month suspension saw him turn his focus to soccer. “I suppose a combination of going on loan to St Francis and actually getting games and then the sending off with my local club probably played its part in the role I took,” said Rogers, who had started out at Shelbourne in 1999 under his last goalkeeping coach Steve Williams.

Rogers would return to GAA in 2006 after Dublin City went bust, earning a couple of starts for Colm Coyle’s Meath in the National League and helping St Ultan’s to another Meath JFC title with a 1-10 to 1-6 win over Kilmainham. Coyle had been the St Ultan’s manager when they won the JFC title six years earlier with Rogers on board. He would score four points in the final

Gary’s uncle was legendary Dundalk player Liam Devine, a scorer of goals against Linfield and Hibernians of Malta in the club’s memorable European Cup run of 1978/79. Having being diagnosed with cancer at the age of 29, Devine passed away a year before Gary’s birth in September 1980. His death would have a big role in his nephew becoming a goalkeeper. The tragedy led to Liam’s son Lee spending more and more time in the Rogers household and it was him who decided his cousin should take up a role guarding goal. “We would always have been out playing on the pitch beside my house. He was five or six years older than me so I was the goalkeeper for his shooting practice,” said Rogers in March 2018. “That’s how I really got into it and I always really enjoyed it. I suppose he would have a big part to play in my interest in goalkeeping.I played all my Gaelic outfield and all my soccer in goals barring a few exceptions.”

Rogers’ earlierest footballing memory related to a goalkeeper was Packie Bonner saving Daniel Timofte’s penalty in the Italia 90 World Cup. Bonner would later present Rogers with his third SWAI Goalkeeper of the Year award for 2019 in January of this year. “Packie Bonner’s iconic penalty save against Romania is my first memory of football,” he said.
“I remember watching it in Navan swimming pool. I was doing a swimming lesson and the penalties came on and we went in to watch it in the lifeguard’s hut. That penalty save still sticks with me and I was a massive fan then of Packie growing up.”

Rogers’ heroes other than Bonner were Bruce Grobbelaar, being a Liverpool fan, as well as the Italian duo of Gianluca Pagliuca and Gianluigi Buffon

Gary’s first clean sheet for Drogheda Utd came, like with St Francis, against Cobh Ramblers in a 1-0 win away at St Colman’s Park on August 11th 2001. Declan ‘Fabio’ O’Brien got the goal for the Boynesiders. They would win the First Division title that season with Gary an ever present in what was his first piece of League of Ireland silverware.

His Premier Division debut came in a 2-1 win over Derry City at United Park on 5th July 2002. Mark Dempsey and Shaun Gallagher scored the goals for Drogheda either side of a Liam Coyle penalty

Gary came off the bench just three times in his career. The first came on April 2nd 2004 when he replaced Tony O’Dowd at half-time in a 3-0 defeat away to Shelbourne at Tolka Park.

Rogers was also sent off three times in his career. The first came for St Pat’s in a 2-2 draw at home to UCD on August 7th 2011 for a foul on Darren Meenan. Pat’s had been 2-0 up at the time. He was also sent-off in an FAI Cup semi-final replay – a 3-1 defeat to Shels – on October 17th 2011 for bring down Kevin Dawson in the box. His third and final red card was in a 2-2 draw away Shamrock Rovers in Tallaght on April 17th 2015. Dundalk were 2-0 up at the time when he was sent-off by Neil Doyle for a foul on Ryan Brennan.

Gary’s European debut came on July 16th 2009 in a 1-1 draw with Valletta in Richmond Park. Fabio O’Brien with the goal for Pat’s and Gilbert Agius for Valletta.

He went 497 minutes without conceding at the start of the 2010 season for St Pat’s before Jason Byrne’s equaliser for Bohs in a 1-1 draw at Dalymount on April 6th 2010. Vinny Faherty had got the Pat’s goal on 19 mins. He would later go 540 minutes without conceding for Dundalk at the start of the 2015 season before Paul O’Conor’s goal earned Limerick a last gasp share of the points in a 1-1 draw at Jackman Park on April 4th.

Gary Rogers’ two best seasons as a goalkeeper saw him keep 26 clean sheets. This came in 2013 for Sligo and 2019 for Dundalk. His 23 clean sheets for Dundalk in the league in 2019 equalled the league record held by Alan O’Neill from Dundalk’s successful 1990/91 league campaign.

Gary’s Dundalk debut came on February 10th 2015 in a 2-1 LSC win over UCD at Oriel Park – Ronan Finn and David McMillan with the goals and Dylan Watts for UCD.

The only time he was beaten by a namesake was in a 4-3 defeat to Drogheda Utd for St Pat’s in October 2011 when Dave Rogers scored a 31st minute penalty that had cancelled out David McMillan’s opener at United Park.

Twice called in the Republic of Ireland senior squad, he is one of just a handful of players to have played in two Europa League group stage campaigns. His 33 starts is a joint record for Dundalk along with Sean Gannon, although the latter has featured five more times off the bench.

PFAI chairman from 2015 until earlier this year, he helped Irish football through some of its most difficult times including helping the Irish women’s team in their battle for better rights in recent years.

His shoot-out saves against Riga in 2019 and Sheriff Tiraspol in 2020 for Dundalk were the most valuable in League of Ireland history, earning the club where he was home to from November 2014 to December 2020 millions in the process.

Sheriff Tiraspol/Shamrock Rovers stats September 2020

Sheriff Tiraspol/Shamrock Rovers stats September 2020

Unbeaten home run ends
Dundalk’s defeat to Shamrock Rovers on Sunday was the club’s first home league defeat in 26 matches stretching back to the 2-1 loss against the Hoops in August 2018. That club record is now over with Sunday’s result Dundalk’s heaviest defeat at home in the league since losing 5-0 to Kilkenny City in July 2005. It was also the first time the Lilywhites have conceded three goals in the first half of a league match at Oriel Park since February 1996 when they lost 4-2 to Bohemians.

100 not out for Kelly
Daniel Kelly played the 100th game of his career against Shamrock Rovers on Sunday. The winger also made his 30th league start for Dundalk on the night.

Rare outing for Dummigan
Cameron Dummigan made his fifth league start for Dundalk against Shamrock Rovers on Sunday but it was his first since playing in the 1-0 win away to St Patrick’s Athletic in July 2019 – a game also played between European matches.

Double landmark for Boyle
Sunday was a big night for Andy Boyle, who played his 200th match for Dundalk. It was also his 250th game in the SSE Airtricity League.

Debuts galore
Meath man Andrew Quinn came in for his debut on Sunday while there were first league starts for the club for Joshua Gatt, Will Patching and Nathan Oduwa. Youngsters Jamie Wynne and Val Adedokun also made their debuts for the club as second half substitutes.

Murray on target
Sean Murray’s goal against Sheriff Tiraspol on Thursday night was his first in 560 days since scoring in the 2-0 win away to Derry City in March 2019. The last time a Murray scored in Europe for Dundalk was way back in 1968 when Kevin Murray scored against Rangers in Ibrox, again just before half-time. A certain Sir Alex Ferguson featured for the Glasgow men that day. Murray’s goal continued the trend of Dundalk number 16s scoring big goals in Europe following on from Ciaran Kilduff against AZ Alkmaar and Maccabi Tel Aviv in 2016 and Dylan Connolly against Levadia Tallinn in 2018.

History made
Dundalk’s advancement on penalties against Sheriff Tiraspol on Thursday means it is the first time in the club’s history that they have come from behind to win a game in Europe.

Inter Club stats September 2020

Inter Club stats September 2020

McMillan on target in Europe again
David McMillan scored the ninth European goal of his career against Inter Club d’Escalades on Thursday night and his first since scoring the opener in the 1-1 draw with Rosenborg in July 2017. McMillan now has more European goals for Dundalk (8) than he has managed for the club in the EA Sports Cup (7) and FAI Cup (7). Thursday’s game was the 20th European start of his career.

First red for Boyle
Andy Boyle picked up the first red card of his career on Friday in what was his 378th career appearance. He did get two yellows once upon a time against UCD in June 2014 but wasn’t sent off, although he did get a subsequent ban.

Another clean sheet for Rogers
Gary Rogers kept the 14th clean sheet of his European career on Thursday night. Shay Given, with 23, is the only Irish goalkeeper with more. The Meath man was back in the side for the clash with Inter Club for what was his 220th game in Dundalk colours. He has now played a record 47 games in Europe – six clear of Ollie Cahill and Ronan Finn.

30 not out for Shields
Chris Shields captained Dundalk in Andorra on what is his 30th European appearance for the club. He moved level with Sean Gannon as Dundalk’s record European appearance holder but the latter regained the title after coming off the bench in the second half. The record before this generation was held by the late, great Tommy McConville with 19.

European debut for Sloggett
Greg Sloggett mades his European debut in Andorra on Thursday night. He missed UCD’s four matches in the Europa League in 2015 with a hip injury while a toe fracture kept him out of Dundalk’s Champions League defeat to NK Celje in Budapest last month.

Shelbourne stats September 2020

Shelbourne stats September 2020

Landmark for Gartland
Brian Gartland’s first half header against Shelbourne on Friday night was the 50th goal of his career and came against the club who he scored his first for in a 2-2 draw with Kildare County on March 9th 2007. It was his 37th goal in total for Dundalk and his 30th in the league for the club.

50th league goal for Duffy
Michael Duffy scored the 50th SSE Airtricity League goal of his career with his opener on Friday night. His first also came against Shelbourne at Tolka Park on June 8th 2013 when Derry City won 1-0.

Sloggett on target
Greg Sloggett scored the goal that clinched the win last time Dundalk won away to Finn Harps back at the start of March and his strike against Shelbourne on Friday was the one that got them back to winning ways. It was the 11th goal of his career, his second against Shelbourne and first at Oriel Park.

Rare winning start for new boss
Filippo Giovagnoli became the first Dundalk manager since Ian Foster in March 2010 to win their first league game in charge of the club. You have to go back to 1996 when John Hewitt’s Dundalk had a 1-0 win over St Patrick’s Athletic to find the last time a new manager won their first league game at Oriel Park.

Good record continues
Since 2013 Dundalk have lost just one of their 36 games against promoted teams with 31 wins. The one loss was agaisnt Waterford FC in 2018.

New club record
Dundalk’s win over Shelbourne on Friday night marked a new club record of 26 home league matches without defeat. This surpassed the previous record of 25 which ran from 2013 to 2015. 

McCarey starts
Aaron McCarey was brought into the side on Friday night for just his 10th Dundalk appearance since joining from Warrenpoint. It was also just his second league start. His last came last October in the 1-0 defeat away to Cork City. For the first time in 10 years and 10 months (3,959 days to be exact), McCarey and Brian Gartland started a league game together. The last time they did so was November 10th 2009 when Monaghan Utd beat Wexford 3-0 at Gortakeegan. The referee that night, like Friday, was Paul McLaughlin.

Dundalk’s 190 day wait for a league win is over but there have been longer droughts

Dundalk’s 190 day wait for a league win is over but there have been longer droughts

While Dundalk’s 3-2 victory over Shelbourne tonight brought an end to the club’s more than six month wait for a league victory, it doesn’t rank in the top 50 when it comes to the club’s longest period between wins in the League of Ireland.

A combination of lockdown due to Covid-19, poor form since the league restarted on July 31st and even having a game called off against Derry City due to international call-ups meant it was exactly 190 days (6 month and 6 days) between the Lilywhites beating Finn Harps 4-0 in Ballybofey on March 6th and tonight’s success under new interim head coach Filippo Giovagnoli.

While all fans of the Oriel Park outfit will be happy to be back to winning ways, there have been much longer droughts in the club’s history including two that stretched beyond the 10 month mark.

In both the mid-40s and mid-30s, the club went exactly 309 days (10 months, 6 days) between league wins. There were two others that runs that also stretched to 302 days (9 months, 28 days) but the make-up of the seasons in previous years has much to do with this.

In bygone days it was not uncommon to end the league with other tournaments such as the FAI Cup or Shield and start with the Shield again or Leinster or City Cups the following season.

For example, when Dundalk went 309 days without a league win between beating St James’ Gate 4-2 at home on December 18th 1932 and their first league win of the following season – a 2-0 win at home to Shamrock Rovers on October 22nd 1933 – they had actually won back-to-back league games. In between, however, they had played 35 other matches, mainly in the Shields, with 21 games in 1932/33 season after that St James’ Gate victory and 14 at the start of the following season before their next league outing against Rovers.

In their other run of 309 days without a league win between beating Bohemians 3-1 at home on February 24th 1946 and the 3-0 win at home to Limerick on December 29th 1946 the club had only failed to win two matches at the end of the 1945/46 season and four at the start 46/47 season. In between, however, they had beaten the likes of Bohs in the City Cup and Rovers and Drumcondra in the Shield.

The fact that five of the club’s nine longest periods between league wins were in the 1940s, with two in the 30s, and one apiece in the 20s and 50s, tells you all you need to know about how the schedule had an impact.

The 10th longest drought in the club’s history is actually from the 1970s, however, with 267 days (8 months, 25 days) between the last win of the 1970/71 season – a 4-1 win over Sligo Rovers – and the first win of the 71/72 season courtesy of a 1-0 win at home to Athlone Town.

The full list of the 51 runs without a league win longer than the current one can be found below but perhaps the more recent ones were the 207 day period (6 months, 23 days) between the last win of the 84/85 season – a 1-0 win at home to Longford on March 28th 1985 courtesy of a Billy Wright goal – and the first win of the 85/86 season on October 20th 1985 when Dundalk beat Shelbourne 3-0 at Harold’s Cross courtesy of a Dessie Gorman double and a Paddy Dunning own goal.

A more recent drought without a league victory came to an end a little shy of 21 years ago. There were 206 days (6 months, 25 days) between the 3-2 win over Sligo Rovers on February 11th 1999 and the 2-1 win away to Kilkenny City on September 4th 1999. David Ward scored in both those victories but it was a bleak period that saw the Lilywhites go 13 matches without winning a league game with two further defeats thrown in away to Wayside Celtic in the Leinster Senior Cup and at home to Longford Town in the League Cup for good measure. That run of just one point from a possible 39 on offer coincided with the club’s relegation to the First Division for the first time in its history.

There were others runs of 204 days without a win twice in the 70s and 200 days and 197 days respectively in the the 80s which thankfully don’t look like being surpassed any time soon unless something like a pandemic intervenes.

While the recent run is a club record for longest period without a win in a single season, it almost fails to compare with the club record 19 league matches without a win (10 at the end of the 02/03 season and nine at the start of the 2003 season) during the ill-fated Trevor Anderson era. The club went exactly 200 days between beating Dublin City 4-2 on November 18th 2002 courtesy of doubles from Garry Haylock and Martin Reilly and the 3-1 win over Limerick on June 5th 2003 when a trio of locals – Simon Kelly, Alan McCartney and David Ward – were on target.

The previous longest spell without a win in the same season was the 159 day period between beating St Patrick’s Athletic 2-1 away courtesy of a Marc Griffin double on May 21st 2012 and the 2-1 win over Bray Wanderers at Oriel Park on October 26th 2012 when Michael Rafter and Barry Conlon were on target. While the winless run ended tonight had only been four matches, on that occasion it was 18.

The current 190 day run had also been equaled twice with a similar run to the one which ended tonight also coming to an end in the 1975/76 season when Jimmy Dainty’s goal on October 5th 1975 was enough to beat Athlone Town. It’s doubtful many will recall the other 190 day spell without a league win which ended on August 23rd 1931 courtesy of a 2-0 win at home to St James’ Gate.

There were other long periods without a win in the 70s, 80s and 90s – 182 days between the last win of 97/98 and the first of 98/99 and 176 days on three occasions between the last win of 86/87 and the first of 87/88, the last win of 91/92 and the first of 92/93 and the last win of 77/78 and the first of 78/79.

Even the year Dundalk went on to win the league 30 years ago, it took 172 days between the last win of the 1993/94 season and the first of that memorable 94/95 campaign when Dermot Keely’s side defied all the odds to lift the trophy in dramatic circumstances with a final day win over Galway Utd after Derry City had slipped up against Athlone Town.

Thankfully a new entry to the top 50 has been avoided. The full list of the club’s 51 longest periods without a league win can be found below…

  • 309 days (10 months, 6 days). Last win of 45/46 season (3-1 at home to Bohs on February 24th 1946) and first of 1946/47 season (3-0 at home to Limerick December 29th 1946).
  • 309 days (10 months, 5 days). Last win of 32/33 season (4-2 at home to St James’ Gate on December 18th 1932) and first of 33/34 season (2-0 at home to Rovers on October 22nd 1933). Actually won back to back league matches. (21 matches that season after the last league game, mainly in the Shield and 14 at the start of the following season).
  • 302 days (9 months, 28 days). Last win of 43/44 season (3-2 at home to Cork Utd February 13th 1944) and first of 44/45 season (3-0 at home to Bohs December 10th 1944).
  • 302 days (9 months, 28 days). Last win of 1928/29 season (3-0 at home to Drumcondra December 2nd 1928) and first of 29/30 season (8-2 away to Jacobs September 29th 1929)
  • 295 days (9 months, 22 days). Last win of 1944/45 season (1-0 at home to Shelbourne on Feb 25th 1945) and first of 45/46 season (4-2 away to Shels on December 16th 1945).
  • 289 days (9 months, 14 days). Last win of 1947/48 season (2-0 away to Bohs on March 20th 1948) and first of 48/49 season (4-0 at home to Waterford on January 2nd 1949)
  • 288 days (9 months, 14 days). Last win of 1955/56 season (2-0 at home Cork Athletic on February 12th 1956 – Kavanagh and McDonagh goals) and first win of 56/57 season (3-2 away to Limerick November 25th 1956 – Finn (2) and Callan).
  • 274 days (9 months, 1 day). Last win of 34/35 season (4-3 at home to Drumcondra February 24th 1935) and first of 35/36 season (5-0 at home to Bray Unknowns November 24th 1935)
  • 270 days (8 months, 26 days). Last win of 1948/49 season (1-0 away to Shelbourne on April 21st 1949) and first of 49/50 season (3-2 at home to Cork Athletic on January 15th 1950)
  • 267 days (8 months, 25 days). Last win of 1970/71 season (4-1 at home to Sligo Rovers – Larkin, McKeever, O’Connor and Turner) and first win of 71/72 season (1-0 at home to Athlone – O’Connor).
  • 267 days (8 months, 25 days). Last win of 26/27 season (4-1 at home to Bray Unknowns November 27th 1926) and first of 27/28 season (5-2 away to Athlone August 20th 1927)
  • 266 days (8 months, 24 days). Last win of 33/34 season (2-1 at home to Cork on February 18th 1934) and first of 34/35 season (3-2 away to Bohs on November 10th 1934).
  • 260 days (8 months, 16 days). Last win of 1949/50 season (5-0 at home to Transport on April 30th 1950) and first of 50/51 season (5-2 at home to Waterford on January 14th 1951)
  • 260 days (8 months, 15 days). Last win of 1951/52 (4-0 at home to Waterford on March 9th 1952) and first win of 52/53 (5-2 at home to Transport on November 23rd 1952). The great Joe Martin was a scorer in both games along with Paddy Mullen.
  • 260 days (8 months, 15 days). Last win of 1946/47 season (1-0 at home to Drumcondra on March 30th 1947) and first of 1947/48 season (4-0 at home to Waterford on December 14th 1947).
  • 253 days (8 months, 9 days). Last win of 39/40 season (1-0 at home to Bohs on March 31st 1940) and first of 40/41 season (3-2 at home to St James’ Gate on December 8th 1940)
  • 253 days (8 months, 8 days. Last win of 1950/51 season (2-1 at home to Shels on March 25th 1951) and first of 51/52 season (2-1 at home to Evergreen Utd on December 2nd 1951).
  • 253 days (8 months, 8 days). Last win of 1942/43 season (3-1 at home to Bray Unknowns March 28th 1943) and first of 43/44 season (2-0 at home to Drumcondra December 5th 1943)
  • 246 days (8 months, 2 days). Last win of 1927/28 season (1-0 at home to Athlone 1st January 1928) and first of 28/29 season (5-1 at home to Jacobs September 2nd 1928).
  • 246 days (8 months, 1 day). Last win of 1971/72 season (3-0 at home to Waterford on 19th March 1972 – O’Connor hat-trick) and first win of 72/73 season (1-0 at home to Rovers on 19th November 1972 – OG)
  • 239 days (7 months, 27 days). Last win of 28/29 season (1-0 away to Fordsons December 29th 1929) and first of 29/30 season (7-3 at home to Waterford August 24th 1930).
  • 239 days (7 months, 26 days). Last win of 61/62 season (3-0 at home to Sligo Rovers on April 1st 1962) and first win of 62/63 season (2-1 at home to Cork Celtic on November 25th 1962). Dermot Cross scored in both games.
  • 239 days (7 months, 25 days). Last win of 57/58 season (3-1 at home to Limerick on April 5th 1959) and first of 59/60 season (6-1 away to Bohs on November 29th 1959)
  • 239 days (7 months, 25 days) between last win of 56/57 season (4-1 at home to Evergreen Utd March 17th 1957) and first of 57/58 season (8-2 at home to Cork Hibs November 10th 1957)
  • 238 days (7 months, 24 days). Last win of 57/58 season (3-2 at home to Bohs on April 7th 1958) and first of 58/59 season (1-0 at home to Bohs on November 30th 1958)
  • 232 days (7 months, 18 days). Last win of 66/67 season (3-0 at home to Limerick on 16th April 1967) and first win of 67/68 season (1-0 away to Drumcondra 3rd December 1967)
  • 232 days (7 months, 18 days). Last win of 41/42 season (4-1 away to Bray Unknowns March 29th 1942) and first of 42/43 season (2-0 at home to Rovers November 15th 1942).
  • 225 days (7 months, 11 days). Last win of 1963/64 season (4-0 away to Drumcondra on March 29th 1964) and first win of 64/65 season (1-0 at home to Cork Celtic on 8th November 1964).
  • 225 days (7 months, 11 days). Last win of 62/63 season (2-0 at home to Cork His on 31 March 1963) and first of 63/64 season (3-0 away to Cork Celtic on November 10th 1963)
  • 225 days (7 months, 11 days). Last win of 35/36 season (2-1 at home to Brideville April 19th 1936) and first of 36/37 season (3-1 away to Bray Unknowns November 29th 1936).
  • 219 days (7 months, 5 days). Last win of 59/60 season (4-2 at home to Sligo Rovers on April 21st 1960) and first of 60/61 season (5-2 away to Bohs on November 26th 1960).
  • 218 days (7 months, 4 days). Last win of 67/68 season (3-1 at home to Shels on April 14th 1968) and first win of 68/69 season (3-2 at home to Sligo Rovers on November 17th 1968).
  • 218 days (7 months, 4 days). Last win of 54/55 (4-2 away to Cork Athletic on April 17th 1955) and first of 55/56 (3-2 at home to Drumcondra on November 20th 1955).
  • 218 days (7 months, 4 days). Last win of 53/54 (3-1 at home to Limerick April 11th 1954) and first of 54/55 (4-3 away to Sligo on November 14th 1954)
  • 217 days (7 months, 3 days). Last win of 52/53 (3-2 at home to Evergreen Utd on April 6th 1953) and first win of 53/54 (2-1 at home to Sligo on November 8th 1953)
  • 212 days (6 months, 29 days). Last win of 36/37 season (2-1 away to Brideville April 17th 1937) and first of 37/38 season (4-0 at home to Sligo Rovers November 14th 1937)
  • 211 days (6 months, 28 days). Last win of 60/61 season (1-0 at home to Limerick on April 9th 1961) and first of 61/62 season (4-1 at home to Cork His on November 5th 1961).
  • 211 days (6 months, 28 days). Last win of 64/65 season (2-1 at home to Limerick – Hasty double on March 18th 1965) and first win of 65/66 season (2-0 at home to Shelbourne – Francie Callan double on 14th November 1965.
  • 211 days (6 months, 28 days). Last game of 40/41 season (2-0 at home to Limerick April 20th 1941) and first of 41/42 season (2-1 at home to Rovers November 16th 1941)
  • 210 days (6 months, 27 days). Last game of 37/38 season (4-0 at home to Rovers April 24th 1938) and first of 38/39 season (2-0 away to Bohs November 19th 1938).
  • 207 days (6 months, 23 days). Last win of 84/85 season (1-0 at home to Longford on March 28th 1985 courtesy of a Billy Wright goal) and first win of 85/86 season (3-0 away to Shels) on 20th October 1985. Dessie Gorman with two and an OG by Paddy Dunning in a game at Harold’s Cross.
  • 206 days (6 months, 25 days). Last win of 1998/99 season (3-2 at home to Sligo Rovers 11th Feb 1999) to first win of 1999/00 season (2-1 away to Kilkenny City September 4th 1999). David Ward scored in both games.
  • 205 days (6 months, 23 days) between last win of 31/32 season (9-0 at home to Jacobs on February 6th 1932) and first of 32/33 season (2-0 away to Dolphin on August 28th 1932).
  • 205 days (6 months, 22 days) between last win of 65/66 season (1-0 away to Limerick) and first of 66/67 season (5-0 at home to Cork Celtic on November 6th 1966).
  • 204 days (6 months, 21 days) between last win of 38/39 season (2-0 away to Waterford April 23rd 1939) and first of 39/40 season (3-2 at home to Shels on November 12th 1939)
  • 204 days (6 months, 20 days) between last win of 75/76 season (3-0 away to Rovers on 28th March 76) and first win of 76/77 season (3-1 away to Rovers on 17th October 76). Terry Flanagan scored in both.
  • 204 days (6 months, 20 days) between last win of 72/73 season (2-1 at home to Limerick on March 18th 73) and first win of 73/74 season (2-0 away to Athlone on 7th October 1973).
  • 200 days (6 months, 19 days) between the last win of the 2002/03 season (4-2 at home to Dublin City on November 18th 2002) and the first win of the 2003 season (3-1 at home to Limerick on June 5th 2003).
  • 200 days (6 months, 17 days) – between last win of 85/86 season and first of 86/87 season – 3-1 away to UCD on 3rd April 1986 and 2-0 at home to Sligo on 19th October 1986. Dessie Gorman scored in both.
  • 197 days – Last win of 82/83 season (1-0 at home to Drogheda March 20th 1983) and first of 82/83 season (1-0 at home to Galway October 2nd 1983).
  • 191 days – Last win of 68/69 season (3-0 away to St Patrick’s Athletic March 29th 1969) and first win of 69/70 season (2-1 at home to Drumcondra October 5th 1969).