Cobh Ramblers boosted their survival chances and did their bit to end the title race with a fantastic 3-0 win over an injury plagued St Pat's at a wet Richmond Park.
In torrential rain, goals from Davin O'Neill (2) and Ross Gaynor ensured that the southerners return to St Colman's Park with three valuable points in their battle against relegation and ended Pat's faint hopes of catching Bohemians at the top - though Bohs did their part up in Drogheda.
O'Neill beat Pat's keeper Barry Ryan with a neat low finish and Ross Gaynor doubled the lead on 61 minutes with a header past Lance Friesz, who had replaced Ryan in goal for the second half. O'Neill then nabbed the third on 85.
The Pat's injury list consisted of Mark Quigley, Dessie Byrne, Damien Lynch, David Partridge, Bobby Ryan, Stephen Paisley, Gary O'Neill and John Murphy, whilst Derek O'Brien was suspended. Ramblers made the most of this by putting up a spirited performance. Their formation was for a lot of the time a 4-1-4-1 with Colin O'Brien sitting in front of the back four and Davin O'Neill up front.
Pat's started well and on 8 minutes Glen Fitzpatrick picked out Alan Kirby on the left but Cobh's Ken Coleman did well to play the ball back to his goalkeeper James McCarthy. The miserably wet conditions were a factor just after that when McCarthy spilled a Keith Fahey ball inside his six yard box giving the incoming Ryan Guy a chance to open the scoring.
The opening goal then came on 15 minutes. A Ryan clearance ended up with Alan Carey after Pat's Dave Rogers slipped. Carey set O'Neill up and the Cobh youngster curled a neat finish into the bottom left of Ryan's goal.
Guy had another chance to get on the score sheet on 17 minutes but couldn't get a good connection on Fahey's free kick. Another Fahey free on 21 was wasted when it cleared the box entirely while Gary Dempsey headed over the bar on 24. It was nearly two for O'Neill and Ramblers on 31 minutes but the striker sent his ball wide of Ryan's right hand post.
The Saints made drastic changes for the second half. Friesz replaced Ryan in goal while Jamie Harris went up front with a three-man defence now deployed. Friesz made an immediate impact when he made a fine save from O'Neill on 52 after Ramblers had started the second period in excellent fashion. This sustained pressure paid off for Ramblers on 61 when they went two up thanks to a Gaynor header after good work from O'Neill.
Harris had a chance to get Pat's back into it on 78 but shot wide of McCarthy's left post while Dempsey shot wide on 80 after McCarthy dropped the ball at his near post. O'Neill then made entirely sure of the win on 85 with a near finish, following a bit of head tennis in the goalmouth.