Bray Wanderers produced their best performance of the season when four second-half goals swept aside St Patrick's Athletic in yesterday's entertaining clash before 4,000 fans at the Carlisle Grounds.
But it all ended in anti-climax, even though Bray finished in fourth place in the table, their best in 18 years of senior football. Results elsewhere meant Bray did not win a place in next season's European competitions.
St Patrick's looked the stronger side early on and it came as no surprise when they grabbed the lead on 14 minutes after the weak clearance by Colm Tresson following a Robbie McGuinness corner on the left. Midfielder Martin Russell was on hand to volley home from 20 yards, giving goalkeeper John Walsh no chance.
But Bray were a totally rejuvenated outfit in the second half, with central defender Mick Doohan switched from defence to attack. And it was Doohan who levelled the score on 52 minutes when he swept home a cross from Jason Byrne.
Byrne then returned the compliment on 68 minutes when he collected a penetrating pass from Barry O'Connor to rocket home his shot from 12 yards. Bray then made victory certain with two goals in the final two minutes.
Doohan grabbed his second when rounding goalkeeper Seamus Kelly. Then Tresson made up for his earlier lapse when collecting a pass from Davy Williamson and calmly shooting past the advancing kelly.