Second half goals from James Doona and Ronan Hale fired St. Patrick’s Athletic to a 2-1 win against Galway United at Willow Park in Athlone.
New signing Enda Curran tested Saints goalkeeper Brian Maher, but the young ‘keeper was equal to his effort.
Moments later, Micheál Schlingermann had to be alert to keep out Ronan Hale with a fine reaction save.
Schlingermann was the busier of the two goalkeepers in the first half and he was called into action once again to deny James Doona from point-blank range.
St. Patrick’s Athletic broke the deadlock ten minutes into the second half when James Doona finished off a fine team move, smashing the ball into the roof of the net.
Ronan Hale doubled Pats lead from the penalty spot two minutes later.
Substitute Timmy Molloy setup a comeback with a sublime volley into the corner of the net, but United couldn’t find a second goal, despite pushing for a leveller late in the game.
Galway United: Schlingermann, Horgan (Christopher 45), Lynch, Brouder (Murphy 45), Ubaezuonu; Collins, Warde (Nugent 63); Waweru, Sacramento (Molloy 63), Barry; Curran (Higgins 63)
St. Patrick’s Athletic: Maher, Feely, Cleary, Ward, Holt, Forrester, McCormack, Doona, Markey, Clarke, Hale
Referee: Eoghan O’Shea