A late goal from Conan Byrne saw the Saints overcome their title rivals to climb above Dundalk at the top of the tableAn impressive second-half performance saw St Patrick's Athletic defeat Cork City with Conan Byrne scoring in stoppage time to send them top of the SSE Airtricity Premier Division. Byrne had cancelled out Mark O'Sullivan's opener with a penalty, while Kenny Browne and Rob Lehane traded goals in an entertaining encounter at Richmond Park.
A stuttering start from the Saints saw them go behind to Mark O'Sullivan's goal after Christy Fagan was forced off with an early injury. The hosts did not pose their usual attacking threat with their leading scorer missing, and allowed Cork to take the lead when poor defending allowed O'Sullivan two chances to put the ball in the net.
However, they were revitalised in the second-half and took little time to square the tie. Daryl Kavanagh had a goal disallowed, but Conan Byrne equalised from the spot minutes later after Ian Bermingham was fouled in the area. The goal spurred Liam Buckley's side on, and a good ball from Chris Forrester found Kenny Browne in the box, who volleyed in to give St Pat's the lead.
Cork boss John Caulfield sent on Robert Lehane with less than 10 minutes remaining, and the change was crucial as Lehane scored with his first touch, capitalising on a poor back pass from Ger O'Brien. Buckley's own late substitute also had an impact, with Killian Brennan coming off the bench to provide the final ball for Conan Byrne's late winner.
The victory moves St Patrick's Athletic a point clear of Shamrock Rovers at the top of the SSE Airtricity Premier Division table, and two points clear of previous leaders Dundalk.