Dundalk powered their way back to the top of the SSE Airtricity League table thanks to a ruthless display of attacking football against a shell-shocked Cork City side at Oriel Park with a 4-0 win.

Traffic congestion meant that the Leesiders arrived at the Louth venue much later than scheduled, with kick-off delayed by 15 minutes as a result.  

Stephen Kenny's title chasers flew from the traps and simply blew Cork City away in the first-half to lead by three goals including two from Patrick Hoban.

Richie Towell added the gloss early in the second-half as the game drifted to an inevitable conclusion. 

Dundalk should have went ahead after just seven minutes. 

John Mountney's penetrating run and pass created an opportunity for Hoban to set himself but his drive flew just past Mark McNulty's right hand post.

The opening goal arrived two minutes later.

Andy Boyle found himself in an advanced position outside the Cork City penalty area. 

The centre-back resisted the urge to shoot, opting to pick out the unmarked Mountney who lifted his shot over McNulty from just short of 18 yards.

Dundalk continued to pin the Leesiders in and they went 2-0 up after 18 minutes when Darren Meenan picked up the ball on the left and his cross was headed home in spectacular fashion by Hoban.

The hosts made it 3-0, 11 minutes before the break. 

Towell did well to keep the ball on the left before floating in a delicious cross which Hoban glanced brilliantly past the helpless McNulty.

Just four minutes after leaving the sanctuary of the dressing-room at half-time, Cork City had conceded yet again.

Meenan's corner from the left was only half cleared to the edge of the box and Towell returned the ball with interest, hammering an unstoppable drive past McNulty to take his tally to the season for five and seal Dundalk’s place at the summit.

Dundalk: Peter Cherrie; Sean Gannon, Brian Gartland, Andy Boyle, Dane Massey; John Mountney (Marc Griffin 75), Richie Towell, Chris Shields; Darren Meenan (Kurtis Byrne 80), Patrick Hoban (David McMillan 70), Daryl Horgan.

Cork City: Mark McNulty; Brian Lenihan, Dan Murray, Darren Dennehy, John Dunleavy; Liam Kearney, Garry Buckley (Iarlaith Davoren HT), Gearoid Morrissey, John Kavanagh (Rob Lehane HT), Billy Dennehy (Dave O'Leary 58); Mark O'Sullivan.

Referee: Paul Tuite.