Bohemians 1-2 Dundalk
Goals from Brian Gartland and John Mountney helped Dundalk to a 2-1 win over Bohemians in a bad-tempered encounter at Dalymount Park.
Centre-half Gartland opened the scoring midway through the first half with a delightful cushioned volley that Robbie Keane would be proud of, before Mountney doubled the lead in the second half.
Former Dundalk striker Kurtis Byrne pulled a goal back for Bohs with a fine volley of his own, but the Lilywhites closed the game out to stretch their lead at the top of the Premier Division to four points.
Bohemians manager Keith Long stuck with the same eleven for the third straight game following wins over St Patrick's Athetic at Richmond Park and Wexford Youths in the EA Sports Cup final, while Stephen Kenny had Daryl Horgan back from suspension.
While the home side showed impressive endeavour early on, with Buckley working at a feverish pace to maintain the link between midfield and lone striker Kurtis Byrne, Dundalk's frontmen were finding far too much space in which to attack.
The first chance fell to Lilywhites striker David McMillan, who turned Derek Prendergast far too easily on the end-line before forcing a smart near-post save from Shane Supple.
Prendergast played a more positive role as he got a head on the end of an inviting cross from Lorcan Fitzgerald and forced a diving save from Gary Rogers, although the ball seemed to be going just wide.
The champions' front trio of Horgan, McMillan and Mountney were showing ominous form, however, and a foul on Mayo man Mountney earned a free kick on the edge of the box that Dane Massey curled off the post.
McMillan attempted to stab home the rebound first-time with the Gypsies' defence momentarily flat-footed, but with an open goal to aim at he poked the ball wide.
After the otherwise impressive Dylan Hayes sliced the ball wide to concede a needless corner, Gartland showed six weeks out injured hadn't dulled his goal-poaching instincts with a fabulous first-time finish.
Horgan and Massey, twice, went close again before Gartland almost had his second of the match as, after his acrobatic bicycle kick was charged down, he headed inches past the post.
And Bohs were thankful to Shane Supple on the stroke of half-time as the former Dublin GAA keeper pulled off a terrific double-stop, palming out Patrick McEleney's long-range effort before leaping to his feet to block from the hapless McMillan.
An insipid second half burst to life halfway through as McMillan unsportingly decided to start an attack from an uncontested drop ball on the edge of the Bohemians box.
Prendergast was booked for fouling Horgan from the resulting play, and Mountney stepped up to drill a free kick from 30 yards past Supple with the aid of a deflection.
Bohs got one back within two minutes as, after Hayes forced a good save from Rogers, Dundalk failed to clear the resulting corner and Kurtis Byrne volleyed home in style.
Byrne almost equalised with five minutes remaining as he stroked Buckley's pass first-time past Rogers, but the ball curled agonisingly wide of the far post and with it went the game.
Bohemians: Shane Supple; Dylan Hayes, Derek Prendergast, Dan Byrne, Lorcan Fitzgerald; Roberto Lopes, Keith Buckley, Eoin Wearen, Paddy Kavanagh, Dean O'Halloran (Jake Kelly 61); Kurtis Byrne.
Dundalk: Gary Rogers; Sean Gannon, Andy Boyle, Brian Gartland, Dane Massey; Stephen O'Donnell, Patrick McEleney (Chris Shields 67), Ronan Finn, John Mountney (Ciaran O'Connor 85), Daryl Horgan; David McMillan (Dean Shiels 88).
Referee: James McKell (Tipperary).