Dundalk were crowned SSE Airtricity League Premier Division champions for the fifth time in six years with a comfortable 4-0 win over St Patrick's Athletic at Oriel Park.
Stephen O'Donnell's Pat's side arrived with an outside chance of qualifying for Europe but first-half goals from Dane Massey and John Mountney, coupled with Derry City's 2-0 lead over Finn Harps, left them needing miracles at the break.
Divine intervention never looked like coming in the second half and an own goal by the unlucky Brendan Clarke and a late header by Georgie Kelly sealed Dundalk's win.
The Dundalk head coach was able to name John Mountney in his team for the first time since he damaged an ankle back in July. Jordan Flores also came off the bench in the second half to make his first appearance since June.
Michael Duffy and Patrick McEleney were both absent from the matchday squad but both took part in some fitness work beforehand and should be fit to play some part in next weekend's showpiece.
Former Dundalk skipper O'Donnell received a warm reception from the home support and he made four changes to the side that beat Derry City on Tuesday night with two-goal hero James Doona restored to the starting XI.
Pat's were bidding to become the first team to beat Dundalk at Oriel Park this season and they started well with Chris Forrester trying his luck from distance before Conor Clifford fizzed a low ball across the six-yard that just evaded the incoming Doona.
Gary Rogers was relieved to see a thunderous Doona drive hit the side netting in the 20th minute and Dundalk edged in front just two minutes later when Massey met a Mountney free-kick with a delightful header that squeezed inside Brendan Clare's right-hand post.
That knocked the wind out of Pats' sails and Patrick Hoban was denied by Clarke after rising to meet a Kelly cross just shy of the half hour. The Lilywhites hitman was then slightly fortunate to get away with just a booking after leaving the Pat's 'keeper in a heap with a late challenge.
With Derry leading 2-0 at home to Finn Harps, the visitors' European hopes were all but extinguished two minutes before the break when Kelly ran onto a sublime Robbie Benson pass to effortlessly slide his shot past Clarke.
With the result all but secure, attention turned to the race for the Golden Boot in the second half with Derry City's Junior Ogedi-Uzokwe's hat-trick against Harps moving him clear of Hoban on 14 goals.
The Lilywhites number nine, who worked tirelessly throughout, looked to have pulled level just past the hour mark when Dundalk broke on a rapid counter-attack. Mountney set Kelly clear on the right and his cross was met by the Dundalk striker but his effort rebounded off the back of Clarke and crept over the line with the officials ruling it to be an own goal.
Rogers made a fantastic stop to deny Chris Forrester as Pat's went in hunt of a consolation but Georgie Kelly put the icing on the cake in the 89th minute when he hammered home a Massey cross.
Dundalk: Rogers; Gannon, Gartland, Cleary, Massey; Shields, Benson (Flores); Mountney (G Kelly 69), McGrath, D Kelly; Hoban (Murray 77).
St Patrick's Athletic: Clarke; Clarke, Webster, Desmond, Bermingham; Coleman (Lennon HT), Clifford 7 (McCauley 77); Markey (Hale 67), Forrester, Doona; Walker.
Referee: Graham Kelly.