St Patrick's Athletic couldn’t do enough to help themselves in their quest for Europe as Bohemians, inspired at either end of the pitch by James Talbot and Danny Grant, came from behind to win at Richmond Park.
Defeat brings St Pat’s expectedly promising campaign to a disappointing close as they miss out on their pre-season aspiration.
Bohemians can now switch their full focus to their FAI Cup semi-final at home to Dundalk on Friday week.
With captain Keith Buckley and regular left-back Anto Breslin suspended, Gypsies' manager Keith Long made four further changes to the side that lost at home to Finn Harps last time out with a full league debut for 16-year-old striker Evan Ferguson.
Winger Billy King came back in for St Pat’s only change as manager Stephen O’Donnell went with an attacking side in a match they had to win to have any chance of being in contention to qualify for Europe.
With an edge to their game from the off, Saints started on the front foot, but it was Bohemians who were left livid on 16 minutes when they thought they had taken the lead against the run of play.
Promise Omochere, Ross Tierney and Danny Grant were involved with the latter’s left flank cross certainly appearing to be turned into the net by Ferguson’s outstretched right boot.
But referee Rob Hennessy promptly ruled it out for an apparent handball.
Bohemians enjoyed a decent spell of possession before St Pat’s regained control.
The lively Gibson’s cross was inches from being touched home by the lunging Georgie Kelly before the home side took a deserved 37th minute lead.
King got free on the left to pick out Shane Farrell in the area. The left-back’s cross found Gibson who teed up his shot which arrowed to the bottom right corner of Talbot’s net.
The visitors responded positively, levelling in the final minute of the half from a route one attack.
Centre-back Dan Casey sent Grant away on the left. The 20-year-old winger, believed to be interesting English League One side Hull City, left Rory Feely and Luke McNally for dead as he cut inside them both to rifle a right-foot shot past Brendan Clarke.
Saints regained the initiative on the resumption with Bohemians having Talbot to thank for keeping the scores level following two outstanding saves inside a minute early in the second half.
First the Bohs keeper parried away a stinging drive from King. And Talbot was there once again to make a point blank save from a Robbie Benson header from King’s cross.
Those saves' importance was soon exemplified when Bohemians took the lead on 62 minutes.
Grant again mesmerised the St Pat’s defence with Omochere then fouled inside the area by Lee Desmond to concede a penalty. Andrew Wright sent Clarke the wrong way with an emphatic spot kick.
With St Pat’s pressing as they chased the game, Talbot was there once again on 76 minutes to make another top stop to deprive King.
St Patrick’s Athletic: Brendan Clarke; Rory Feely (Jason McClelland 82), Luke McNally, Lee Desmond, Shane Griffin (Ian Bermingham 43); Jamie Lennon, Chris Forrester; Jordan Gibson, Robbie Benson, Billy King; Georgie Kelly (Darragh Burns 68).
Bohemians: James Talbot; Michael Barker, Rob Cornwall, Dan Casey, Paddy Kirk; Promise Omochere (Jack Moylan 90), JJ Lunney, Ross Tierney (James Finnerty 90+4), Danny Grant; Evan Ferguson (Conor Levingston 75), Andre Wright.
Referee: Rob Hennessy (Clare).