Treaty United recorded their biggest-ever win on Friday night as they took Athlone Town to the sword – hitting them for four and moving into second spot, behind Shelbourne.
Despite the game still hanging in the balance midway through the second half with only Ed McCarthy's strike separating the teams, a quick flurry from the visitors put it to bed – scoring three times in 17 minutes.
Treaty United knew that a win would move them 11 points clear in the race for securing a playoff spot.
That feat seemed unrealistic before a ball was kicked, so the big game feel certainly prevailed on Shannonside ahead of the journey to the midlands.
The hosts had a few fresh faces come into their XI and you could see they were slightly disjointed in their build-up. Conor Barry and Tunmise Sobawale will clearly benefit Adrian Carberry in time, but they looked like they hadn’t trained together yet.
Treaty on the contrary were the polar opposite – a side so familiar with each other that their runs off the ball are second-nature now, even if the final pass isn’t always there.
But the one occasion where the final ball was pinpoint produced the opener.
Kieran Hanlon’s influence on the game in the opening 35 minutes had been holding it up and laying off to runners behind him. But in this instance, he turned near halfway and dinked a gorgeous ball that set right winger Ed McCarthy in between Aidan Friel and Dylan Hand.
McCarthy’s initial touch wasn’t convincing but he steadied himself and slotted into the far corner out of Schlingermann’s reach.
The Moyross native was the standout for the home side in their defeat to Dundalk, and he got his just rewards here.
With only that strike to show for their dominance, captain Jack Lynch doubled their lead midway through the second half with an outrageous curling effort into the far corner – a goal befitting of the division they’ve now got realistic designs of playing in next year.
But they weren’t done there.
A slick team move ended in Sean McSweeney scoring when it would have been almost impossible to miss, before Marc Ludden finished from an angle that seemed impossible to score from.
Kurtis Byrne grabbed a late consolation for the hosts, but it wasn’t enough to prevent Treaty to move into second spot – with a playoff spot, at the least, all but guaranteed.
Shelbourne dropped points at home to Cobh Ramblers after a 2-2 draw at Tolka Park.
Michael O'Connor opened the scoring before Danny O'Connell equalised.
Dayle Rooney put Shels in front before the break but Nathan O'Connell earned Cobh a point midway through the second half.
Galway United recovered from a goal down to secure a 3-1 win in Wexford.
Jack Moylan scored for the home side just before the break. Padraic Cunningham, Killian Brouder and Shane Doherty found the net as United dominated the second half as they move to within nine points of Shelbourne.
Jack Keaney earned UCD a point in Cork as his free-kick cancelled out Cian Murphy's first-half goal at Turner's Cross.
Joe Doyle, Sam Verdon and Brandon Kavanagh ensured Bray Wanderers came away with three points thanks to a 3-0 victory over Cabinteely.