Darragh Burns cancelled out Aidan Keena's opener as Sligo Rovers and St Patrick’s Athletic earned a point a piece at the Showgrounds.

Keena had fired the Bit O’Red into the lead on 36 minutes, but Tim Clancy’s Saints struck back early in the second period courtesy of Burns who finished off a lethal counter.

Keena’s goal separated the sides at the break, but in truth there as little between the teams.

It was Keena’s sliced clearance at the other end, which almost allowed the visitors take an early lead.

The Mullingar man’s attempt to clear Ben McCormack’s corner landing at the feet of Joe Redmond whose effort was acrobatically flicked over his crossbar by the alert Ed McGinty in the Sligo goal.

Pat’s carved out opportunities with Eoin Doyle and Chris Forrester, but it was Rovers who hit the lead courtesy of Keena’s seventh goal of the season.

McGinty going direct with a punt up the pitch which was first touched on by Karl O’Sullivan towards Sligo skipper David Cawley. The Mayo man flicking the ball into the path of Keena who opened up his body, unleashing an unstoppable right-footed volley past Joseph Anang.

Doyle, who holds the Sligo record for the most league goals in a season, went close before the break. His hanging header from an Adam O’Reilly cross, flashing past a planted McGinty’s far post.

The second half was only six minutes old when the Inchicore side were rewarded for their quicker start, levelling proceedings.

Doyle running on to Forrester’s through ball before the once Shamrock Rovers attacker played a well weighted square ball into the path of Burns who was left with a simple tap-in.

The Dubliners were offering plenty of danger on the counter, particularly through Forrester’s creativity. While Kirk again went close on 68 minutes, blasting over the turn after Pat’s struggled in clearing Will Fitzgerald’s corner.

Both Lewis Banks and Greg Bolger went close for the hosts from headed efforts as Rovers gained a foothold on the tie once more. Anang holding on to Banks’ go at goal, while Bolger got under Kirk’s cross moments later whilst under close attention from a Saints defender.

Sligo centre half Garry Buckley wasn’t far off a late winner when his header from Bolger’s clipped free cannoned past Anang’s goal minutes from time.

Sligo Rovers: Ed McGinty; Lewis Banks, Shane Blaney, Garry Buckley, Paddy Kirk; Greg Bolger, Niall Morahan; Will Fitzgerald, Karl O’Sullivan; David Cawley; Aidan Keena (Cillian Heaney 79).

St Patrick’s Athletic: Joseph Anang; Sam Curtis, Joe Redmond, Anto Breslin, Tom Grivosti; Adam O’Reilly, Chris Forrester, Ben McCormack (Kyle Robinson 87); Darragh Burns, Billy King (Mark Doyle 74); Eoin Doyle.

Referee: Rob Harve