If St Patrick's Athletic have problems, Tunde Owolabi isn't one, the Belgian blitzing Bohs with a hat-trick by the Camac that was all about the beauty of a precise, powerful shot.

This was a mad game played before 3,473 punters and far closer than the scoreline would imply, but Bohs had players who couldn't score while Saints had one who couldn't miss.

Moreover, Pat's boss Tim Clancy will be thrilled that 16-year-old Sam Curtis, hooked at the interval Friday in the defeat to Shelbourne here, started tonight and excelled.

The game began in glorious sunshine and moments later a shower, befitting a bizarre day of Dublin weather. One player largely unable to make his presence felt in a patchy Saints season so far, as he has not seen much game-time, is Owolabi; he belied that on just five minutes.

Ciaran Kelly committed to a clearance he made a mess of and that allowed the ex-Finn Harps striker edge towards the box's edge; he had at least one Saints player in a seemingly better position in the box but, full of confidence, Owolabi blasted into the bottom corner.

Liam Burt, who'd come into the Bohs side for the injured Kris Twardek, fizzed a shot at Joseph Anang on 12 minutes; he gathered at the second attempt, with both Promise Omochere and Junior Ogedi-Uzokwe ready to pounce like vultures.

Moments later, Burt's corner was nearly turned in by Jordan Flores.

Eoin Doyle (R) is taken down by Ciarán Kelly

Bohs looked threatening, something of a tense edge among the home support, and Dawson Devoy volleyed wide at the back stick.

Anang then botched a clearance and looked edgy too as he tipped over a deflected Devoy strike, Saints boss Clancy exasperated.

It is hard to know how Bohs didn't equalise on 26 minutes. Another deflected Devoy shot hit the crossbar; Kelly's rebound prompted an Anang parry; and he had to be alive again to deny Jordan Doherty's stinging drive.

For all their recent inferiority, Saints missed a sitter on the half-hour mark, as Eoin Doyle hooked over with his left foot from a Jay McClelland cross when it seemed easier to score.

Doyle looked sure to net eight minutes later but he just failed to connect with an excellent cross from the wing-back Curtis.

Just before half-time, Owolabi brought the place to life again, taking up the ball on the other edge of the box and thumping no-warning into the same net's other bottom corner - with such venom, how has he not been playing more?

Owolabi sensed an impending hat-trick and, eight minutes after the restart, Tyreke Wilson had to get down to block the striker's shot.

Joe Redmond was defending outstandingly for Pat's and, at the other end, Owolabi really should have played in Eoin Doyle, but was dispossessed.

Joe Redmond heads it clear

At times, he made the wrong choice. Another fault is that he was offside more often than Filippo Inzaghi – not that Pat's fans will care much.

The deal was sealed midway through the half. Owolabi broke and fed the excellent Curtis, who found Doyle; he was taken down by an irate Kelly. Up stepped the new hero every Saints fan calls by his first name, and there was never any doubt: Tunde three, Bohs nil.

When he made way on 73 minutes, the standing ovation was even more inevitable. Replacing him was the promising Kyle Robinson, whilst fellow teenager Curtis was on hand to embrace Owolabi as he left the pitch.

And one Darragh Burns had yet to enter the fray. The future suddenly looks brighter for the Saints.

St Patrick's Athletic: Anang; Grivosti, Redmond, Bermingham; S Curtis, O'Reilly, Forrester (M Doyle 72), McClelland (Burns 83), Breslin; Owolabi (Robinson 73), E Doyle (McCormack 77).

Bohemians: Talbot; Murphy, Doherty, Kelly, Wilson; Burt (Coote 46), Devoy, Flores (Cassidy 82), Levingston (Mullins 63), Omochere (McManus 81); Ogedi-Uzokwe.