It was a good night for Airtricity First Division leaders Cork City as they hit Athlone for six while title rivals Galway United were held to a 2-2 draw by Wexford.
It means that City are now three points clear at the top of the table and also have a game in hand on their main rivals.
Cork were in ruthless form at Turner's Cross, hitting half a dozen goals without replay in a 6-1 victory.
Barry Coffey helped himself to a hat-trick and the Tipperary native had bagged two of those inside 16 minutes with Dylan McGlade providing the assist for both.
Cian Coleman made it 3-0 just before the break as he headed home a Matt Healy corner and Cork moved further ahead seconds after the resumption as Josh Honahan was on target, again heading home from another Healy corner.
Four became five for Colin Healy’s side as Ruari Keating converted from the penalty spot after he was fouled by goalkeeper Vladislav Velikin and Coffey completed his hat-trick in the 58th minute.
There was a rare glimmer of joy for Athlone late on as Valeri Dolia pulled one back in the final seconds.
While Cork were easing to three points, Galway had to scramble for a draw at home to Wexford.
Rob Manley put them in front at Eamonn Deacy Park as he prodded home from close range, but they were rocked back on their heels by a quickfire Conor Barry double, the second of those helped in by a wicked deflection.
Galway pressed hard for an equaliser and after Stephen Walsh had hit the bar, the same player drew the home side level in the 62nd minute.
The hosts pushed for a winner, but they were left frustrated as they lost ground at the top.
Elsewhere, Waterford were 2-1 winners when they travelled to Treaty United.
Tunmise Sobowale and Darragh Power were both on target in the first half to give the visitors a 2-0 interval advantage,
Treaty had been handed a route back into the game at the end of that first half as Enda Curran was fouled by Richard Taylor, but Curran saw his spot-kick brilliantly saved by Paul Martin.
The home side did finally get a goal, but it came much too late as Success Edogun lobbed home in the 89th minute.