Ciaran Kilduff was the man of the hour for Dundalk
Reigning champions Dundalk got their tilte defence off to a winning start, with Ciaran Kilduff netting twice at the Carlsisle Grounds.
Kilduff struck early to put the Lilywhites in the driving seat after five minutes before doubling his tally in the 27th minutes.
The two goal cushion lasted a matter of minutes after Dean Kelly responded almost immediately to leave the score 2-1 at the interval.
Kilduff had a third goal ruled out. Still no top flight opening day hat-trick since this dude pic.twitter.com/Ois0hBYtmv— Karl Reilly (@HistoryLOI) March 5, 2016
Bray were outplayed for most of the game and their frustrations were compounded when Curtis Murphy was sent off 10 minutes from time, before Ronan Finn smashed home a third one minute later.
In the night's other game, Shamrock Rovers dismissed a spirited nine man Sligo Rovers side at the Showgrounds thanks to goals from Brandon Miele and Danny North.
In a tempered affair, eight players saw yellow with two red cards flashed in the second half.
Miele gave Rovers the lead prior to the break with a brilliantly taken free kick before Kieran Sadlier was shown red on 45 minutes for a stamp on Killian Brennan.
The Bit O'Red tried to get themselves back into in the second half but another red card to Craig Roddan made that task almost impossible.
Roddan sent off second yellow looked like use of elbow on McCabe 74 mins pic.twitter.com/3Tl6PZJGA1— Shamrock Rovers F.C. (@ShamrockRovers) March 5, 2016
Rovers finally got a second when North netted in injury time to secure an opening round win for the Tallaght side.