Shamrock Rovers take a giant leap to securing European football
Goals in either half from Mark Quigley and Karl Sheppard (two) secure victory for Trevor Croly’s team
Karl Sheppard of Shamrock Rovers scored the second against Bray Wanderers at Tallaght Stadium. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho
Shamrock Rover 3, Bray Wanderers 0
Shamrock Rovers took a giant step towards securing European football for next season by defeating Bray Wanderers and celebrating their 12th win of the campaign at Tallaght Stadium last night.
Goals in either half from Mark Quigley and Karl Sheppard (two) did the damage for Trevor Croly’s team, who are now level on points with Derry City as the finish line approaches.
This wasn’t a masterclass of slick, attacking football, but Rovers did excel when they needed to and could have won by a far greater margin – although that sums up their season.
Still, they wasted little time in seizing control of the middle battleground, then they dictated the tempo of the game with their passing, before cutting open Bray’s defence at regular intervals.
Quigley opened the scoring on 27 minutes when Bray’s rookie goalkeeper Shane Redmond failed to hold onto a shot from Billy Dennehy and the striker pounced to tap in.
The visitors did have chances to pull a goal back, but Kieran Waters, John Mulroy and Ismahil Akinade were all denied by Hoops goalkeeper Richard Brush with three superb saves.
Rovers kept Redmond on his toes throughout, but the former Republic of Ireland Under-21 goalkeeper could do nothing to keep out Sheppard’s excellent volley on 52 minutes.
Sheppard then wrapped up the win when he rolled in a rebound after Redmond saved his original shot.
It was a routine finish to what was a routine win for Rovers and they will march on full of confidence.
SHAMROCK ROVERS: Brush; McCormack, Oman, McGuinness, Ledwith; Ryan (Robinson, 89 mins), Rice; Finn, Quigley (McCabe, 70 mins), Dennehy (O’Connor, 62 mins); Sheppard.
BRAY WANDERERS: Redmond; S O’Connor, D O’Connor, Mitchell, Earley (Knight, 72 mins); Mulroy (Doyle, 81 mins), Maher, Dempsey (Byrne, 72 mins), Waters; Zambra; Akinade.
Referee: D Tomney (Dublin).