League of Ireland round-up: Shamrock Rovers get season up and running

Chris Forrester topped and tailed victory with a brace as St Patrick’s Athletic got back to winning ways

Dundalk 0 Shamrock Rovers 4

Shamrock Rovers got their season up and running in style by putting 10 man Dundalk to the sword at Oriel Park.

The reigning league champions came into the game without a win in their opening six matches but were already a goal ahead by the time Robbie Benson was given his marching orders.

The Hoops hit the front on 22 minutes with former Lilywhite Daniel Cleary floating a superb cross to the back post for Gaffney to race onto and head to the bottom right hand corner.


Dundalk did have a golden chance to level six minutes later when Connor Malley slipped John Martin in on goal but the former Waterford player couldn’t keep his effort down.

They key moment of the game came on 31 minutes when Benson was dismissed for a high challenge on Grace in front of the Rovers bench.

Stephen Bradley’s side responded by doubling their advantage five minutes later with Grace nodding home after Jack Byrne’s corner was kept alive by Sean Hoare.

To their credit, the home side rallied at the start of the second half without ever really threatening but Kenny added the crucial third goal to kill the game on 71 minutes with a close range header from Towell’s cross.

Substitute Burke then added a fourth five minutes later with a close range finish from Kavanagh’s cross to complete the win.

Dundalk: Shepperd; Davies, Williams, Boyle, Leahy (McCourt 79); Sloggett, Lewis (Yli-Kokko 68); Benson, Malley (Ward 75), Tulloch (O’Kane 67); Martin (Kelly 75).

Shamrock Rovers: Mannus; Hoare, Cleary, Grace; Farrugia (Nugent 74), O’Neill, Towell, Kavanagh (Watts 79); Byrne (Poom 59), Kenny (Greene 74), Gaffney (Graham Burke 74).

Referee: Arnold Hunter.

Cork City 1-1 Drogheda United

Cork City drop to second from bottom in the Premier Division after an own goal from Aly Gilchrist cancelled out Ruairi Keating’s back post header, with all the action taking place in the first half at Turner’s Cross.

It was a fixture that felt like a six pointer, with both teams eager to make up for defeats before the international break. This led to a number of early chances, with Fredrick Draper heading a Ryan Brennan cross wide and Ruairi Keating forcing a low save from Colin McCabe.

Then Daniel Krezic was fouled and a free from Aaron Bolger found Keating at the back post. The striker headed in and gave his side the lead in the 17th minute.

Drogheda pushed up almost immediately and their reward came when a shot from Darragh Markey deflected off Gilchrist in the area and looped over Jimmy Corcoran.

City dominated possession in the second half and they should have scored when Krezic set up Cian Bargary inside the area but his goal bound shot was blocked by Jarlath Jones.

A frantic finish ended with a free header getting put over by Aaron McNally in the final second of four minutes added on.

Cork City: Corcoran; Coleman, Gilchrist, Bolger, Keating, Coffey (Winbo, 64 mins), Bargary, Krezic (Murphy, 69 mins), Crowley, Honohan, Hakkinen (Varian, 80 mins).

Drogheda United: McCabe; Ahui, Weir, Adegboyega, Markey, Deegan, Draper (Davis, 80 mins), Grimes (McNally, 73 mins), Rooney, Jones, Brennan (Noone, 90 mins).

Referee: R Harvey (Dublin)

St Patrick’s Athletic 3 UCD 0

Chris Forrester topped and tailed victory with a brace as St Patrick’s Athletic got back to winning ways at a sodden Richmond Park.

Their first three points in five games lifts St Pat’s above Cork City out of the relegation play-off place as UCD slip five points adrift at the foot of the table.

Spells of rain throughout the day meant the game was in doubt until an hour before kick-off when Wexford referee Sean Grant finally passed it fit after a second inspection.

And with the rain continuing to drizzle down, the home side dominated from the off against a team they beat in all four meetings last season.

Eoin Doyle had a couple of sights of goal while Jay McClelland saw his cross bounce away off the far post before St Pat’s were deservedly in front on 16 minutes.

Vladislav Kreida whipped over their second corner of the night for the unmarked Forrester to head home.

A goalkeeping howler stretched St Pat’s lead on 38 minutes.

The lively Mulraney showed delightful feet to skip past two defenders on the edge of the area.

Kian Moore looked set to collect the left-foot shot, but the ball bounced in front of the UCD keeper on the saturated surface to spin into the net.

St Pat’s then killed the game off on 52 minutes.

McCelland played a sublime pass through for the run of Forrester who cleverly dinked the ball over Moore for his third goal of the season.

St Patrick’s Athletic: Lyness; Curtis (Sjoberg 82, 6), Redmond, McGrath, Breslin; McClelland (McCormack, 61), Lennon, Kreida (Murphy, 74), Forrester, Mulraney (Carty, 74); E. Doyle (Lonergan, 61).

UCD: Moore; Gallagher, Keaney, O’Brien (O’Regan, 70), Wells Norris (Izekor, 59); Barr (Higgins, 59), Keane, Dignam; Behan (Clarke, 70), Nolan (Doyle, 59).

Referee: Sean Grant (Wexford).

Attendance: 3,411