Gavin Brennan helps Rovers tighten grip on Europa League spot

Brandon Miele also on the mark as Hoops go eight clear of St Patrick’s

Shamrock Rovers 2 Galway United 0

Gavin Brennan scored the opening goal before setting up Danny North for a second as Shamrock Rovers closed in on a Europa League place.

A second victory in a week moved Rovers to within two points of second-placed Cork City in the Premier Division table.

Crucially, though, it sees Pat Fenlon’s side cement third place as they’re now eight points in front of St Patrick’s Athletic, ahead of their game in Longford on Saturday night. Defeat saw Galway drop to 10th place.


Contract extension

In contrast to the dour win over Bray Wanderers midweek, Rovers dominated virtually from the off and should have been more than a goal to the good at the interval.

Keen to impress having just signed a contract extension, Hoops midfielder Brandon Miele came close on a couple of occasions before crossing for North to shave the outside of a post with a cracking first-time volley on 37 minutes. The pressure finally told on the Galway goal a minute into added time at the end of the half.

Left back David O'Connor got forward to cross low from the right. Gavin Brennan's initial shot was touched on to the near post by keeper Conor Winn. But the ball came straight back to Brennan who, despite being on the ground, managed to scoop the rebound home.

A defensive blunder then brought Rovers’ second goal on 66 minutes.

Gavin Brennan robbed the ball from the Killian Cantwell to run clean through on goal.

He laid the ball off for North to tap home to celebrate the birth of his second child, Daisy, earlier in the week.

SHAMROCK ROVERS: Murphy; Madden, Kenna, Blanchard, D O'Connor; R Brennan (Duff, 80), Cregg; G Brennan, Drennan, Miele (McPhail, 80); North (McCaffrey, 86).

GALWAY UNITED: Winn; Raftery, Oji, Cantwell, Horgan; Keegan, O'Leary, Sinnott, Shanahan (Melody, 74); Barry (Saarelma, 60); Curran (O'Connell, 69).

Referee: Anthony Buttimer (Cork).