Cork City 1 Shamrock Rovers 0
Kieran Sadlier’s penalty was sufficient to ensure victory for Cork over Shamrock Rovers at Turner’s Cross.
Sadlier struck in the 38th minute after Graham Cummins was fouled but, before the goal, the visitors – coming off the back of a 6-1 win over Derry City on Friday – had been the better side. Sam Bone at the base of the Hoops midfield was very impressive, allowing the players in front of him to link well.
Centre-forward Dan Carr went close early on after Ronan Finn’s cross caused uncertainty, City defender Aaron Barry having to make a good block, while Seán Kavanagh was just wide with a curling shot from 20yards.
Having been on the back foot for much of the opening half, the hosts improved after the half-hour mark.
Rovers needed a good clearance from left-back Luke Byrne after a dangerous Barry McNamee cross, and then Kieran Sadlier’s delivery on 36 was headed by Cummins off the post.
As Cummins chased the loose ball, he was bundled over by Rovers goalkeeper Kevin Horgan. Sadlier despatched the resultant penalty to the net.
Horgan had to be alert to save well from Karl Sheppard shortly before half-time.
McNamee (twice) Cummins and Morrissey went close to extending City’s lead while Luke Byrne almost snatched a draw for Rovers with a header, from Graham Burke’s corner, that hit the crossbar.
Waterford 1 Bohemians 0
Substitute Sander Puri’s second-half winner at the Regional Sports Centre kept Waterford joint-top of the Premier Division table and inflicted a third successive defeat on Bohemians.
Just six minutes after being introduced at the break, the Estonian international pounced at the back post to finish when Shane Supple failed to deal with a right-wing cross by Courtney Duffus.
Waterford’s fourth victory in five games was fully deserved as Gavan Holohan and Duffus could have made the points safe before the end with better finishing.
Bohemians boss Keith Long rung the changes from the side beaten by St Patrick’s Athletic on Friday and one of his newcomers, Rob Manley, should have had them ahead midway through the half. Presented with a pinpoint cross from the left by Karl Moore, the striker could only scuff his shot.
That would be the sole chance for the away side during an opening half in which Waterford looked well on course to maintain their upbeat start.
Blues striker Duffus lost his footing at the crucial juncture on nine minutes when freed on goal and Holohan failed to work Supple after a free-kick from the impressive Stanley Aborah found him unmarked just six yards out.
The most disappointing aspect to Bohemians conceding was the fact they had started the second half full of energy.
Rather than capitalise on their pressure, they got badly exposed down the right.
Bray Wanderers 1 Sligo Rovers 2
Two quickfire first-half goals from Caolan McAleer saw Sligo Rovers inflict further misery on Bray Wanderers at the Carlisle Grounds.
Sligo’s second win of the campaign leaves Bray rooted to the foot of the Premier Division table after a fourth successive defeat.
Sligo were on the front foot from the off and signalled their intent on eight minutes.
Bray goalkeeper Aaron Dillon parried away a drive from winger Ally Roy with David Cawley seeing his follow-up drive crash back out off the cross bar.
A misjudgment by Dillon then resulted in Sligo taking the lead on 21 minutes.
McAleer collected a pass from Cawley some 25 yards out and his speculative shot caught Dillon off his line and dipped in under the bar.
It got worse for Bray seven minutes later when a mistake by central defender Sean Heaney, whose pass to Kevin Lynch fell short, cost them a second goal.
McAleer was awake to the loose ball to race clear and calmly rounded Dillon before sliding it into the net.
Though Bray made two changes at the break, Sligo should have extended their lead on 54 minutes, Roy stealing in behind from Rhys McCabe’s ball to force Dillon into a good save with his feet.
Bray were back in the match on 64 minutes. Kevin Lynch did well on the left to set up Paul O’Conor who fired home from 17 yards.
Derry City 5 Limerick 0
Martin O’Neill gave the thumbs up for Derry City’s refurbished Brandywell Stadium by cutting the ribbon on the Mark Farren Stand and the Candystripes celebrated their return to a new-look £7 million facility with an impressive victory over Limerick.
Right winger Ronan Hale put last Friday’s defeat to Shamrock Rovers to bed. The Belfast lad brought the crowd to its feet with the opening goal, a superb shot into the top corner after eight minutes.
However, Limerick were always dangerous on the break and when Billy Dennehy drove a shot against the upright seven minutes later, it was clear the Shannonsiders would not be intimidated.
But the home side rose to the challenge after the break, tearing their visitors apart with great speed. A superb turn by Rory Patterson in the 61st minute sent Ronan Curtis racing into the area and he drove the ball low into the corner giving Clarke no chance to double Derry’s lead.
Derry ended the game as a contest three minutes later when Aaron McEneff chipped the ball home after Nicky Low’s deft chip had crashed off the crossbar. Derry then upped the tempo with Hale netting his club’s fourth goal in the 69th minute before he was brought crashing down to earth in the 72nd minute when inside the danger area.
The Belfast man confidently stroked the penalty home to top his performance with a memorable hat-trick.