Shamrock Rovers extend their lead at top of table with win in Cork

Frustrated St Pat’s draw a blank for fifth game in a row against Sligo Rovers

Shamrock Rovers’ Neil Farrugia celebrates scoring his team’s third goal. Photograph: Inpho

Shamrock Rovers’ Neil Farrugia celebrates scoring his team’s third goal. Photograph: Inpho

 

Aaron Greene scored twice as Shamrock Rovers eased past Cork City 3-0 at Turner’s Cross, fully capitalising on Bohemians losing at home on Friday night, to extend their lead at the top of the Premier Division table to eight points with seven games remaining.

Dominant from the start, Stephen Bradley’s side, unbeaten in the league now in almost a year, went ahead on 17 minutes.

Danny Lafferty and Graham Burke worked a quick throw-in on the left to Jack Byrne whose dinked delivery into the near post was met by Greene to head home.

Cork didn’t threaten until the 42nd minute when Dylan McGlade’s low drive from outside the area was ably dealt with by goalkeeper Alan Mannus. A minute later, Rovers all too easily doubled their lead.

A high press forced Cork into losing possession. Burke and Byrne worked the ball out wide to Lafferty whose cross was again met by Greene who scored with a well-placed header for his fourth league strike of the campaign.

Burke, who scored five times when the sides last met in the league in February, shot against the post in the second half before substitute Neil Farrugia added Rovers’ third goal in the 89th minute.

Their seventh defeat of the league season sees Cork remain a point off the foot of the table ahead of bottom side Finn Harps who host Derry City on Sunday.

The width of a post twice deprived St Patrick’s Athletic of what would have been a deserved victory as they were frustrated in drawing a blank for the fifth game in a row after a 0-0 draw with in-form Sligo Rovers.

Stephen O’Donnell’s St Patrick’s began positively at Richmond Park with Georgie Kelly, Chris Forrester, Jamie Lennon and Robbie Benson having sights of goal that came to nothing.

It was 24 minutes before Sligo finally sprung to life in an attacking sense to carve the only real opening of the first half.

Right-back Lewis Banks’ diagonal ball was helped on by skipper David Cawley for Junior Ogedi-Uzokwe who cut across the 18-yard area to unleash his shot that was deflected out for a corner.

As in the first, St Patrick’s began the second half on the front foot and were inches from a deserved lead on 61 minutes.

Impressive right-back Rory Feely’s cross dropped awkwardly for Benson in the area, though the midfielder still managed to direct it onto a post off his thigh before Banks hacked the loose ball clear.

The same upright came to Sligo’s rescue again on 83 minutes as Forrester’s curling shot beat Ed McGinty only to strike the butt of his left-hand post.

Club captain Ian Bermingham’s late introduction marked a record 309th league appearance for St Pat’s. Sligo then finished with 10 men when midfielder Niall Morahan was sent off for a second booking in stoppage time.

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