Shamrock Rovers get their reward as they look to finish season out as ‘invincibles’

Ronan Finn lifts Premier Division trophy after draw against St Patrick’s Athletic

Shamrock Rovers 0 St Patrick’s Athletic 0

Ronan Finn scored the last goal of the season in Shamrock Rovers' previous title win nine years ago ahead of their trophy presentation that night after beating Galway United 4-0 at Tallaght Stadium.

On Wednesday night the 32-year-old midfielder raised the League of Ireland championship trophy aloft as Rovers captain for the club’s record-extending 18th championship.

The result maintains Rovers’ unbeaten record as they now look to finish the season out as ‘invincibles’, having been the only club to have done so before, twice back in the 1920s.

For their part, St Pat’s will be happy enough with a point as they held the champions scoreless for the second time this season.

It does leave their European aspirations hanging by a thread, though, as they now must beat Bohemians at home on Monday and hope other results go their way.

A dull enough first half should have ended with Rovers taking a 40th-minute lead.

Aaron McEneff's glorious through ball put Rhys Marshall away and though the right wing back did much right by cutting inside St Patrick's skipper Ian Bermingham, he curled his shot tamely wide.

It was Rovers who had a let off five five minutes after the interval. Chris Forrester fed Robbie Benson who threaded the ball in for Georgie Kelly to force Alan Mannus into an agile save down to his right.

The sides then swapped chances in quick succession midway through the half.

Brendan Clarke tipped away a shot from Aaron Greene at one end before Mannus stood up well to thwart Jordan Gibson.

Greene was then guilty of failing to connect with substitute Danny Lafferty’s sublime cross with the goal at his mercy.

The one sour note ahead of the title presentation was Rovers’ veteran defender Joey O’Brien receiving a second yellow card for pulling down Kelly on 70 minutes to be sent off.

SHAMROCK ROVERS: Mannus; Grace (Lopes, 63 mins), O'Brien, Scales; Marshall (Lafferty, 63), Finn, McEneff, Watts, S. Kavanagh; Burke (Byrne, 24 mins), Greene (Oluwa, 86 mins)

ST PATRICK'S ATHLETIC: Clarke; Feely (McClelland, 85 mins), McNally, Desmond, Bermingham; Lennon, Benson, Forrester, Griffin (King, 53 mins); Gibson (Burns, 80 mins), Kelly.

Referee: S Grant (Wexford).