Shamrock Rovers go 30 unbeaten with win at Finn Harps
Dundalk continue revival at Waterford; Bohs left stunned as Derry strike at the death
Shamrock Rovers celebrate a late Rory Gaffney goal against Finn Harps. Photograph: Evan Logan/Inpho
Finn Harps 0 Shamrock Rovers 2
Champions Shamrock Rovers equalled the all-time league record of going 30 games without defeat as they defeated Finn Harps in a feisty affair at Finn Park.
This win extended their unbeaten run to eight games this season as they remain in joint top spot with St. Patrick’s Athletic.
But they got lucky against plucky Finn Harps as they finally broke the deadlock in the 74th minute following a hotly contested free and goalkeeping error.
Harps boss Ollie Horgan was hopping on the bench when the free was given in favour of the Hoops, and subsequently goalkeeper Mark Anthony McGinley spilled the ball and
Rory Gaffney pounced to put Rovers ahead.
Horgan’s protestations saw him banished to the stand shortly afterwards and Rovers then added a second through Sean Hoare who headed home a free to seal the issue on 80 minutes.
The visitors had an early penalty appeal for a challenge on Graham Burke (who was booked) dismissed by referee Rob Hennessy, who was the man in the middle in last season’s super-charged FAI Cup quarter-final clash in which he awarded Rovers three penalties in four minutes as the Hoops came from 2-0 down to win 3-2 at the Ballybofey venue.
While Rovers had the edge in the first quarter, they were unable to seriously test McGinley in the home goal - his main duties being to capably cut out crosses.
Nevertheless, Harps went close to breaking the deadlock on 31 minutes when former Rovers man Ethan Boyle whipped in a delightful cross from the right flank but recent addition Johnny Dunleavy was unable to direct a glancing header on target from close range.
The game really began to open up early in the second-half with play swinging from end to end but both defences stood firm and one sensed a little bit of magic was required to break the deadlock.
But Rovers then struck with the two late goals to sink Harps.
Finn Harps: M. McGinley; Boyle, Webster, Sadiki, Dunleavy; O’Sullivan (Shanley, 84 mins), Coyle (N. McGInley, 84 mins), Seymour, Doherty (Russell, 64 mins); B. McNamee (TImlin, 84 mins); Foley (Owolabi, 64 mins).
Shamrock Rovers: Mannus; O’Brien (Gannon, 73 mins), Hoare, Grace; Finn, O’Neill, Watts, Scales; Burke (Greene, 64 mins), Mandroiu (Nugent, 83 mins); Gaffney (Williams, 83 mins).
Referee: R. Hennessy (Limerick).
Waterford 0 Dundalk 3
Dundalk cruised past Waterford to record their first back-to-back league wins for 13 months.
Andy Boyle grabbed his first of the season from a free header on 25 minutes before captain Chris Shields added a second three minutes before the break from the penalty spot.
Michael Duffy’s excellent finish 29 seconds into the second half put the result beyond the brave Blues.
Dundalk showed their intent from the third minute when David McMillan dragged his shot wide but the Blues spurned a better chance on 20 minutes after James Waite couldn’t keep his chip from an acute angle wide.
That miss would turn out to be pivotal as Dundalk forged ahead five minutes later. Duffy’s free-kick to the back post found Boyle, who peeled off Timi Sobowale to power his downward header past Paul Martin.
Three minutes before the break, the 2019 champions sunk the killer second goal from the penalty spot.
Referee Derek Tomney adjudged Prince Mutswunguma to have shoved Junior Ogedi-Uzokwe, on in place of the injured McMillan, allowing Shields to power his spot-kick beyond Martin.
In the first move of the half, Patrick McEleney released his fellow Derryman Duffy on the left who executed his specialist move of cutting inside onto his favoured right foot and finding the top corner with a curler.
Waterford: P Martin; D Power, T Sobolwale, C Evans, J Mascoll; A O’Reilly, K Mashigo, N O’Keefe, J Waite; J Martin, P Mutswunguma.
Dundalk: P Cherrie; C Dummigan, A Boyle, D Cleary, R Jurkovskis; C Shields, W Zahibo (G Slogget 71), P McEleney; O Midtskogen (S Murray 66), D McMillan (J Ogedi-Uzokwe 34), M Duffy.
Referee: Derek Tomney (Dublin)
Bohemians 1 Derry City 2
Centre-half Cameron McJannet claimed a brace of second-half goals at Dalymount Park to give Derry City all three points against Bohemians in an entertaining Premier Division clash.
Trailing 1-0 at the break through a Georgie Kelly penalty, the Candystripes dug deep on the resumption with McJannet’s second on 89 minutes ultimately determining the outcome of the contest.
When referee Ben Connolly pointed to the spot in the 17th-minute - following a foul by Ciaron Harkin on Ross Tierney - former Derry City youth star Kelly stepped up to the mark.
He fired clinically beyond the reach of Nathan Gartside to give the Gypsies a deserved lead. Derry grew into the game as it progressed, however, and eventually drew level on 63 minutes.
James Talbot turned behind a Marc Walsh strike, but was powerless to stop McJannet heading home from the ensuing corner. It looked like both sides would be forced to settle for a share of the spoils, until McJannet struck to the net off a Will Patching delivery with just under two minutes remaining.
Bohemians: Talbot; Lyons, Cornwall, C Kelly, Wilson; Coote, Buckley; Ward (Moylan, 70 mins), Tierney (Devoy, 76 mins), Burt; G Kelly.
Derry City: Gartside; Boyce, McJannet, Toal, Lafferty; Malone (Thomson, 58 mins), Harkin; Fitzgerald (Barr, 82 mins), Patching (Lupano, 91 mins), Akintunde; Parkhouse (Walsh, 58 mins).
Referee: B Connolly (Dublin).