It was a case of the late, late show once again for Shamrock Rovers as Rory Gaffney broke Longford Town hearts with a 95th minute winner for the only goal of their Premier Division clash at Bishopsgate.
With second from bottom Longford looking like they had held out for an unlikely point, striker Gaffney blasted home the rebound after goalkeeper Lee Steacy had parried a header from Lee Grace following a Danny Mandroiu cross.
Remarkably, Stephen Bradley’s Hoops have now garnered eight points from goals scored after 90 minutes this season.
It was a first win in four games for the champions to leave them trailing leaders Sligo Rovers by one point going into the mid-season break.
Liam Scales wasted the only clear cut chance of a dour first half when heading tamely wide from opposite wingback Sean Gannon's cross.
Graham Burke was central to Rovers' quest for a breakthrough into the second half, receiving a yellow card before bringing a smart diving save from Steacy with a 56th minute free kick.
Eight minutes later the Rovers number 10 was left holding his head in his hands after drilling wide following a sweeping move.
Longford were a threat on their occasional forays forward, Rob Manley skying over the top from substitute Dylan Grimes' free kick on 66 minutes. But Rovers remained dominant, pressing hard late on to get their reward at the death.
The only consolation for Longford, without a win now in 13 games, was that bottom side Waterford lost 3-0 to ever-improving Bohemians at Dalymount Park, the Munster side's seventh straight defeat.
Goals from under-21 panellists Dawson Devoy and Andy Lyons, either side of a strike from 20-year-old Ross Tierney, made it four wins from five games for Keith Long's Bohemians as Waterford finished with 10 men.
Midfielder Devoy finally swept a dominant Bohemians’ in front on 38 minutes from Lyons’ assist. A header from Tierney doubled the lead three minutes later.
Waterford substitute Isaac Tshipamba received a straight red card on 65 minutes for a lunging tackle on Ciaran Kelly before fullback Lyons added Bohemians' third goal following an impressive team move on 70 minutes.