Shamrock Rovers prove too strong for St Pat’s in derby
Goals from Lee Grace, Ronan Finn and Sam Bone secure a welcome home win for Hoops
Ronan Finn celebrates with Roberto Lopez after scoring Shamrock Rovers’ second goal against St Pat’s at the Tallaght Stadium. Photograph: Oisin Keniry/Inpho
SHAMROCK ROVERS 3 ST PATRICK’S ATHLETIC 0
The victory, only their second in 10 league matches, moves Rovers to within four points of St Patrick’s, the end to whose four-match unbeaten run sees them slip back to fifth place in the table.
Enjoying good possession from the start, Rovers struggled initially to get their passing going, a 12th minute shot from distance by Graham Burke scarcely troubling Tyson Farago, a replacement in goal for the unavailable Barry Murphy.
Stephen Bradley’s side, though, soon punished indecision from the St Patrick’s goalkeeper, who failed to prevent a corner after good harrying by Dan Carr, to bring the game to life with a 17th minute goal.
Burke floated the ball into the area where central defender Grace met it to find the net with a glancing header.
When they had the ball, St Patrick’s did get forward a little more incisively and might have been level 10 minutes later.
Despite losing Brandon Miele to injury, Rovers continued to dominate the ball, having appeals for a penalty for an apparent handball by Kevin Toner not entertained by referee Rob Rogers on the half hour.
But a superb second goal, when it arrived in first half stoppage time, was no more than Rovers merited.
Sean Kavanagh and substitute Joel Coustrain worked the ball down the left to the impressive Carr. The Londoner’s weighted pass through for Finn was perfect as the skipper arrived to toe his shot over Farago.
Toner failed to connect at the back post from a Conan Byrne free-kick a minute into the second half to waste a chance to get St Patrick’s back into the game.
Negligent defending by Liam Buckley’s side then all but ended the game as a contest five minutes later as Rovers extended their lead.
Burke’s free kick from the right wasn’t dealt with and the ball fell for Rovers’ midfielder Bone who blasted a low right-foot drive to the net.
Roberto Lopes deprived St Patrick’s of a consolation goal eight minutes from time when bravely heading off the line from Conan Byrne’s powerful volley.
SHAMROCK ROVERS: Chencinski; Boyle, Lopes, Grace, Kavanagh; G. Bolger, Bone (McAllister, 58); Burke (Byrne, 65), Finn, Miele (Coustrain, 25); Carr.
ST PATRICK’S ATHLETIC: Farago; Madden, Desmond, Toner, Bermingham; Lennon; C. Byrne, R. Brennan (Kelly, 62), Markey (Fagan, 55), Keegan (Doona, h-t); T Byrne.
Referee: Rob Rogers (Dublin)