Shelbourne punish 10-man Drogheda to seal return to Premier Division
Dublin side claim First Division title at United Park
Shelbourne players celebrate winning the First Division title and gaining promotion to the Premier Division. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho
Drogheda United 1 Shelbourne 3
Shelbourne claimed the First Division title and promotion back to the Premier Division on Friday evening at United Park with a 3-1 win over 10-man Drogheda United.
Ciarán Kilduff went closest to opening the scoring in the first half for the visitors after he was played in on the left but Luca Gratzer got down low to deny the striker.
Drogheda were dealt a blow 10 minutes into the second half against what was a dominant Shelbourne side as Seán Brennan was dismissed for a second yellow card. His first was for dissent, his second for a high arm as he challenged for a header in the box.
Shelbourne took advantage of the extra man 10 minutes later as Aiden Friel’s low drive found the bottom corner to send the away support into raptures.
Drogheda equalised on 77 minutes as Chris Lyons wriggled by three Shels players and played it low for makeshift forward Luke McNally to rifle the ball into the top corner.
Oscar Brennan put Shelbourne back in front three minutes later as his low strike beat Gratzer despite the Drogheda goalkeeper getting a hand to it.
Shelbourne then confirmed the victory with a minute to go as they hit Drogheda on the counter and Lorcan Fitzgerald slotted low by Gratzer.
DROGHEDA UNITED: Gratzer; Brown (Gallagher, 69 mins), McNally, Farragher, Kane; Hollywood (Hughes, h/t), Hyland (capt), S Brennan; Doyle, Meaney (Wixted, 72 mins), Lyons.
SHELBOURNE: McCabe; Friel, Prendergast, Byrne, Fitzgerald (capt); O Brennan, Farrell (Noone, 82 mins), Moore; Kabia (Fernandes, 72 mins), R Brennan, Kilduff.
Referee: Rob Rogers