Watts and Shaw goals keep Shamrock Rovers on the front foot

Round-up: Limerick shock Waterford; three red cards as Derry down Pat’s

Shamrock Rovers 2 Sligo Rovers 0

Second-half goals from Dylan Watts and Gary Shaw kept Shamrock Rovers on a roll as they had too much for 10-man Sligo at Tallaght Stadium.

A fifth win in six unbeaten league games, in which they’ve not conceded a goal, moves Rovers to without a point of third-placed Waterford who lost at Limerick.

That meant that this was a damaging defeat for Sligo as they are now just two points ahead of Limerick in there relegation playoff place.


Rovers almost paid for a sluggish start as the visitors were inches from taking the lead on 16 minutes.

Right back Jack Keaney got forward to cross for David Cawley whose first time shot came back off the crossbar.

The home side were far better in the second half and deservedly broke the deadlock on 66 minutes.

Mitchell Beeney initially tipped away a Ronan Finn cross. Joel Coustrain pulled the ball back across goal for Carr who couldn’t get his shot away. But the ball ran for Watts who shot to the net despite Beeney getting a touch.

Sligo lost central defender Séamus Sharkey to a second yellow card on 82 minutes for a foul on Aaron Bolger before Rovers added a second goal four minutes from time.

Beeney couldn’t hold a stinging drive from Finn and substitute Shaw anticipated the rebound well to pounce and side-foot home to score for the second week running.

SHAMROCK ROVERS: Mannus; Bone, Lopes, Grace, Gilchrist; G Bogler (A. Bolger, 79 mins); Greene (Shaw, 76 mins), Watts, Finn, Coustrain; Carr (B Kavanagh, 70 mins).

SLIGO ROVERS: Beeney; Keaney, Mahon, Sharkey, Donelon; McCabe, Cawley; McAleer (Collins, 76 mins), Lynch, Twardek (Kerrigan, 65 mins); Drennan (McClean, 84 mins).

Referee: Rob Rogers (Dublin).

Limerick 2 Waterford 1

A thundering long-range shot by captain Shane Duggan gave Limerick a surprise win over Waterford in a huge upset at the Markets Field .

The winner came after 83 minutes following persistent pressure from the visitors.

There could not have been a more dramatic start as relegation threatened Limerick had Eoin Wearen sent off after only two minutes which left them with a huge mountain to climb in the torrential rain before an attendance of 1,040.

As Noel Hunt bore down on goal, Wearen was the last Limerick defender and he pulled the Waterford man from behind inside the penalty area.

There was respite for the home side when goalkeeper Tommy Holland brilliantly saved Paul Keegan’s penalty.

Former Limerick player Bastien Hery created a great chance for Courtney Duffus who could not capitalise and Stanley Aborah was wide with a free.

Limerick’s first scoring chance came after 25 minutes but Conor Ellis shot over.

Against the run of play Limerick took the lead after 33 minutes courtesy of a Billy Dennehy penalty which was conceded by Dave Webster, who was yellow carded.

Waterford dominated the remainder of the half and a Keegan corner should have brought a goal after 41 minutes and two minutes later Aborah’s free was inches wide.

The half ended as it began with a sending off. Limerick’s Ellis and Waterford’s Webster both slid into a tackle two minutes into stoppage time which resulted in Webster being shown a second yellow as he was carried off injured.

A superb run and strike from Hery brought Waterford level two minutes into the second half as he beat Holland after a mazy run from halfway as the Limerick defence stood off.

LIMERICK: Holland, Cantwell, Wearen, Brouder, B Dennehy, Fitzgerald, Duggan, Murphy, Coleman, Maguire (O'Sullivan 31), Ellis (Morrisey 72)

WATERFORD: Connors, Browne, Barrett, Webster, Hutchinson, Aborah, Hery, Puri (Akinade 57), Keegan (Wilson 79), Hunt, Duffus (Feely 57).

Referee: D Grant (Dublin).

Derry City 2 St Patrick’s Athletic 1

Rory Patterson made his presence felt when snatching victory for Derry City at the Brandywell but all hell broke out following his 88th-minute goal at the other end of the park.

The striker swept Aaron McEneff’s centre into the net having just entered the fray before the referee sent off three players in a dramatic ending to the game.

Pat’s skipper Ian Bermingham was followed off the pitch by Derry defender Eoin Toal and Pat’s sub Thomas Byrne.

Killian Brennan failed to net an 82nd-minute penalty for the visitors with the score tied at 1-1 before Patterson struck with devastating effect in the dying minutes.

Derry moved six points clear of Pat’s with the win, striker Ali Roy having broken clear after just three minutes to drive low drive across the body of Pat’s goalkeeper Brendan Clarke.

Despite the poor start, Pat’s could so easily have levelled matters in the 14th minute when Conan Byrne broke through but his shot was deflected onto the upright and wide at the expense of a corner.

In the 22nd minute Derry were on the front foot yet again, Conor McDermott’s shot diverted over the crossbar by a defender while Rory Hale had another low effort easily gathered by Clarke in the 29th minute.

Pat’s got back on terms in the 34th minute when a defensive error proved costly for Derry.

Having intercepted a Conan Byrne cross into the danger area, Dan Seaborne failed to adequately clear his lines and when the ball was returned into the danger area, it was bundled home from close range by Ryan Brennan.

Brennan threatened again on the hour when meeting another Byrne cross before Derry goalkeeper Ger Doherty touched the ball over his crossbar.

A Simon Madden cross in the 65th minute was met by Conan Byrne and his downward effort was superbly blocked by Doherty.

Ben Fisk brought the best out of Clarke in the 75th minute, the Pat’s goalkeeper doing well to get his body in front of a powerful shot from the Derry substitute.

The St Pat’s penalty was awarded in the 82nd minute after Fisk collided with Madden inside the area, Doherty diving a full stretch to push away Brennan’s kick .

Then all hell broke loose following those late, late controversies inside the Derry penalty area.

DERRY CITY: Doherty; Toal, Peers, Seaborne; McDermott (Fisk, h/t), Splaine (Ronan Hale, 63 mins), McEneff, Rory Hale, McDonagh; Shiels; Roy.

ST PATRICK'S ATHLETIC: B Clarke; Madden, Desmond, K Brennan, Bermingham; Lennon; C Byrne (Turner, 80 mins), R Brennan, Markey, D Clarke; Keegan (T Byrne, 74 mins)

Referee: R Harvey (Dublin).