Sligo Rovers 3 Shamrock Rovers 0
Sligo Rovers’ promise of a first league title in 35 years remains on course as they beat Shamrock Rovers to go six points clear at the top of the Premier Division table.
Ian Baraclough’s side also move eight points ahead of the disjointed looking champions who finished the match with just nine men.
While Hoops did start well with Gary Twigg having a couple of early chances, it was Sligo who deservedly led 2-0 at the break.
Mark Quigley saw an audacious 40-yard chip come back off the crossbar while Danny North missed the target, albeit from a tight angle, after taking the ball round keeper Reyaard Pieterse.
But 19-year-old Pieterse’s inexperience cost Shamrock on the half hour when he was badly placed as North shot to the net, following a terrific break by Quigley.
David Cawley doubled the lead seven minutes later when he rifled a 20-yard shot in off the underside of the crossbar as Hoops failed to properly clear a corner.
Hoops’ former Sligo midfielder Chris Turner getting sent off five minutes into the second half for raising his hand to Alan Keane gave his side a mountain to climb.
North then slotted home his second goal of the game - and 11th of the league season - after a defence splitting pass from skipper Danny Ventre on 77 minutes.
Hoops had defender Graham Gartland sent off for a second booking for a foul on Raffaele Cretaro five minutes from time.