Rovers routed by five-star Pat’s

St Patrick’s Athletic overwhelmed holders and Dublin rivals Shamrock Rovers in the Airtricity League Premier Division encounter at Inchicore last night.

The visitors arrived on the back of two derby wins against Shelbourne and Bohemians while Pat’s could only muster draws against the same opponents.

There was an electric start as the league’s top scorer, Gary Twigg, headed over from a Billy Dennehy free-kick in the second minute and he was made to pay when the Saints opened the scoring in spectacular fashion two minutes later.

The quick-thinking James Chambers played a free to Christopher Forrester raiding down the right flank and the former Bohemians player cut inside Killian Brennan before curling a glorious left-footed shot beyond Oscar Jansson.

With the exception of Stephen Rice, who gave huge energy to the Rovers midfield, the champions struggled and their general unease was reflected in the booking of Ken Oman for diving in the 18th minute.

St Pat’s were brimming with confidence and Greg Bolger’s audacious attempt from just inside the Hoops’ half was narrowly wide . However, from their next attack in the 25th minute the hosts gained further reward.

A clever pass from Christy Fagan once again released Forrester to run at Brennan and although his shot was partially blocked, John Russell timed his run from midfield to perfection to slot to an empty net from seven yards.

Things got worse for Rovers five minutes before the break as Forrester received the ball from Fagan before applying an impudent chipped finish beyond a stranded Jansson.

Critically, the champions responded before the interval with another threatening delivery from Dennehy finding Oman who headed to the net despite the best efforts of Ger O’Brien on the line.

A curiously out-of-sorts Rovers continued to struggle on the resumption and it was no surprise when the Saints extended their three goal advantage in the 69th minute when Russell dispossessed Daryl Kavanagh to find Fagan who rounded Jansson before finding the empty net.

Pat’s fans enjoyed the remaining 20 minutes and their Good Friday turned into an exceptional one when Fagan grabbed his second five minutes from time.

ST PATRICK’S ATHLETIC: Clarke; O’Brien, Browne, Kenna, Bermingham; Forrester (D Kelly, 68), Russell, Chambers (Rossiter, 88), Bolger, J Kelly; Fagan (O’Connor, 86).

SHAMROCK ROVERS: Jansson; Gannon, Oman, Sives, Brennan (Powell, 85); Dennehy, Turner (Kavanagh, 59), Finn, Rice, Greene (McCabe, 46); Twigg.

Referee: A Buttimer (Cork).

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