Cool Twigg to rescue

Shamrock Rovers salvaged a late Airtricity Premier League point when a Gary Twigg goal earned them a share of the honours with a battling Bray Wanderers side in a tense battle at the Carlisle grounds last night.

Bray have proven to be a bogey team for the Hoops in recent seasons and history looked like repeating itself when midfielder Marty Waters had given the lowly Seagulls a deserved 2-0 lead on 37 minutes.

Rovers did have one early chance when a header by striker Twigg set up the chance for Gary O’Neill, only for the latter to blast over the top from close range.

Chances were aplenty at either end when first Bray’s Dane Massey had an angled shot just wide of target and Rovers’ Billy Dennehy had a long range effort from the left flash just inches wide of the far upright.

The Seagulls twice went close to breaking the deadlock when first John Mulroy waltzed past two defenders only to shoot just wide of the target. Then Waters brought the best out of Oscar Jansson with the Swedish keeper getting down to save the effort on his line.

But Waters was to make no mistake on 16 minutes when firing home from 15 yards after a clever build-up between Massey and veteran striker Jason Byrne.

Twigg went close to a Rovers equaliser on 31 minutes when his close range header was pushed away by keeper Darren Quigley and eventually out for a corner, after a clever cross from the left by Gary McCabe.

Waters was spectacularly on target again on 37 minutes when he collected a throw-in from Massey on the left, ran past defender Conor McCormack before turning past Craig Sieves and firing past Jansson from 10 yards.

There was drama in added time of the first half when Rovers were awarded a penalty after Pierce Sweeney was adjudged to have fouled Twigg inside the box.

Twigg made no mistake with the resulting penalty — although he should have waited and the goal did not stand as fourth official Richie Winter had earlier called Monaghan referee Paul McLaughlin to the dug-out, the outcome of which was Bray coach Keith Long being ordered into the stand.

Twigg was ordered to retake the penalty but this time his shot was saved by Quigley, although Dennehy did blast home the rebound. However, to the anger of the huge Rovers following, this was ruled out for offside.

Rovers finally pulled a goal back on 67 minutes when a long ball by substitute Daryl Kavanagh allowed midfielder Ronan Finn to burst through the home and shoot past the advancing Quigley.

With their tails now up, Kavanagh was then instrumental in setting up Rovers’ second goal on 83 minutes as he supplied the pass for Glasgow-born Twigg to run 15 yards through the home defence before calmly planting the ball past Quigley and into the net.

BRAY WANDERERS: Quigley; Webster, O’Connor, Massey. Sweeney; Waters, Knight (Mitchell 83), Zambra, Mulroy, Hanlon; Byrne (Doyle 88).

SHAMROCK ROVERS: Jansson; McCormack, Sieves, Oman, Powell (Green 79); McCabe, Turner, Finn, Dennehy; Twigg, O’Neill (Kavanagh 64).

Referee: Paul McLaughlin (Monaghan).

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