Having experienced defeat in the two matches since his appointment, Brian Laws would have looked for an enterprising opening from his charges and two marauding runs from left-full Conor Powell inside the first five minutes reflected a greater confidence from the hosts.
However, Gary McCabe’s confidence in his own abilities was slightly misplaced in the 10th minute as he inadvisably elected to shoot from an acute angle as both Ciaran Kilduff and Gary Twigg anticipated a cross, with Peter Cherrie making a routine save at his near post.
With Rovers’ having lost some of their early momentum, it was left to Ronan Finn to produce another sublime piece of skill to reinvigorate the crowd, as the former UCD player gained possession 30 yards from goal before he unleashed an arrowed drive for the game’s opening goal on 27 minutes.
Within three minutes, Dundalk’s hopes looked forlorn as an unnecessary challenge from Mark O’Brien was punished with Killian Brennan delivering an inviting cross that sub Ken Oman swept home unchallenged at the back post from four yards.
A third goal before the break looked increasingly inevitable given Dundalk’s inability to maintain possession and they were duly punished in injury-time as a snappy move involving McCabe and Finn culminated in Kilduff sweeping the ball home.
Dundalk’s defensive frailties resurfaced in the 58th minute as Mountney handled under pressure from Twigg, with McCabe confidently dispatching the resultant penalty kick beyond Cherrie.
Dundalk’s conceded another penalty seven minutes later as Paul Whelan tripped Kilduff with McCabe calmly swept the ball past Cherrie.
It was inevitable Twigg would join the party at some juncture and he found the scoresheet capitalising on Stephen McDonnell’s woeful back pass in the 70th minute to score. His 18th league goal arrived a minute later from Finn’s slide-rule pass.
SHAMROCK ROVERS: Jansson; Gannon, Sives (Greene, 68), Hawkins (Oman, 22), Powell; McCabe (Dennehy, 82), Rice, Finn, Brennan; Kilduff, Twigg.
DUNDALK: Cherrie; Mountney, Whelan, Burns, Osbourne; Walsh, O’Brien (Conlon, 65), Shields, Maher, Murphy (McDonnell, 64); Rafter (McKenna, 79).
Referee: D Hancock (Dublin)