Shamrock Rovers 2 St Pat’s Athletic 1
Airtricity Premier Division: Former Republic of Ireland internationals Stephen McPhail and Keith Fahey were sent off as Shamrock Rovers leapfrogged the champions into third place in the Premier Division table.
McPhail was first to see a straight red card on 59 minutes when he headbutted Killian Brennan after the St Patrick’s player reacted to the Rovers’ midfielder’s heavy challenge on team-mate Conor McCormack.
Fahey followed 16 minutes later when he was dismissed for pushing over Rovers’ left-back Rob Cornwall.
“We’ll deal with it,” said Rovers’ manager Trevor Croly on McPhail’s dismissal. “We’ll let the steam come out of that one and we’ll have a chat.”
The sendings-off tarnished what was a riveting game from the time Rovers punished neglectful defending to allow Dean Kelly to sweep home a Simon Madden cross for the lead goal in the second minute.
St. Pat’s equalised within eight minutes as Christy Fagan poached his 16th goal of the season, stabbing home Conan Byrne’s cross.
Gary McCabe won it for Rovers when his 54th minute shot from distance deflected past Brendan Clarke.
SHAMROCK ROVERS: Murphy; Madden, Kenna, McGuinness, Cornwall; Finn, Robinson, McPhail, McCabe (Bayly, 90+2); Zayed (Brennan, 63), Kelly (Kilduff, 78)
ST PATRICK’S ATHLETIC: Clarke; McCormack, Foran, Browne, Bermingham; Fahey; Byrne, Chambers (Quigley, 68), Brennan, Forrester (Bolger, 78); Fagan (Kavanagh, 85).
Referee: Padraig Sutton (Clare).
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