Airtricity League Premier Division:
Shamrock Rovers 3 St Patrick’s Athletic 0
Goals from Ciarán Kilduff, Gary McCabe and Ronan Finn gave Shamrock Rovers a comprehensive win over St Pat’s at a chilly Tallaght Stadium last night.
A thoroughly dominant Rovers enjoyed the better of the early exchanges between these two great rivals and took the lead on 20 minutes when Kilduff connected with Finn’s cross from the right and headed powerfully past Pat’s goalkeeper Brendan Clarke.
Pat’s had taken their time about getting out of first gear on a cold night in south Dublin but soon went about putting some good passages of play together. One of them came on the half hour when a good move involving John Russell, Christy Fagan and Conan Byrne saw the ball played deep into the Rovers half but it rolled into touch before Shane McFaul could get to it.
Former Pat’s man Sean O’Connor saw his low drive go wide for Rovers on 32 minutes before Chris Forrester had a chance to get Pat’s level on 37 minutes, when he got his head to Conan Byrne’s deflected free kick but Forrester directed his header straight at Barry Murphy in the Rovers’ goal.
O’Connor could have had the home side further ahead going into the break but flashed his free-kick high and wide in first-half injury time.
The second goal did come for Rovers just a minute into the second half, when McCabe beat Clarke with a sensational left-foot shot.
O’Connor had a great night against his former employers and had another chance to open his account on 51 minutes but his shot was blocked by Clarke.
Pat’s battled on but fell further behind on 83 minutes when McCabe broke loose on the left wing and played in Finn who made no mistake with a crisp finish past Clarke.
SHAMROCK ROVERS: Murphy; Sullivan, Foran, McGuinness, Powell; McCabe, Finn, Chambers (McCormack 71 mins), Robinson, O’Connor (Stewart 66 mins); Kilduff (Dennehy 85 mins).
ST PATRICK’S ATHLETIC: Clarke; Bermingham, Kenna, Browne, O’Brien; Byrne (Carroll 71 mins), Russell (Bolger 61 mins), McFaul, Brennan, Forrester (Murphy 52 mins); Fagan.
Referee: P Tuite (Dublin).
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