Bohemians 1 Shamrock Rovers 1
Rob Cornwall salvaged a point for Bohemians after Ronan Finn had given Shamrock Rovers the lead in a Dublin derby that only caught fire in its dying embers at Dalymount Park.
With Ireland manager Martin O’Neill, assistant Roy Keane, and some of their international team-mates in attendance, Ireland squad members Shane Supple of Bohemians and Rovers’ Graham Burke lined out against each other before joining the squad today ahead of Monday’s friendly with France.
Bohemians should have made a telling start with the first opening of the game three minutes in.
Central defender Cornwall put Dan Byrne in behind, but the midfielder’s heavy touch saw the ball run through to Tomer Chencinski.
The power and pace of Rovers’ striker Dan Carr soon troubled Bohemians, the Londoner bustling his way through from Chencinski’s goal kick, only to fail to control the ball which flew wide.
Tenacious defending was needed from Bohemians as they blocked shots from Lee Grace and Sean Kavanagh before eventually clearing after two successive corners.
Bohs then went down the other end to force their first corner of the game which resulted in Cornwall rifling a shot not too far wide.
The first clear-cut chance of a frenetic game finally arrived on 32 minutes.
Rovers’ skipper Finn and Ethan Boyle linked on the right to put Burke in on goal. Supple was promptly off his line to narrow the angle and save well from the low drive.
While some half-time amusement was provided by an Austrian woman proposing to her boyfriend in front of the main stand, the entertainment on the pitch struggled to deliver into the second half.
Bohs thought they had broken the stalemate on 72 minutes. Keith Ward’s sublime through ball found the run of Dinny Corcoran, who drilled home, only to be flagged offside.
Rovers then thought they had won it when taking the lead on 82 minutes.
From Watts’ attempted crossfield pass, the ball broke for McAllister, who put it over the top for the run of Finn, who powered on to shoot low past Supple. Defeat would have been harsh on Bohemians and a late twist brought them their reward.
Ward arced a free kick in from the left flank and Cornwall arrived to power the ball to the net with a bullet header.
Bohemians: Supple; Buckley, Cornwall, Casey, Morris; Grant (Gannon, 68), Byrne (Brennan, 53), Watts, Devaney (Kavanagh, 83); Ward; Corcoran.
Shamrock Rovers: Chencinski; Boyle, Lopes, Grace, Byrne; Bolger; Burke, McAllister, Finn (O’Brien, 84), Kavanagh (Coustrain, 74); Carr (Shaw, 86).
Referee: Rob Hennessy (Clare).
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