League Report: Shamrock Rovers 5 - 0 Bray Wanderers

Sat, Jun 09 2018

Sam Bone scored his second Rovers goal early in the second half. Credit: Martin Doherty

Dave Donnelly reports from Tallaght Stadium

Shamrock Rovers inflicted their second heavy defeat of the season on Bray Wanderers at Tallaght Stadium on Saturday evening.

Graham Burke scored twice, while Sam Bone, Dan Carr and Dave McAllister also scored, in a game moved back to accommodate the women's international against Norway the previous night.

The Hoops led after four minutes against Dundalk last week and had to wait just four minutes this week – but this time it would be the Hoops to score five.

Graham Burke floated a free kick in from the right and, under pressure from Carr, Evan Moran batted the ball towards the edge of the box.

Brandon Kavanagh caught the ball flush on the volley and looked to have marked his first start with his first goal, only for ex-Hoop Conor Kenna to deflect the ball over the top of the bar.

It was a save worthy of gracing this summer's World Cup finals in Russia but, unfortunately for Kenna, referee Anthony Buttimer wasn't so impressed and sent the defender off for handball.

Burke stepped up to dispatch the penalty kick high to Moran's right, and it looked like a trouncing to match the Seagull's 6-0 defeat here in March was on the cards once more.

Confidence has been in short supply at Tallaght Stadium in recent times and any anticipation that the floodgates might open weren't long in being dispelled.

The Hoops laboured through a first half in which they created chances without ever looking like making their extra numbers count.

Burke could have forced number two when he danced around the edge of the box before shooting low, but Moran got down well to stop, and again to hold up Carr's follow-up.

The Ireland international was the main creative outlet and his corner, via an Ethan Boyle flick, nearly created a second for fellow international Joey O'Brien, but he couldn't get a head to it.

Another Burke dead ball picked out Brandon Kavanagh on the edge of the box and the 17-year-old showed great technique to catch it full on the volley, but Moran was equal to it with a fine low save.

The red card meant 16-year-old Gavin Bazunu, on his Rovers debut, was never really tested, with a long-range effort from Paul O'Conor the best Bray could muster.

Bray lost Gary McCabe to what looked like a recurrence of a recent knee injury six minutes into the second half, and he left to polite applause from the fans he played in front of for six years.

Within a minute, Rovers put the result beyond doubt as Greg Bolger shut down a Bray counter and laid the ball off for Bone, who lashed the ball low into the corner.

Burke and Brandon Kavanagh saw curling efforts veer millimetres wide of the post, before the latter laid the third on a plate for the former.

Intercepting a loose pass out of defence, Kavanagh dribbled into the box and teed up Burke for a simple finish under the body of Moran.

Substitute Sean Boyd – making his first appearance in two months following injury – drove the ball across the six-yard box for Carr to tap home.

And another replacement, McAllister, made it five shortly before the end with a long-range drive after Burke had played the ball into his path.

Shamrock Rovers: Gavin Bazunu; Ethan Boyle, Joey O'Brien, Lee Grace, Sean Kavanagh; Sam Bone (Aaron Bolger 73), Greg Bolger (David McAllister 79), Brandon Kavanagh (Sean Boyd 78), Joel Coustrain, Graham Burke; Dan Carr.

Subs not used: Kevin Horgan (gk), Roberto Lopes, Luke Byrne, David McAllister, Gary Shaw.

Booked: Greg Bolger (70).

Bray Wanderers: Evan Moran; Darragh Gibbons, Conor Kenna, Sean Heaney, Kevin Lynch; Daniel McKenna, Paul O'Conor, Gary McCabe (Rhys Gorman 51); Daniel Kelly, Cory Galvin, Rónán Coughlan (Ger Pender 71).

Subs not used: Adam Dempsey (gk), Calvin Rogers, Cian Walsh, Jake Ellis, Jake Kelly.

Booked: None.

Sent off: Conor Kenna (3).

Referee: Anthony Buttimer.

Attendance: 1,588.

Extratime.ie Player of the Match:  Brandon Kavanagh (Shamrock Rovers)