Shamrock Rovers hammered Galway United 4-0 at the Tallaght Stadium on Friday night to round off another title winning season. Goals from Chris Turner, Billy Dennehy, Karl Sheppard and Ronan Finn gave Rovers the victory. Finn's strike was also the 100th goal which was scored at the Tallaght Stadium since Rovers moved there.
However it was Galway who started the better. In the 2nd minute Bobby Ryan nearly scored for them. He hit a lovely shot from just outside the area, which was heading for the top corner. However Ryan Thompson was there to tip it over for a corner.
In the 12th minute the visitors came close to scoring again. Jin Gu Kim took the free kick for Galway and captain Alan Murphy flicked it on, but the ball went just wide.
Just a minute later the champions nearly scored at the other end. Conor McCormack took a quick free kick and played in Dean Kelly. Kelly was one on one with Conor Winn. He chipped it over the Galway keeper but the ball hit the post.
The champions eventually took the lead in the 29th minute. The goal came after Rohan Rickett's cross was headed clear by Kim. The ball fell to Chris Turner on the edge of the area. Turner took it down and struck a beautiful effort on the half volley into the top right hand corner of the Galway net.
Michael O'Neill's side went two up in the 37th minute. Rovers had a free kick from the right, which Billy Dennehy took with his left foot. Chris Turner advanced on goal. Winn came out. Both players missed it and the ball went straight into the net to double the champions advantage.
Rovers dominated the second half, and the only surprise was that it took them so long to score a third goal. The Hoops were presented with an opportunity to triple their advantage in the 65th minute after Galway full back Rory Gartlan fouled Gary O'Neill who was through on goal. Gartlan was shown a straight red by referee Anthony Buttimer. Karl Sheppard took the resultant penalty and sent Conor Winn the wrong way to make it 3-0.
Ronan Finn scored the historic fourth for the champions in the 83rd minute. Right back Pat Sullivan played a lovely long ball to Finn, who controlled it on his chest, took it down and fired into the corner past the unfortunate Conor Winn.
Rovers finished as 4-0 winners but more importantly finished the season as champions following their 23rd league victory of the season. After the game captain Dan Murray lifted the league trophy aloft in front of over 5,000 delighted Hoops fans. Galway will face into the promotion relegation play off having finished the season on a miserable six points.
Shamrock Rovers: Ryan Thompson; Pat Sullivan, Ken Oman, Dan Murray (Ronan Finn 46), Jim Paterson; Rohan Ricketts (Stephen Rice 63), Conor McCormack, Chris Turner, Billy Dennehy; Karl Sheppard, Dean Kelly (Gary O'Neill 60).
Subs not used: Richard Brush, Enda Stevens, Gary McCabe, Gary Twigg.
Booked: Dennehy (45), Sheppard (59), Paterson (88).
Galway United: Conor Winn; Rory Gartlan, Paul Sinnott, Yob Son, Laurence Gaughan; Gary Kelly (Stephen Wlash 68), Jin Gu Kim, Bobby Ryan, Alan Murphy (c); Mickey Gilmore (Oscar Sibanda 75), Ronan Cauldwell (Darragh Duggan 80).
Subs not used: Sean Kelly, Eric Browne, Willie Enubele, Eric Holland.
Booked: B Ryan (19), Gartlan (57), A Murphy (70).
Sent-off: Gartlan (64).
Referee: Anthony Buttimer.
Extratime.ie Man Of The Match: Billy Dennehy (Shamrock Rovers).