Seventh heaven for Rovers as Kavanagh gets back-to-back openers

Sun, Apr 14 2019

Sean Kavanagh Credit: Peter Fitzpatrick (ETPhotos)

Macdara Ferris reports from Tallaght Stadium

Sean Kavanagh's goals in back-to-back games have helped his side pick up seven league wins in a row as Shamrock Rovers continue their superb start to the season.

Having grabbed Rovers’ opener in Cork the previous week, the Ringsend native did the same against Waterford last Friday night in the 2-1 win over Waterford. That victory in Tallaght Stadium has kept the Hoops top of the table by eight points.

“They were two good team goals so hopefully that continues,” said Kavanagh when he spoke to extratime.iedirectly after Friday’s game. “It was great to score down in Cork.”

Both of his goals involved striker Aaron Greene holding up the ball well to release a player to play the final pass in for Kavanagh to finish; In Cork, it was Rovers’ March player of the month Greg Bolger with the assist and against the Blues it was Trevor Clarke.

“I saw Trevor go down the left and I sort of peeled away from the defender. Trevor found me with a lovely ball and it was a nice finish.”

Kavanagh has been deployed as a centre-half, left back, left midfield and holding midfielder over the dozen competitive games played this season. In the last two matches, he has played on the left hand side of a three man midfield, in front of left back Clarke, as part of a 4-2-3-1 formation.

“I’ve played a few positions now but I’m just happy to be playing. I’ve played off the left the last couple of weeks. The versatility is nice but hopefully I can nail down a position and get a good understanding with Trevor.”

The Hoops Head Coach Stephen Bradley is pleased with Kavanagh’s play this season in whatever location he has line out in. “Sean has played nearly every position and wherever he has played he is just so comfortable,” said Bradley after Friday’s match.

“He is calm because he understands the game and sees the game. His all round game is really good. I’m delighted he is getting the goals to go with his performances.” 

The teams behind Rovers in the table play one of their two games in hand this Monday, with second placed Bohs taking on fourth placed Dundalk (who trail Rovers now by 13 points). 

Third place Derry City travel to take on St. Patrick’s Athletic before welcoming Rovers to the Ryan McBride Stadium in the Bogside next Friday. “Derry are having a great season,” Bradley said. “Declan (Devine) has built a really good side there. 

“I believe that artificial pitch up there really suits us. We have the option of training on astro turf every day (in Rovers’ Roadstone Academy) so it won’t be an issue for us there. It will be a tough game but one I believe we are ready to go there and win.”

That is something that Sean Kavanagh certainly agrees with and which is also reflected in the current league table that sees Rovers have nine win from their 11 games played. “Anywhere we go, we will back ourselves to get three points.,” said Kavanagh.