Date: 8 p.m. May 1, 2009
Venue: Tallaght Stadium
Scored: 55'- Dane Massey 55'
A dull and tame first- half was more than brought to life in an action packed second period.
Following an attacking start from the home side it was Wanderer's captain Dave Mulcahy who had the first chance of the game but could only succeed in directing his free header from Massey’s in-swinging free-kick straight at Robert Duggan in the Hoop’s net.
Following that, precious little happened in the way of action until Wanderer's centre half Derek Foran clobbered Dessie Baker for what he obviously deemed to be showboating on the half way line.
From the resulting free-kick Bray thought they had cleared their lines until a masterful pass from Stephen Rice set the pacey Shane Robinson in behind the away side’s defence, but just when it seemed Michael O’Neill’s men were destined to score he failed to pick out a decisive pass.
Then on 25 minutes, in a rare attack from the away side, Massey’s corner again fell to Mulcahy but his shot was cleared off the goal line and in the ensuing scramble, Rover’s just about managed to clear their lines.
Massey then fired a free-kick from almost 40 yards just over the Rover's crossbar moments later; his threat from dead ball situations was proving a real problem for the home side in the opening half hour.
Both sides continued to pass and probe and play pretty football but in terms of goal mouth incident there was virtually nothing for the home or away supporters to get excited about and so the teams went in for the half- time break as they began, scoreless.
The only half time change from either side was Barry Murphy replacing Duggan, presumably for an injury he picked up when he was flattened collecting a cross early in the first half.
Gary Twigg showed the first glimpse of his recent good form testing Chris O’Connor with a low shot from 18 yards on 49 minutes.
The game was beginning to finally show some life and only for Darragh Maguire’s brilliant last minute intervention Rover’s could have found themselves a goal behind as Paul Byrne threatened at the other end.
The home side did not heed the warning, however, and from another dead ball situation down Wanderer’s left Foran found himself with time and space to place a header across goal from which Massey tapped in at the back post on 55 minutes.
The game, now, unrecognisable from the opening 45 minutes saw Rover’s step up their search for an equaliser as Tadhg Purcell replaced Dessie Baker and Greg Cameron made way for Stephen Bradley.
Then on 63 minutes Sean O’Connor was unlucky to see his curling free-kick drift just over.
The closest they came after that was again through O’Connor but his goal bound header was amazingly blocked by the lifeless Twigg.
The game then became a far feistier affair with strong tackles coming thick and fast, Paddy Kavanagh was crudely taken out of the game virtually every time he touched the ball and the two captains clashed off the ball as things threatened to boil over.
Cross after cross was sent into The Seagulls area but it was only when Substitute Purcell found space down the right channel did Rover’s look like scoring however, a terribly heavy touch was well collected by keeper O’Connor.
And so it remained, a surprising but thoroughly well deserved one nil win for Eddie Gormley and his well organised and attractive side.
Man of the match: Dane Massey, A threat all evening and deserved his goal. Strong and dependable at the back and excellent in possession
Shamrock Rovers: Duggan (Murphy h/t), Madden, Maguire, Rice, Webb, Cahill, Cameron (Bradley,) O’Connor, Robinson, Baker (Purcell 50), Twigg. Subs not used: Price, Amond,
Bray Wanderers: O’Connor, Webster, Massey, Foran, Deans, Shields, Kavanagh, Mulcahy, Byrne ( Forsyth 88), Kelly, McCabe (Mulroy 83) Subs not used: O’Neill, Kane, Tresson
Referee: Mark Gough