Shamrock Rovers took all three point from Tolka Park on Friday night as they defeated Dublin rivals Shelbourne by the odd goal in three. Mark Quigley was at the centre of the action as the former Dundalk and Sligo player fired the Hoops into the lead and missed a penalty before being sent off.
Shamrock Rovers set the early pace and ten minutes into the game the visitors lead. A cross by Tommy Stewart eventually made its way to Mark Quigley and the former Sligo Rovers striker managed to volley his shot over the Shelbourne goalkeeper Lee Murphy who could do nothing but just watch as the ball looped into the back of the net.
Rovers threatened again shortly after as a perfectly worked free kick by Eamon Zayed was played through to playmaker Ronan Finn who beautifully timed his pass back to Zayed who’s shot was a poor one on Lee Murphy’s goal.
The Rovers keeper was tested for the first time when Shelbourne had a Sean Brennan cross headed towards Murphy’s goal by Lee Murtagh but the shot stopper had a comfortable save.
Sean Brennan was becoming a pain for Trevor Croly’s men as he found himself in the box once again but up came the former St.Patrick’s Athletic keeper to dive at Brennan’s feet and keep his side’s lead.
Rovers doubled the lead on 22 minutes as midfielder Ronan Finn managed to find space in the box after being played through by Thomas Stewart. The former UCD midfielder slotted the ball into the left hand side of the goal as Lee Murphy and his defence stood there and could do nothing to prevent the ball entering the back of the net.
Rovers nearly got a third two minutes later as a corner swung in by Richie Ryan met the head of former Sligo Rovers defender Jason McGuinness whose header went just over the top of Murphy’s bar.
Rovers had yet another chance on the half hour mark as Mark Quigley won a free kick right outside the box. Quigley, himself, stepped up to take it and struck a nice free kick which Murphy got down to save.
It should have been three after Thomas Stewart easily broke through the Shelbourne defence however he dragged his shot wide of the right hand post.
Shelbourne had their best chance of the half just before the break as Dean Kelly found space inside the box after turning defender Jason McGuinness perfectly but his shot was not up to scratch. He blasted his shot way over the bar after being put under some pressure by goalkeeper Barry Murphy.
Johnny McDonnell's half time talk seemed to work as Shels dominated the opening exchanges of the second half and they were handed a lifeline as down went Sean Brennan and without any hesistation referee Neil Doyle pointed to the penalty spot. Up stepped former Shamrock Rovers man Dean Kelly, who slotted the penalty into the bottom right hand corner as Murphy dived to the left.
Rovers had their own penalty claim turned down as Mark Quigley broke through the defence to only be taken down by Shelbourne defender Graham Gartland, referee Neil Doyle adjudged that Gartland got the ball.
The visitors were awarded their own penalty shortly after much to the bemusement of the Shels defence. Mark Quigley stepped to take the penalty himself but put the spot kick wide.
Having just missed the penalty, Mark Quigley appeared to strike out at Pat Flynn and was shown a straight red card for his troubles.
Shelbourne thought they had levelled five minutes later as a soft Dean Kelly touch after a long throw scrapped past Murphy’s right hand post to which no defender was standing at.
Barry Murphy had to be at his best to deny striker Dean Kelly, who, after some nice footwork, found himself one and one the keeper but the Hoops netminder managed to deny the Shels player.
On 76 minutes, Shels were reduced to ten men as Robert Cornwall picked up a second yellow for a foul on Sean O'Connor and despite the home side pushing for an equaliser and claims for a penalty late on, Trevor Croly's held on for all three points.
Shelbourne: Lee Murphy; Rob Cornwall, Graham Gartland, Ian Ryan, Derek Doyle; Adam Hanlon, Brian Gannon (Robert Bayly), Pat Flynn, Sean Brennan (Dylan Connolly); Lee Murtagh (Paul Andrews), Dean Kelly.
Unused Subs: Niall Burdon, Stephen Sheerin, Jake Donnelly, Darren Tinnelly.
Booked: Cornwall (47), Flynn (54).
Sent Off: Cornwall (76).
Shamrock Rovers: Barry Murphy; Conor McCormack, Derek Foran, Jason McGuinness, Conor Powell; Thomas Stewart (Sean O’Connor), Ronan Finn (Karl Sheppard), Richie Ryan, Shane Robinson; Mark Quigley, Eamon Zayed.
Unused subs: Richard Brush, Pat Sullivan, David Elebert, Stephen Rice, Karl Sheppard, Gary McCabe.
Booked: Murphy (40), Foran (51), Robinson (89).
Sent Off: Quigley (64)
Referee: Neil Doyle.
Extratime.ie Man of the Match: Ronan Finn (Shamrock Rovers).