Date: 8 p.m. April 29, 2019
Venue: Tallaght Stadium
Att: 3,920

Ronan Finn 34' -
Scored: 34'

League Report: Shamrock Rovers 1 - 0 St. Patrick's Athletic

Mon, Apr 29 2019

Colman Stanley reporting from Tallaght Stadium 

Shamrock Rovers got back to winning ways after defeating a dogged St. Patrick’s Athletic 1-0 in Tallaght Stadium on Friday night.

The brilliant Ronan Finn gave the Hoops the win with a neat finish to beat Brendan Clarke. Pats played well against a home side hell bent on getting back to winning ways, and will be frustrated not to have come away with a draw.

The Hoops were looking to stem the flow of losses after defeats to Bohemians and Dundalk had fallowed those two teams to claw their way back into contention for the league.

They welcomed back Lee Grace and Trevor Clarke after the duo were controversially red carded in the game against Bohs, and Greg Bolger who had been injured in recent weeks.

16 year-old James Furlong dropped to the bench after an impressive showing against Friday’s loss to Dundalk where he had been drafted in for his league debut.

Pats were hoping to make it three win on the trot after they had defeated UCD 2-0 last Friday, albeit after a poor performance from the Students.

Jamie Lennon, who was excellent off the bench in that game, was rewarded with a start, while Chris Forrester was again dropped to the bench.

Pats started the stronger of the two sides but it was Rovers who had the first big chance to open the scoring.

The Hoops’ maestro Jack Byrne put captain Ronan Finn away down the right flank from a quick free-kick before he firstly faked to cross then floated in a beautiful ball to Grace who sent his powerful header wide.

The home side then took control of the game with Byrne looking very sharp while he commanded the midfield, and Finn putting in a man of the match display.

Indeed it was the captain who opened the scoring after some neat passing from Rovers inside the Pats box.

Joey O’Brien linked up with Brandon Kavanagh found Finn who had enough time to pick his spot slot home, coolly sending Brendan Clarke the wrong way.

Pats midfielder was forced off early in the second half after a nasty looking clash of heads and was replaced by Chris Forrester. Thankfully McCabe was able to walk off un-assisted.

Ciaran Kelly was shown a yellow card after he cynically handled the ball on the deck to stop a promising looking Rovers attack.

From the ensuing free-kick, Byrne dinked in a cross and Roberto Lopes leaped highest and managed to get his head to the ball. His effort went wide but the defender should have hit the target and quite possibly have scored.

Soon after, Ian Bermingham had a good chance after Dave Webster had headed the ball back across to him. Unfortunately his header was too weak to really trouble Alan Mannus.

Aaron Greene nearly made it two when his slow looping header, from a Byrne corner-kick, managed to evade the Pat’s defence and hit the post.

Mannus then came to the rescue for Rovers. Dean Clarke was released down the left and after he deftly cut inside the defence he unleashed a shot bound for the top corner, which Mannus managed to finger-tip to safety.

Late on, substitute Dan Carr, who looked very impressive, latched onto Dylan Watts’ free-kick but his audacious scissor kick effort was scuffed wide.

Pats had the last promising chance of the game when they were awarded a free-kick just outside the box. Hearts were in mouths as James Doona’s excellent effort hit the side netting with Mannus beaten.

Rovers got back to winning ways and remain top of the table while Pats’ up and down season continues, although it was an improved performance by them.

Pats face Waterford at home on Friday while Rovers are away to Sligo Rovers the day after.

Shamrock Rovers: Alan Mannus; Lee Grace, Trevor Clarke, Roberto Lopes, Joey O'Brien; Brandon Kavanagh (Daniel Carr 63), Ronan Finn, Jack Byrne (Dylan Watts 87), Greg Bolger, Aaron McEneff; Aaron Greene (Orhan Vojic). 

Subs not used: James Furlong, Joel Coustrain, Ethan Boyle, Leon Pohls. 

Booked: Jack Byrne, Trevor Clarke.

St. Patrick's Athletic: Brendan Clarke; Ian Bermingham (James Doona 85), Ciaran Kelly, Simon Madden, David Webster; Lee Desmond, Jamie Lennon, Rhys McCabe (Chris Forrester 52); Michael Drennan, Darragh Markey, Gary Shaw (Dean Clarke 77). 

Subs not used: Cian Coleman, Brandon Miele, Barry Murphy, Jake Walker. 

Booked: Ciaran Kelly, Lee Desmond.

Referee: Ben Connolly

Attendance: 3,920 Player of the Match: Ronan Finn.

Shamrock Rovers
Alan Mannus
Lee Grace
Trevor Clarke
79Booked: 79'
Roberto Lopes
Joey O'Brien
Brandon Kavanagh
63Subbed Off: 63'
Ronan Finn
34Scored: 34'
Jack Byrne
61Booked: 61'
87Subbed Off: 87'
Greg Bolger
Aaron McEneff
Aaron Greene
80Subbed On: 80'

James Furlong
Joel Coustrain
Daniel Carr
63Subbed On: 63'
Ethan Boyle
Leon Pohls
Orhan Vojic
80Subbed Off: 80'
Dylan Watts
87Subbed On: 87'
St. Patrick's Athletic
Brendan Clarke
Ian Bermingham
Defender 85'
85Subbed Off: 85'
Ciaran Kelly
53Booked: 53'
Simon Madden
David Webster
Lee Desmond
90Booked: 90'
Jamie Lennon
Rhys McCabe
Midfielder 52'
52Subbed Off: 52'
Michael Drennan
Darragh Markey
57Booked: 57'
Gary Shaw
Forward 77'
77Subbed Off: 77'

Dean Clarke
77Subbed On: 77'
Cian Coleman
James Doona
85Subbed On: 85'
Chris Forrester
52Subbed On: 52'
Brandon Miele
Barry Murphy
Jake Walker