Rovers 3:1 Dundalk

Rovers  (1) 3  - McCabe 45+2' Twigg 50' 55' 
Dundalk (1) 1 - Byrne pen. 44'

Airtricity League - Tallaght Stadium - Friday 4th March 2011 - ko 7.35pm

Hoops Line out
1 Alan Mannus
2 Pat Sullivan
Enda Stevens
24 Ken Oman
5 Dan Murray (c)

18 Chris Turner
7 Gary McCabe 
9 Gary Twigg
19 Gary O'Neill
21 Ronan Finn
20 Billy Dennehy


6 Stephen Rice
for Turner 77'
13 Pat Flynn
14 Dean Kelly
for O'Neill 82'
15 Paddy Kavanagh
for Dennehy 70'

16 Ryan Thompson
22 Conor McCormack
23 Colm Corcoran


Dan Murray        Dan Murray
     Rovers Captain

Rovers got off to a winning start thanks to two second-half goals from Gary Twigg and a fine strike from Gary McCabe late in the first-half.

It was the visitors who started the game on a high with Kearns and Madden causing problems down the right hand side.

Alan Mannus was called into action after 2 minutes to take a low cross from Kearns however O'Neill then played McCabe in at the other end but the Hoops number 7 couldn't get a shot on goal.

The Hoops defence had a nervy start with Byrne blocking a Mannus clearance but fortunately the ball went to Sullivan. The hoops number 1 was called into action on 17 minutes to brilliantly push away Maddens shot on the right after a good run by Kearns.

Gaynors looping header a minute later just missed the target as Dundalk continued to make all the running. However Gary McCabe responded when he ran on to Finns pass to shoot just over the bar.

The visitors missed a sitter on 22 minutes when Maddens cross was flicked on by Byrne for Quigley to head wide from six-yards out.

The game changed on 23 minutes when O'Neill chased a through ball and 'keeper Cherrie fluffed his clearance and then took O'Neill down. Ref Kelly immediately flashed a red card and sub 'keeper Murphy came on at the expense of Quigley.

The Hoops were still finding it difficult to get into the game and Murphy comfortably saved O'Neills header from Dennehy's deep cross on 29 minutes.

Alan Mannus made a good clearance from Osborne's fine free-kick before Dennehy headed Murrays cross over the bar. Ken Oman saw his header saved on 36 minutes but the game came to life just before the break.

A moment of hesitancy by Dan Murray saw him lose control of the ball in the box and he clipped Jason Byrne as he tried to recover from his error. Ref Kelly pointed to the spot and Byrne put all memories of his previous penalty miss at the same end for Bohs to shoot into the corner of the net.

The Hoops were at last shocked into action and Stevens cross in the 2nd minute of added-on time saw O'Neill chest the ball down for McCabe to shoot and although 'keeper Murphy got a hand to the ball he could only push it onto the post and into the net. It was a crucial equaliser as the visitors had the better of the first half exchanges.

The second half started evenly but another defensive mistake was to prove costly. Colin Hawkins miss-timed his headed clearance from Enda Stevens long ball and the ever vigilant Gary Twigg pounced to head the ball past Murphy.

Rovers were at last playing the football that was expected by the large home crowd and when Turners shot was deflected for a corner Billy Dennehys delivery was headed goalwards by Twigg but cleared in front of goal.

On 55 minutes good approach play saw O'Neill released Twigg on goal and the Scotsman finished with aplomb sending his shot into the top corner of the net giving Murphy no chance.

Two minutes later the impressive O'Neill spurned a chance in front of goal from Dennehys cross. After 63 minutes Turner sent Twigg in on goal again and although he held off Guthrie's challenge sub 'keeper Murphy made a fine save.

On 65 minutes a great run by Stevens saw him cross for Twigg to make space for himself but his shot was cleared off the line.

The Hoops were comfortable now and Paddy Kavanagh entered the fray and almost scored when Sullivan sent him in on goal down the left but Murphy saved again.

McCabe then just failed to pick out O'Neill with a cross on 77 minutes before that man Twigg was sent in on goal again and although his first touch was heavy he got past Murphy and his shot was heading in but somehow Simon Madden got back to clear off the line.

Rovers had chances to extend the lead in the dying minutes when sub Kelly met a Kavanagh cross but Murphy saved and McCabes lay-off to the impressive Finn saw the visitors 'keeper again in a good position to save.






League Table

# Team M P
1 Dundalk 33 77
2 Cork City 33 70
3 Derry City 33 62
4 Shamrock Rovers 33 55
5 Sligo Rovers 33 49
6 Bray Wanderers 33 46
7 St. Patrick's Athletic 33 45
8 Bohemian FC 33 41
9 Galway United 33 38
10 Finn Harps 33 32
11 Wexford Youths 33 23
12 Longford Town 33 14

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