By Killian McHale
Shamrock Rovers made it back-to-back wins over the Bank Holiday weekend with a
dominant display against Sligo Rovers, as the Hoops defeated the Bit O’Red by three goals to
Stephen Bradley made three changes to his side from Friday’s win over Dundalk, with Sean
Gannon, Neil Farrugia & Johnny Kenny all coming into the starting-eleven for the clash at
In a first-half that lacked any serious goal-mouth chances, the Hoops were the first to
threaten after 11 minutes when Luke McNicholas in the Sligo goal palmed away a goal-
bound shot from Sligo-native Johnny Kenny after smart play by Neil Farrugia down the
Rovers left-hand channel.
Both sides exchanged possession without creating any clear-cut opportunities for most of
the half, with the same duo of Farrugia & Kenny linking up well for the next chance which
didn’t fall until the 38th minute. Farrugia’s deep cross was headed goal-bound by Kenny, but
once again McNicholas was there to clear the danger, as both sides went into the break
The opening goal of the game came eight minutes into the second-half through Rory
Gaffney. Lee Grace picked up the loose ball in midfield, played an inch-perfect pass down
the left-channel for Johnny Kenny, who rolled the ball across the face of the Sligo goal for
Rory Gaffney to tap home and give the Hoops the lead.
And just four minutes later it was two-nil. Jack Byrne was given the world of space inside the
Rovers half, before firing a perfectly-weighted ball in behind the Sligo defence to Gaffney,
who took the ball under control before deftly lobbing the ball over the onrushing
McNicholas to deservedly double the Hoops’ lead.
Rovers took control of the game from here on, dominating possession and probing for
opportunities to add to their lead. And with two minutes left on the clock, the Hoops added
a third with substitute Aaron Greene firing home beyond McNicholas after Graham Burke
played him in inside the Sligo box – Greene’s third goal over the Bank Holiday weekend.
Rovers comfortably saw out the remaining minutes to pick up another important three
points to extend our lead at the top to four points. Next up for the Hoops is a home clash in
Tallaght on Friday night against UCD AFC, with kick-off set for 8pm, in the last game before
the mid-season break.
Shamrock Rovers: Pohls; Cleary (76’ Hoare), Lopes ©, Grace; Gannon (64’ Kavanagh),
O’Neill, Poom, Farrugia; Byrne (87’ Ferizaj), Kenny (64’ Burke), Gaffney (64’ Greene).
Shamrock Rovers unused substitutes: Toms Leitis (GK), Darragh Nugent, Liam Burt, Conan
Sligo Rovers: McNicholas; Brannefalk, Morahan, Lafferty, Hutchinson; Cawley ©, Lagerfeldt,
Livak (61’ Radosavlevic), Barlow (81’ Elding), Fitzgerald; Mata.
Sligo Rovers unused substitutes: Richard Brush (GK), Conor Campbell, Daire McCarthy, Kyle
Gabbidon, Eli Rooney, Bogdan Vastsuk.