SSE Airtricity League Premier Division: Bohemians V Finn Harps – The Irish Independent – May 10 2021

‘It has been a while since we won here’ – Keith Long feeling relieved after Bohs bring winless home run to an end

Bohemians manager Keith Long was a relieved man after his side finally registered a first home success for 2021 with a 4-0 win over Finn Harps.

Thanks to a brace of Ali Coote goals – as well as one each from Ross Tierney and Keith Buckley – the Gypsies recorded a comprehensive triumph over Finn Harps in Dalymount Park. Long’s charges had previously gone four Premier Division games without a victory at the Phibsborough venue.

“It has been a while since we won here. It was important that we got the second round of games off to a positive start. We got ahead in the game early and controlled the tempo of the game,” Long remarked.

“We were aggressive, we played on the front foot. I think it’s important that when you get ahead you stay ahead. We were able to reinforce that.”

Following a period of sustained pressure, Tierney broke the deadlock on 14 minutes with a neat finish off a Liam Burt cross.

This raised the confidence levels of Bohs and Coote subsequently grabbed his first goal for the club with a fine finish at the end of a memorable run. In the final minute of the opening half, the Scottish midfielder doubled his tally in clinical fashion to give Bohs a commanding 3-0 interval cushion.

While Harps (who stay two places ahead of Bohs in fourth) improved on the resumption, the Gypsies remained in firm control.

A powerful Tierney effort rebounded off the crossbar, before skipper Buckley rounded off an impressive performance with a fourth deep into second-half stoppage-time.

BOHEMIANS – Talbot; Feely, Cornwall, Finnerty, Breslin; Buckley, Devoy; Coote (Omochere 80), Tierney (Mahon 87), Burt (Ward 87); Kelly.

FINN HARPS – McGinley; Webster, Sadiki, Folan (Dunleavy h-t); O’Sullivan, Seymore, Coyle (Boyle h-t), Russell; B McNamee (Timlin 70); Owolabi (Boyd h-t (T McNamee 75)), Foley.

REF – R Matthews (Westmeath).

Posted in League Of Ireland | Comments Off on SSE Airtricity League Premier Division: Bohemians V Finn Harps – The Irish Independent – May 10 2021

SSE Airtricity League Premier Division: Bohemians V Finn Harps – The Sunday Independent – May 9 2021

Bohemians 4 Finn Harps 0

Bohemians moved up to sixth in the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division table with a thoroughly convincing 4-0 triumph over Finn Harps at Dalymount Park.

Following a period of sustained pressure, Ross Tierney broke the deadlock with a smooth finish at a tight angle on 14 minutes. This was supplemented by a superb brace from Ali Coote – his first and second goals for the club – to give Bohs a 3-0 cushion at the break.

Keith Long’s Gypsies continued to push for further goals on the resumption (a powerful Tierney shot rebounded off the crossbar) and their fourth of the night eventually arrived deep into stoppage-time through skipper Keith Buckley. Despite this disappointing result, Harps remain fourth in the top-flight standings.

Posted in League Of Ireland | Comments Off on SSE Airtricity League Premier Division: Bohemians V Finn Harps – The Sunday Independent – May 9 2021

Women’s National League: Peamount United V Athlone Town – The Tallaght Echo (Online) – May 8 2021

Peamount continue winning run in Women’s National League

By Daire Walsh

Peamount United cemented their position at the summit of the Women’s National League with an emphatic 6-0 triumph over Athlone Town at PRL Park this evening.

Supplementing Sadhbh Doyle goals either side of the break, Tiegan Ruddy, Megan Smyth-Lynch, Aine O’Gorman and Orlagh Fitzpatrick all found the net to ease Peamount towards maximum points.

Next up for the champions is another home affair against Cork City – who they defeated in last year’s FAI Cup final – next Saturday.

Having deployed Stephanie Roche on the left-wing against Treaty United in Limerick last weekend, Peamount manager James O’Callaghan opted to select Smyth-Lynch out wide for their return to Greenogue.

A native of Mullingar in Co. Westmeath, Lucy McCartan switched from left-back to right-back for the visit of Athlone.

She has also spent time in centre midfield this season and is proving to be a useful utility player for the three in-a-row chasing outfit.

Like their previous opponents Bohemians and Treaty, Peamount were made to work for their opportunities by an initially dogged Athlone side.

Yet, whereas it wasn’t until the second period that the holders broke the deadlock in those away encounters, the opening goal of this contest arrived on 36 minutes.

Doyle was on target in Limerick last Sunday and she added to her seasonal tally to give Peamount a 1-0 cushion at the interval.

The hosts were expected to push on from this point and their second goal of the proceedings arrived six minutes after the restart.

The in-form Doyle was once again on hand to rattle the Athlone net and effectively place the outcome beyond all doubt.

Peamount were not finished there, however, as Ruddy grabbed their third of the night just past the half-hour mark.

Once the goals start to flow in this side, it is very difficult to stop them. Moments after Ruddy’s finish, Smyth-Lynch got in on the scoring act.

The league top-scorer in 2020, O’Gorman stretched the Peamount lead to six on 67 minutes.

It was then left for substitute Fitzpatrick to round off a perfect afternoon for Peamount with a final goal seven minutes from time.

Posted in League Of Ireland, Women's Soccer | Comments Off on Women’s National League: Peamount United V Athlone Town – The Tallaght Echo (Online) – May 8 2021

SSE Airtricity League Premier Division: St Patrick’s Athletic V Shamrock Rovers – The Tallaght Echo (Online) – May 8 2021

Mandroiu scores late on to edge Shamrock Rovers past St Patrick’s Athletic

By Daire Walsh

Danny Mandroiu was the hero for Shamrock Rovers at Richmond Park tonight as his late goal squeezed the champions past St Patrick’s Athletic in a top-of-the-table Premier Division clash.

The sides had looked set for a share of the spoils, following traded goals from Chris Forrester and Graham Burke in the opening half.

However, Rovers have produced plenty of late drama already in 2021 and Mandroiu fired home at a tight right-hand angle to send Rovers back to Tallaght in a buoyant mood.

This result puts them five points clear of Pat’s at the summit of the table and further elevates their status as the team to beat in the League of Ireland top-flight.

While a draw with Sligo Rovers in the Showgrounds last Monday saw Pat’s losing grounds on the Hoops – convincing 3-0 winners over Waterford on the same day – Ian Bermingham’s equaliser in the north-west ensured spirits remained high within the camp.

Forrester has been in excellent form at the heart of the Saints midfield thus far this year and he opened the scoring for the hosts on the stroke of four minutes.

When the ball fell nicely for him inside the box, he fired a shot into the ground that Rovers netminder Alan Mannus couldn’t keep out.

When Pat’s broke the deadlock in Tallaght on the opening day of the season, Rovers immediately responded through Aaron Greene. They endured a longer wait on this occasion, but Burke nonetheless produced the goods on 41 minutes.

From a distance of 20 yards, he got the better of opposition custodian Vítězslav Jaroš to leave the teams on level terms at the break.

When Mandroiu was drafted in from Rovers’ arch rivals Bohemians in the off-season, it was with a view to filling the void left by the departed Jack Byrne.

He is really beginning to show his worth and after turning over the Pat’s defence, he displayed nerves of steel to steer an angled shot beyond the reach of Jaroš.

Posted in League Of Ireland | Comments Off on SSE Airtricity League Premier Division: St Patrick’s Athletic V Shamrock Rovers – The Tallaght Echo (Online) – May 8 2021

LGFA National Football League Build-Up Piece: Roisin Phelan (Cork) – The Evening Echo – May 4 2021

Phelan bids to make capital out of new training plans

LADIES’ FOOTBALL

Daire Walsh

CORK ladies’ football defender Róisín Phelan is hopeful a curtailed training programme can help to bring the best out of her game in 2021.

Based in Dublin as a dentist, Phelan travelled up and down to Cork for the duration of last year’s condensed inter-county window. Thanks to an arrangement with Rebelettes manager Ephie Fitzgerald, she will now concentrate on individual training during the week, before heading back to her home county for collective weekend sessions.

“Travelling that much was a big strain,” Phelan said. “You’d find you were picking up little niggles more easily than everyone else. Just purely from sitting down more and driving more.

“Ephie felt and I felt that, by the time the end of the week came, I was an awful lot more tired than other people; that I could perform better if I would do some more work up here, then come down ready to rock and rumble at the weekend,” she said.

“I was down this weekend just gone. It was a long time since we’d seen each other. For people who are used to seeing each other so often, it was lovely just to get back together as a bigger group, see all the collective effort that everyone made, coming together as one.”

Currently in their second week of pre-season training, Cork will begin their National Football League campaign with a Division 1B encounter at home to Tipperary on May 23.

This will be followed by subsequent showdowns against Dublin and Waterford, with a semi-final and final to come if the group stage goes according to plan for Fitzgerald’s charges.

While securing a 13th NFL title will be high on the agenda, Phelan feels these matches will serve a wider purpose as the year moves on.

“It’s great that we get those matches in before championship,” she said. “While it was great that we could play last year, there wasn’t a whole pile of time for challenge matches. Having read interviews since, people were really struggling with a lack of game time coming up to championship. It was really putting a strain on players. It’s nice this year that there is a little bit of a lead-in.”

When it comes to the All-Ireland series, the five in-a-row chasing Dublin will still be the team to beat. However, the Jackies will have to plan for their latest defence of the Brendan Martin Cup without the services of the recently-retired Noelle Healy.

Phelan plays alongside the former Mourneabbey attacker in the red of St Brigid’s in Dublin and is glad that her adopted club will still be able to reap the benefits of her footballing talents.

“She’s an incredible athlete and she definitely could have kept going if she wanted to. If she felt the time was right, then the time was definitely right for her. I’m glad to hear that she will be continuing to play with club and that we will benefit from hopefully a little bit more energy levels from her.”

Posted in Ladies GAA | Comments Off on LGFA National Football League Build-Up Piece: Roisin Phelan (Cork) – The Evening Echo – May 4 2021

National Hurling League Division 2A Round One Preview: The Backdoor GAA – May 6 2021

NATIONAL HURLING LEAGUE DIVISION 2A ROUND ONE PREVIEW

By Daire Walsh

It promises to be a busy opening round of National Hurling League Division 2A action on Sunday, with six sides leaving several months of uncertainty behind them by kick-starting their respective 2021 campaigns.

First up at 1pm in Austin Stack Park, Tralee is the clash between Kerry and Down – the Ulster men having gained promotion from last year’s Division 2B.

Later at 2pm, Meath will welcome Offaly to Páirc Tailteann in Navan. At the same time in Netwatch Cullen Park, Carlow come face-to-face with Wicklow.

Naturally, the exploits of Offaly in this division will be the subject of intense scrutiny. Previously a hurling powerhouse (they won four All-Ireland senior titles between 1981 and 1998), the Faithful have fallen down the pecking order in recent years.

Former Kilkenny midfielder Michael Fennelly was handed the reins of the side in 2020 but, despite considerable optimism around the camp, they fell short in their quests for league and championship glory. A record of three wins, one draw and one defeat gave them a third-place finish in Division 2A and this was followed by an historic penalty shootout reversal to Down in the semi-final of the Christy Ring Cup.

Their exit from the latter was somewhat cruel – and having to concede an opening round game to eventual champions Kildare due to a Covid outbreak within their ranks didn’t help either – but the season was nonetheless viewed as a massive underachievement.

Offaly GAA as a whole did receive a timely boost with the recent news that Shane Lowry was to become a major sponsor of the county and while this won’t reverse the fortunes of their senior hurlers straight away, it is an encouraging off-field development for the Faithful.

Fennelly has spoken about having a 3-5 year plan for Offaly, with his focus very much being on the development of young players. True to his word, he has added a number of new faces to his 36-man squad for the new year.

The scoring prowess of Eoghan Cahill was one of the principle highlights of their 2020 journey, with the Birr man twice contributing 0-17 in a single name. At 24 he remains one of the young guns within the Offaly set-up, but the likes of Brian Watkins, Shane Kinsella, Damien Egan and Shane Dooley bring considerable experience to their squad.

Dooley will be entering into his 15th season as an inter-county hurler and will be hoping to make it one to remember.

In the past when Offaly faced Meath in a competitive game, the former were expected to prevail with minimal fuss. In modern times, the Royals don’t come into this fixture with the same level of fear and will be competing a tier above them in the championship for a second year in succession.

The absence of relegation means Meath will once again feature in the Joe McDonagh Cup, despite losing all four of their games in 2020. Offaly’s demotion to the Christy Ring Cup in 2019 coincided with Meath earning top honours in hurling’s third-tier championship during the same calendar year.

Offaly did have the upper hand when the sides met at St Patrick’s Park, Birr in January 2020, but they were made to work for their 0-26 to 1-21 triumph

While Nick Weir and David Reilly remain involved with Meath in their respective roles as manager and coach, there are three new additions to the Royals’ backroom team. As well as ex-Meath star Steven Clynch, Tipperary natives Johnny Enright and Timmy Hammersley (an All-Ireland winner with the Premier County in 2010, who briefly lined out for Meath in 2016) are also on board.

Padraig O’Hanrahan and Jack Regan were amongst their strongest performers in 2020 and are expected to lead the way in the coming weeks and months.

Kerry are a county that have been knocking on the door for quite some time and were perilously close to joining the top table for 2021. Following a three-point defeat to Antrim in last year’s Division 2A final – held in October, several months on from their previous league outing – they were just two points adrift to the same county in the Joe McDonagh Cup final two months later.

Shane Conway was the heart of both challenges, amassing a combined tally of 1-23 across the two finals. A Fitzgibbon Cup winner with UCC in the spring of 2020, he is the kind of player who would feel at home in most top-tier county teams.

Last year saw Kerry operating a level above Down in both league and championship. That has now changed, with the Mourne County’s Division 2B success and their qualification for the 2020 Christy Ring Cup decider ensuring they will lock horns with the Kingdom on more than one occasion in the coming year.

In their Christy Ring showpiece defeat to Kildare, Oisín MacManus, Pearse Óg McCrickard and Tim Prenter could all emerge with their heads held high after contributing multiple scores to Down’s final tally of 0-22. There has always been a strong tradition of hurling within Down – in spite of their footballers’ much-lauded achievements – and they will be hell-bent on showing the small ball is alive and well.

On paper at least, Carlow will be viewed as hot favourites to overcome Wicklow this Sunday and will also have designs on promotion back to Division One of the National Hurling League. The Barrowsiders were up against high-caliber opposition in last year’s top section – namely Clare, Wexford, Kilkenny, Dublin and even their near neighbours Laois.

A narrow defeat to the O’Moore County pitted them against Westmeath in a relegation play-off – played shortly before Ireland went into lockdown – with a 1-17 to 2-8 reversal consigning them to Division 2A for 2021.

Wicklow had just one win to their name in Division 2A, but that 1-16 to 1-13 victory against Mayo was enough to keep them safe for another year. Both counties also had mixed campaigns in their respective championships.

Carlow finished fourth in the Joe McDonagh Cup, despite playing out a thrilling draw with ultimate winners Antrim and losing by just two points to finalists Kerry. In the Christy Ring Cup, Wicklow squeezed past Roscommon in the opening round, before bowing out to Kildare in the next phase.

Carlow are under new management in 2021, with Kilkenny native Tom Mullally taking over from Conal Bonnar. Mullally will be joined in the set-up by his brother Paddy, an All-Ireland winner with the Cats as a player.

Marty Kavanagh was their standout player throughout 2020, scoring 1-35 in Division One of the NHL and 1-31 across four games in the Joe McDonagh Cup. They will be banking on home comforts this weekend and thus setting themselves up for a successful campaign.

Managed by Éamonn Scallan – an All-Ireland winner with Wexford in 1996 – Wicklow have added a marquee name to their coaching team for 2021. An eight-time Liam McCarthy Cup champion and two-time All Star, Eoin Larkin is the latest former Kilkenny star to take up a backroom role on the inter-county scene.

It will be intriguing to see what strides they can make together with the Garden County. Corner-forward Andy O’Brien was the main man for the Leinster men in spring 2020 – his haul of 2-41 helping to keep them in Division 2A for the new campaign.

It was the turn of Christy Moorehouse come championship time, with the Bray Emmet’s attacker registering a 2-9 haul in their Christy Ring win over Roscommon. Out of their final tally of 1-10 in their second round exit to Kildare, Moorehouse came away with a respectable total of nine points.

Such heroics will be needed again as Wicklow aim to make steady progress in 2020. This weekend’s visit to Carlow town will be a good litmus test of where they are as a panel.

Posted in Hurling | Comments Off on National Hurling League Division 2A Round One Preview: The Backdoor GAA – May 6 2021

Women’s Six Nations Championship Follow-Up Piece: Eve Higgins – The Tallaght Echo – May 6 2021

Rugby

Higgins eager to build on her solid start in Six Nations

By Daire Walsh

HAVING waited almost four years to pick up her first international rugby cap at 15s, Lucan native Eve Higgins found herself thrown in at the deep end for Ireland in their recent Women’s Six Nations Championship campaign.

A member of the training squad in advance of the 2017 World Cup, the former Coláiste Cois Life student has featured prominently on the Sevens circuit in recent years.

A prolonged hiatus for rugby’s alternative code ensured Higgins was able to transition into the 15-a-side game and started all three matches at outside centre as Ireland recorded a respectable third-place finish in a revamped Six Nations.

“It was obviously tough coming in. I’ve watched 15s growing up and that was all I watched when I was a kid, but it’s completely different when you’re in that role. Especially at 13, it’s a lot defensively you have to work on,” Higgins said.

“I probably hammered Kieran [Hallett], our defensive coach, a lot with clips throughout training, but we were lucky enough to have 20 plus camps under our belt. When I got the chance for the Wales game, I had a bit of practice going into it.

“The benefit in a way of COVID was the fact that we got to train as a squad a lot together. It was tough, there was a lot of competition, especially for the centre partnership. I was delighted to put my hand up for that selection and thankfully play in each game.”

Either side of a heavy defeat at the hands of France, Ireland enjoyed convincing wins over both Wales and Italy. The latter victory came in a third place play-off at Energia Park and Adam Griggs’ side are set to renew acquaintances with the Italians in a World Cup qualifying tournament later this year.

For Higgins and her team-mates, reaching next year’s global finals in New Zealand remains the principle target in 2021.

“We have a lot of improvements to do, but I think we’ll be happy enough with some of the stuff we’ve done. With the young players coming through, I think we’re tighter as a group now. Obviously Italy we’ll have in the World Cup qualifiers.

“It was a big game for us to just work on the improvements from the French game, but also put a stamp down for the World Cup qualifiers coming up.”

While the past few weeks has seen Higgins establishing herself as the main centre partner to Sene Naoupu at the international 15s grade, she remains under a full-time contract in the IRFU’s Sevens programme. As the year goes on, the UCD student will seek to strike a balance between both codes.

“With 15s, we’ve six weeks off and then focus on the World Cup qualifiers. I hopefully will be playing Sevens as well throughout the summer, but then obviously focusing back onto the World Cup qualifiers. I’ll be training with both probably. Either way, it’s a chance to represent the country. We’ll just see what comes in the next few months,” she added.

Posted in International Rugby, Women's Rugby | Comments Off on Women’s Six Nations Championship Follow-Up Piece: Eve Higgins – The Tallaght Echo – May 6 2021

SSE Airtricity League Premier Division: Shamrock Rovers V Waterford – The Irish Times – May 4 2021

Shamrock Rovers make history with win over Waterford

Daire Walsh

Shamrock Rovers 3 Waterford 0

Shamrock Rovers regained top spot in the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division table with a comfortable victory against a struggling Waterford at Tallaght Stadium.

Although St Patrick’s Athletic will have an opportunity to leapfrog their Dublin rivals when they face Sligo Rovers this evening, goals from Rory Gaffney, Gary O’Neill and Danny Mandroiu ensured Stephen Bradley’s men will be in high spirits ahead of their showdown with the Saints on Saturday. This result also saw the defending champions creating a new league record of 31 games unbeaten – eclipsing a previously run set by the Hoops themselves back in 1927.

Although torrential rain in advance of kick-off made the playing surface in Tallaght quite greasy at times, it took Rovers just 13 minutes to break the deadlock. Off an uncontested drop-ball, Mandroiu picked out Gaffney on the edge of the area and the Galway native turned sharply before firing beyond the reach of Paul Martin for his fourth goal of the campaign.

Rovers continued to press as the half wore on and subsequently doubled their lead just past the half-hour mark. Following a Dylan Watts pull-back after his initial attempt off a free kick had been blocked, O’Neill fired home from close-range – despite the best efforts of Waterford defender Cameron Evans.

Kevin Sheedy’s visitors began the day just a point clear of basement side Longford Town and any designs they had on a dramatic fightback were effectively eliminated nine minutes after the restart. Teenager Max Murphy was one of three players to come into the Rovers starting line-up and his brilliant approach work released Mandroiu for a smooth side-footed finish.

An injury to substitute Neil Farrugia meant the Hoops finished the game with 10 men, but it couldn’t prevent them from easing towards a fifth win on the bounce.

Shamrock Rovers: Mannus; Hoare, Grace, Scales; Gannon, Watts (Wiliams, 55 mins), O’Neill, Murphy (Farrugia, 68 mins); Mandroiu (McCann, 55 mins); Greene (Burke, 35 mins), Gaffney (Nugent, 68 mins).

Waterford: P Martin; Power, Mascoll (Stafford, 61 mins), Sobowale, Evans; Waite, Mashigo, O’Reilly, O’Keeffe, Mutswunguma; J Martin.

Referee: A Reale (Kildare).

Posted in League Of Ireland | Comments Off on SSE Airtricity League Premier Division: Shamrock Rovers V Waterford – The Irish Times – May 4 2021

SSE Airtricity League Premier Division: Sligo Rovers V St Patrick’s Athletic – The Tallaght Echo (Online) – May 3 2021

Bermingham rescues a point for St Pat’s at the death

By Daire Walsh

Team captain Ian Bermingham came to the rescue of St Patrick’s Athletic at The Showgrounds this evening as his 95th-minute goal earned the Saints a 1-1 draw with Sligo Rovers in the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division.

In a tightly-contested affair, Jordan Gibson’s 49th-minute penalty looked set to give the hosts all three points.

That was until Ballyfermot’s Bermingham intervened deep into time added on to ensure the Inchicore men came away with a share of the spoils.

While this result leaves the Saints two points adrift of champions Shamrock Rovers ahead of their meeting in Richmond Park on Saturday, it does extend their unbeaten run to nine games in 2021.

There was local interest in the Sligo side for this game, with Perrystown native Liam Buckley in the dugout and former Saints player Greg Bolger at the heart of their midfield.

His superb pass looked set to release Romeo Parkes on 19 minutes, only for the striker to fail to get the ball under control.

Pat’s centre-half Paddy Barrett was perilously close to breaking the deadlock just shy of the half-hour mark – his header from a Chris Forrester free-kick rebounding off the crossbar.

The sides were ultimately separable at the break, but it was another ex-Pat’s star that finally opened the scoring shortly after the restart.

After he was upended inside the penalty area by Barrett, Sligo winger Gibson expertly finished from 12 yards.

Stephen O’Donnell’s visitors struggled to get going for large spells of the second period, albeit there was a notable increase in tempo during the closing-quarter.

They breathed a sigh of relief when Sligo substitute Johnny Kenny fired agonisingly past the target on 82 minutes, but this consequently kept their hopes alive in the dying moments.

With the last throw of the dice, Pat’s sent everyone into the opposition box for a corner – including goalkeeper Vítězslav Jaroš.

Bermingham was the one who rose highest to meet a telling delivery and he found the net to send the Pat’s bench into raptures.

Posted in League Of Ireland | Comments Off on SSE Airtricity League Premier Division: Sligo Rovers V St Patrick’s Athletic – The Tallaght Echo (Online) – May 3 2021

SSE Airtricity League Premier Division: Shamrock Rovers V Waterford – The Tallaght Echo (Online) – May 3 2021

Rovers back on top of Premier Division with convincing win over Waterford in Tallaght

By Daire Walsh

Shamrock Rovers regained top spot in the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division with a comfortable 3-0 victory against a struggling Waterford at Tallaght Stadium.

Although St Patrick’s Athletic will have an opportunity to leapfrog their Dublin rivals when they face Sligo Rovers in The Showgrounds this evening, goals from Rory Gaffney, Gary O’Neill and Danny Mandroiu ensured Stephen Bradley’s men will be in high spirits ahead of their showdown with the Saints on Saturday.

This result also saw the defending champions creating a new league record of 31 games unbeaten – eclipsing a previously run set by the Hoops themselves way back in 1927.

There was torrential rainfall in advance of the game and while conditions had settled down considerably in advance of kick-off, the playing surface in Tallaght was quite greasy during the opening-quarter.

Nonetheless, it took just 13 minutes for Rovers to break the deadlock in their fifth home league game of 2021.

Off an uncontested drop-ball, Mandroiu picked out Gaffney on the edge of the area and the Galway native turned sharply before firing beyond the reach of Paul Martin for his fourth goal of the campaign.

Rovers continued to press as the half wore on and subsequently doubled their lead just past the half-hour mark.

Following a Dylan Watts pull-back after his initial attempt off a free kick had been blocked, O’Neill fired home from close-range – despite the best efforts of Waterford defender Cameron Evans.

Kevin Sheedy’s visitors began the day just a point clear of basement side Longford Town and any designs they had on a dramatic fightback were effectively eliminated nine minutes after the restart.

Teenager Max Murphy was one of three players to come into the Rovers starting line-up and his brilliant approach work released Mandroiu for a smooth side-footed finish.

An injury to substitute Neil Farrugia meant the Hoops finished the game with 10 men, but it couldn’t prevent them from easing towards a fifth win on the bounce.

 

Posted in League Of Ireland | Comments Off on SSE Airtricity League Premier Division: Shamrock Rovers V Waterford – The Tallaght Echo (Online) – May 3 2021