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Dublin: 12 °C Monday 15 October, 2018
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Bohs deny Rovers derby win with last-gasp Cornwall header

Skipper Ronan Finn had put the Hoops in front, but they were unable to secure three points at Dalymount Park.

Ronan Finn shoots past Shane Supple.
Ronan Finn shoots past Shane Supple.
Image: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

Bohemians 1

Shamrock Rovers 1

Ben Blake reports from Dalymount Park

TWO LATE GOALS saw a Dublin derby severely lacking in quality end all-square tonight.

The game appeared to be heading for a stalemate when Hoops captain Ronan Finn struck for Shamrock Rovers on 82 minutes.

Just as it seemed like they would pick up their first win over Bohemians this season, defender Rob Cornwall headed home an equaliser to rescue a deserved point.

Bohs have had their traditional rivals’ number this season with two wins from two before this evening, including that 99th-minute winner from Darragh Leahy in Tallaght Stadium last month.

But the home side have only managed three other league victories all year and they came into the fixture having gone down 2-0 to Dundalk at the same venue a week ago.

The Hoops, seven points better off with an additional game played, have had their own troubles with consistency, but Tuesday saw Stephen Bradley ease the growing pressure by seeing off St Patrick’s Athletic 3-0.

Both clubs received international recognition this week as Gypsies skipper Shane Supple and Rovers forward Graham Burke were called into Ireland’s squad for the double-header of friendlies against France and the US.

The pair started for their respective sides, with manager Martin O’Neill, his backroom staff and a selection of the Ireland players also in attendance.

Enda Stevens, Derrick Williams and James McClean Roy Keane, Seamus McDonagh and Martin O'Neill chatting with Enda Stevens, Derrick Williams and James McClean sitting in front of them. Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

Paddy Kirk, Oscar Brennan and Eoghan Stokes dropped out of the home team, as Danny Grant, Keith Ward and Kevin Devaney got the nod with manager Keith Long reverting to 4-5-1 and Dinny Corcoran leading the line.

A hamstring injury kept Brandon Miele out and there was no place in the matchday squad for Sam Bone as Luke Byrne and Dave McAllister came into the Rovers side.

Bohs began brightly and, after a neat turn from Corcoran, he put Dan Byrne through on goal — only for a heavy touch to allow the chance to go begging.

Just like when these two met on the opening day of the season, it was, for the most part, an extremely scrappy affair involving whole-hearted challenges, aerial duels and little in the way of attractive football.

On 16 minutes, a long ball over the top caught the Bohs backline out and Dan Carr ran clear with just Supple to beat. After rounding the goalkeeper, however, the ex-Huddersfield Town man went down in the box claiming he had been fouled. Referee Robert Hennessy wasn’t convinced and awarded a goal kick.

Burke began to come into the game with some nice touches around the middle of the park, but it was the hosts who came closest as Cornwall’s effort from distance whistled past Tomer Chencinski’s post on 25 minutes.

Just after the half-hour mark, one Ireland call-up kept the other at bay as Supple got down to block Burke’s shot after Finn and Ethan Boyle had been involved in the build-up.

Dylan Watts and Sean Kavanagh Sean Kavanagh of Shamrock Rovers and Bohemians midfielder Dylan Watts. Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

One of biggest cheers of the evening arrived during the half-time interval as an Austrian Bohs fan proposed to her partner — and received the answer she was looking for. Out on the pitch, however, the teams picked up where they left off.

On 72 minutes, Dalymount erupted as Corcoran found the back of the net after Keith Ward’s ball had sliced open the Rovers defence, but the celebrations were cut short as the linesman’s flag went up for offside.

With a draw looking the most likely outcome, Rovers struck an opener that stemmed from a Bohs counter-attack. Watts broke through the centre and made the wrong decision by playing a pass centrally instead of feeding the overlapping Ward.

While those wearing red and white protested that it had hit a Rovers hand, the visitors poured forward and their skipper drilled a low shot beyond Supple.

There was still time for the leveller though, and Cornwall powered his header home on 88 minutes after Ward’s inviting free-kick.

BOHEMIANS: Shane Supple (c); Keith Buckley, Dan Casey, Rob Cornwall, Ian Morris; Danny Grant (Philly Gannon 68), Dan Byrne (Oscar Brennan 53), Dylan Watts, Keith Devaney (Paddy Kavanagh 84), Keith Ward; Dinny Corcoran.

SHAMROCK ROVERS:  Tomer Chencinski; Ethan Boyle, Roberto Lopes, Lee Grace, Luke Byrne; Greg Bolger, Dave McAllister, Ronan Finn (Joey O’Brien 84), Graham Burke, Sean Kavanagh (Joel Coustrain 75); Dan Carr (Gary Shaw 86).

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Ben Blake

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