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Frustration for Shamrock Rovers but draw enough to secure Europa League football

Bray kept the home side to a scoreless draw in Tallaght.

Rovers are now guaranteed a fourth place finish.
Rovers are now guaranteed a fourth place finish.
Image: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

Shamrock Rovers 0
Bray Wanderers 0

A POINT WAS enough for Shamrock Rovers to secure European football for next season as they played out a scoreless draw against Bray Wanderers at Tallaght Stadium tonight.

The result coupled with Sligo’s loss in Derry means the Hoops are guaranteed to finish in fourth spot and will enter the first qualifying round of the Europa League next term.

If it wasn’t for their poor start to the season, Wanderers could’ve been challenging for European qualification themselves as they came into the game as the form side having won six of their last seven.

It was Rovers though who dominated the early possession stakes as they set about making amends for their own poor recent record but they didn’t really fashion their first real chance until the half hour mark.

It came when Brandon Miele broke at pace through the middle and then spotted the run of Trevor Clarke on the left but the winger flashed his shot wide at the near post.

John Sullivan then had a great chance for Bray when an innocuous cross found its way to him at the back post but he saw his effort stopped on the line.

Brandon Miele goes close Source: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

The hosts responded straight away when they broke through Clarke who again showed his pace to go by Mark Salmon and find Gary McCabe who had a clear sight on goal but Peter Cherrie smothered his shot well.

They should’ve found the opener three minutes before the break with McCabe again involved as he carved out a great chance for Miele down the inside right, but with the goal at his mercy the youngster shot straight at Cherrie who palmed away to safety.

Patrick Cregg was coming more into it in the middle of the park after the break and eight minutes in the second period he powered forward to find Sean Boyd who created space well to get away from Tim Clancy but the Rovers striker dragged his shot just wide of the post.

Luke Kiely was introduced by Stephen Bradley just past the mid-way point of the second-half and he almost made an immediate impact when he cut in from the right to force a save from Cherrie before Boyd blazed over from the edge of the area.

Wanderers nearly snatched it when Sullivan saw his shot scrambled off the line and Dean Kelly had a better chance to win it at the death but his half volley was well saved by Barry Murphy.

SHAMROCK ROVERS: Barry Murphy; Simon Madden, Robert Cornwall, David O’Connor, Sean Heaney; Gary McCabe, Patrick Cregg, Dean Clarke (Luke Kiely, 68), Brandon Miele (James Doona, 90); Trevor Clarke, Sean Boyd (Aaron Dobbs, 82).

BRAY WANDERERS: Peter Cherrie; Hugh Douglas, Tim Clancy, Connor Kenna, Kevin Lynch; John Sullivan, Karl Moore, Dylan Connolly, Ryan Brennan (Jason Marks, 77), Mark Salmon (Darragh Noone, 70); Ger Pender (Dean Kelly, 70).

Referee: Sean Grant

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