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Bar-stool: the main talking points from the Airtricity League this weekend...

Shamrock Rovers put a tough week behind them with a hard-fought win against St Pat’s yesterday.

Image: Inpho

1. Hoops are back on top

SHAMROCK ROVERS RETURNED to the top of the table at Tallaght yesterday as Gary Twigg’s second-half goal knocked St Patrick’s Athletic off the summit.

In a tight and physical game, the Hoops showed their class once more thanks to the reliable boot of Twigg, who latched onto Ciaran Kilduff’s pass to finish coolly.

There had been reports of disarray in the Rovers camp last week, after assistant manager Trevor Croly resigned, but it’s certainly not on show away from the camp.

The result also ended Pat’s unbeaten run, which had stretched back to early April.

2. Bray sink further

Bray Wanderers’ slump continued as Sligo Rovers knocked three without reply past them at the Carlisle Grounds.

After such a fantastic start to the season, the Seagulls now find themselves stuck in seventh place and miles off the pace. While they will be very grateful not to have any worries about being sucked into the bottom three, the problem now is that they could very well end up with nothing to play for if results don’t make a drastic improvement soon.

For Sligo, their impressive run continues and as they pick up the pace, Paul Cook’s men will almost certainly pick up another six points when facing Drogheda and Galway in succession.

3. Goals galore

Goals were promised at Terryland Park in Friday’s column, and that promise came to fruition with seven scored in a thrilling game that saw UCD come away with the points against a Galway side that scored three for the first time this season.

With both sides leaking goals right left and centre, there was always a great chance of the net bulging on several occasions and Galway’s home support were treated to a rare thriller.

Dean Marshall had given the Students an early lead from the spot before Alan Murphy equalised. A brace from Graham Rusk had UCD 3-1 ahead shortly after half an hour, though Bobby Ryan pulled one back before the break.

There weren’t as many thrills and spills in the second half as Cillian Morrisson extended the gap against for the College, though a penalty on 81 minutes from Murphy ensured a tight finish.

4. Eamon’s the man

Eamon Zayed can’t seem to stop scoring as the Derry City striker plundered another two in the Candystripes’ comfortable win over Drogheda United at Hunky Dory’s Park.

The Libyan international is in unstoppable form and looks like a good bet for the top scorers title with 18 goals already to his name.

Indeed, the magical figure of 30 is certainly a realistic goal for him, while Derry must be very thankful to his goals because they’ve kept them in with a big chance of finishing their first season back in the top-flight in the top three.

5. Shels on the march

Shelbourne moved another small step closer to promotion with a narrow win away to Monaghan United at Gortakeegan, as Philly Hughes’ 12th minute penalty separated the sides.

The Tolka Park team are now seven points ahead of the chasing pack and it looks like anything other than a massive capitulation will halt their return to the top flight.

Cork City, meanwhile, moved back up to joint second with Monaghan and Limerick after Shane Duggan’s brace sank Finn Harps on Saturday night and Limerick had an easy 2-0 win over Mervue United at home

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