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Friday 27 January 2023 Dublin: 3°C
Ryan Byrne/INPHO Aaron Greene scores the winner for Shamrock Rovers.
# Dublin Derby
Last-minute Greene winner gives Rovers dramatic derby win over Bohemians
The rains and winds of Storm Dennis looked to define a scrappy game until Rovers struck late, late on.

Bohemians 0

Shamrock Rovers 1

THE CHAOTIC ENERGY of the Dublin Derby almost met its counterpart in the teeth of Storm Dennis, but a wild, frantic finish saw Shamrock Rovers eventually end 10-man Bohemians’ doughty resistance with a 93rd-minute winning goal by Aaron Greene. 

Bohs lost Andy Lyons to a red card in the 65th minute and spent the closing minutes under intense siege, with two goal-line clearances portending a pressure to which they would eventually yield. Aaron McEneff’s shot was parried by James Talbot into the path of Greene, who rifled the ball into the roof of the net. 

Prior to the late drama, the game was largely defined by the absurd conditions. RTÉ were forced to pull their live broadcast less than an hour before kick-off as the commentary gantry and elevated camera positions were deemed unsafe; missing the chance to finally show that long-deferred episode of Alf and instead plumping for The King and I as a late replacement. 

Bohs, meanwhile, had to call on seven of their U17s to sit in the replacement home dugout before kick-off to prevent it from blowing away as they set about securing it. It was a replacement dugout as the original splintered in the wind earlier in the day. 

Andre Wright didn’t get his chance to anchor the new dugout, as he was called upon at short notice to replace Dinny Corcoran, who pulled up in the warm-up. 

This was ultimately another League of Ireland game mocked by a blowhard gale, albeit a different kind to those who used to ban their members for daring to show up at these matches. The wind howled and swirled before great bales of rain drove down on the 20-minute mark, with Rovers handed the job of playing into the claws of the storm. 

The pitch, meanwhile, cut up horribly, loosening chaos on the fixture.

Twice throw-ins slipped through the hands of their taker; goal-kicks either sailed out of play or swirled in the air amid the changing, capricious winds; players slipped and slithered and slid and stumbled; a linesman lost his flag when it blew off its stick. 

keith-ward-amused-by-the-conditions Brian Reilly-Troy / INPHO Keith Ward is amused by the conditions. Brian Reilly-Troy / INPHO / INPHO

Some football did break out amid the weather event,  with the conditions only accentuating Jack Byrne’s quality. He proved as elusive as the wind, roving into pockets of space between the Bohs’ defence and midfield. He found Aaron Greene in the penalty area with a glorious pass, with James Finnerty hacking the ball off the line as the Rovers striker stabbed the ball beyond James Talbot. 

Greene was a constant threat, and had flashed a fierce volley over the bar moments earlier. A later Rovers attack was interrupted when a flare landed in the Bohs’ penalty area, with Graham Burke gesturing to his supporters to desist. Lacking the metronomic quality of Byrne, Bohs’ attacks were more fitful and staccato, although no less dangerous given the conditions. 

Lee Grace forced Alan Mannus to scarper from his goals to prevent Keith Ward latching onto a back-pass that got stuck to the pitch, and later the goalkeeper flew to his left to bat away a stinging Ward free-kick. 

The winds abated for most of the second half, although the rain continued to sluice dismally down. 

Bohs’ Kris Twardek rifled a shot narrowly wide of the far post within a minute of the restart while Byrne lofted another gorgeous pass over the top for Greene, who curiously decided to try and square the ball for Burke rather than take the chance himself. Rovers were then dealt a blow in losing Joey O’Brien to a shoulder injury, with Liam Scales sent on for a Rovers debut in return. 

Bohs suffered greater damage shortly after, when Lyons picked up a second yellow card for a rash foul on Graham Burke. The full-back was booked for diving in the penalty area in the second minute, and walked midway through the second-half for clattering Burke. 

Keith Long replaced Ward with Michael Barker, while Stephen Bradley reacted twice, sending on Neil Farrugia and Dylan Watts. Farrugia made an instant impact, driving at the Bohs defence and shuffling the ball right to Aaron McEneff, whose low drive was well saved by Talbot.

shamrock-rovers-celebrate Brian Reilly-Troy / INPHO Rovers celebrate in front of their supporters at full-time. Brian Reilly-Troy / INPHO / INPHO

Bohs carved out a couple of their chances, with substitute Danny Mandroiu and then Twardek flashing headers wide of the near post.

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The terrific Twardek retained Bohs’ danger on the counter-attack, and his cross was controlled and sent narrowly wide by Andre Wright seven minutes from the end. They spent the final few minutes desperately surviving, with Finnerty blocking a Watts shot off the line before Anto Breslin did the same when Talbot flapped at a corner. 

 Eventually, the dam broke with as much force as the rain, as Greene pounced in the penalty area. 

There were some minor skirmishes as Bohs and Rovers fans confronted each other, while another couple of Rovers fans spilled onto the pitch and flares assailed the grass.

The clouds parted and the winds died as fans filed out, evidently beaten by the occasion beneath it.

The wet and the wild still can’t quite compete with this. 

BOHEMIANS: James Talbot; Andy Lyons, Rob Cornwall, James Finnerty, Anto Breslin; Keith Buckley, JJ Lunney; Luke Wade-Slater (Danny Mandroiu, 62;), Keith Ward (Michael Barker, 68′), Kris Twardek; Andre Wright 

SHAMROCK ROVERS: Alan Mannus; Ronan Finn; Roberto Lopes, Lee Grace, Joey O’Brien (Liam Scales, 55′); Danny Lafferty (Neil Farrugia, 75′); Gary O’Neill, Aaron McEneff; Graham Burke (Dylan Watts, 75′), Jack Byrne; Aaron Greene

Referee: Rob Hennessy 

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