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Shamrock Rovers prevail in Galway despite late scare

Stephen Folan almost robbed a point for the hosts

Gary Shaw scored the only goal for Shamrock Rovers tonight (file pic).
Gary Shaw scored the only goal for Shamrock Rovers tonight (file pic).
Image: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

Galway United 0
Shamrock Rovers 1

STEPHEN FOLAN ALMOST robbed a point for Galway United late on, but Shamrock Roves held on to claim all three thanks to Gary Shaw’s first-half strike at Eamonn Deacy Park.

The Hoops were good value for their win, but with the last play of the match, Folan rattled Rovers’ crossbar after Barry Murphy spilled Enda Curran’s free-kick.

Shamrock Rovers made a decent start to the game and they tested home goalkeeper Sam Ramsbottom after 15 minutes when Robert Cornwall got a touch to a Brandon Miele free-kick, but Ramsbottom saved well.

Alex Byrne had a great opportunity for Galway United after 26 minutes when Padriac Cunningham did the spade work before Vinny Faherty teed up Byrne, but the former Salthill Devon man blazed over from close range.

Galway United threatened throughout the half on the counter-attack, but Rovers landed a sucker punch just before half time. The excellent Trevor Clarke whipped in a brilliant cross and Gary Shaw headed superbly past Ramsbottom to give Rovers a 1-0 lead at the break.

Clarke went close to doubling Rovers’ lead in the 48th minute, but Ramsbottom was alert to deny him. Shaw, too, came within inches of doubling his side’s advantage in the 77th minute, but his volley narrowly missed its target.

With the points looking safe, Rovers were almost robbed at the death, when Enda Curran’s powerful free-kick was not held by Murphy four minutes into added time.

The ball eventually found its way to Folan but the centre-back’s powerful shot smashed off the crossbar as Rovers held on for their 14th Airtricity Premier Division victory of the season.

Galway United: Sam Ramsbottom; Colm Horgan, Kilian Cantwell, Armin Aganovic, Stephen Folan, Marc Ludden (Kevin Devaney, 82); Conor Melody, Alex Byrne, Ronan Connolly; Padraic Cunningham (Gary Shanahan , 66), Vinny Faherty (Enda Curran, 82).

Shamrock Rovers: Barry Murphy; Sean Heaney, Robert Cornwall, David Webster; Simon Madden, Gary McCabe, Stephen McPhail (Patrick Cregg, 69), Brandon Miele (James Doona, 66), Trevor Clarke; Gary Shaw, Aaron Dobbs (Sean Boyd, 78).

Referee: Robert Hennessy (Clare).

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Ciaran McGreal

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