Tommy Dickson/INPHO Burke celebrates his hat-trick
# dirty half dozen
Burke grabs five goals as ruthless Rovers hit Cork for six
The Rebels slumped to their second defeat after falling at home to Shels last week.

Shamrock Rovers 6

Cork City 0

SHAMROCK ROVERS CONTINUED their impressive start to the season with an impressive and ruthless display over 10-man Cork City at a cold and blustery Tallaght Stadium.

A superb attendance 5,106 braved the elements to witness Graham Burke and co. run riot in their first home game of the new season.

Following their morale boosting, last-minute winner at Dalymount Park last week,  Stephen Bradley’s made just the one change with Neil Farrugia coming in for Danny Lafferty, in a more attacking looking left side. As expected it was The Hoops who dominated possession, but the first real chance came for the visitors after just seven minutes.

Aaron McEneff was dispossessed just outside his own area by the pacey Deshane Dalling, but as the winger looked clear in on goal, rushed his shot and blazed over.

Jack Byrne responded with a curling effort from 25 yards out that just didn’t have the whip to find the top corner.

The Rebels, who were on the wrong end of a late goal last weekend, going down one-nil to Shelbourne, settled in their defensive shape and – for a while at least – looked fairly comfortable despite the strong gales battering Liam Bossin’s goal.

In a slightly surprising move by Neale Fenn, tricky winger Dylan McGlade was deployed through the middle as the number nine and went close himself. The ex-Bray man showed some great feet to bamboozle Roberto Lopes on the right hand side of the box, only to see his powerful shot tipped over the bar.

Just after the half hour mark the pressure told and the deadlock was finally broken as Graham Burke opened his account for the season. A hopeful ball into the box was not dealt with by Joseph Olowu, who scuffed his clearance possibly due to the windy conditions, but either way once the ball fell to the feet of the on-loan Preston man there was only one outcome as he opened his body and slotted home from the edge of
the area.

a-view-of-the-weather-conditions-before-the-game Tommy Dickson / INPHO The elements were a force to be reckoned with in Tallaght. Tommy Dickson / INPHO / INPHO

Rovers sensed blood. Neil Farrugia had two good chances in quick succession just before Burke doubled his tally three minutes before the break.

Skipper, Ronan Finn’s low cross fell right in the path of the onrushing Burke, who, all in one movement, spun with the ball and poked home into the far corner just as Aaron Greene looked to get in his way.

The visitors task then became almost impossible when the impressive Dalling let frustration get the better of him. The on-loan QPR man deservedly saw red for a wild sliding tackle on Joey O’Brien right the stroke of half time.

jack-byrne-celebrates-scoring-a-goal-with-teammates Tommy Dickson / INPHO Jack Byrne celebrates his goal. Tommy Dickson / INPHO / INPHO

In an attack v defence second half, Jack Byrne got in on the act just before the hour mark. Following some lovely one touch football across the edge of the area, the ball was teed up enticingly for Byrne to smash home. And despite the unlucky Bossin getting his hands to it, there was just too much power behind the strike.

Graham Burke sealed his hat-trick with 15 minutes still to play as he bent a terrific curled effort from the right hand side of the box into the far corner, and he wasn’t done there.

Incredibly four became five and then six in the space of a whirlwind three minutes. Burke got his fourth and fifth of a fine performance with a deflected strike from the edge of the box and then another curled effort with his left as The Hoops fans began to chant, “Going down, going down”.

Rovers make it two from two in their quest to follow up last seasons FAI Cup success with a full on title challenge, whilst Cork City’s new crop of players need to gel, and very quickly, as they slumped to their second defeat on the trot on a miserable evening both on and off the pitch in Tallaght.

Shamrock Rovers: Alan Mannus, Roberto Lopes, Lee Grace, Ronan Finn (c), Aaron Greene (Dean Williams, 66’), Aaron McEneff (Dylan Watts, 61’), Gary
O’Neill, Graham Burke, Neil Farrugia, Joey O’Brien (Liam Scales, 45’), Jack Byrne
Subs: Leon Pohls, Danny Lafferty, Greg Bolger, Dylan Watts, Liam Scales, Dean Williams, Brandon Kavanagh

Cork City: Liam Bossin, Henry Ochieng, Gearoid Morrissey (c), Dylan McGlade (Rob Slevin, 72’), Daire O’Connor (Reyon Dillon, 45’), Ronan Hurley, Alec Byrne
(Charlie Fleming, 66’), Kyron Stabana, Joe Redmond, Dashane Dalling, Joseph Olowu
Subs: Mark McNulty, Charlie Fleming, Rob Slevin, Cory Galvin, Reyon Dillon, Cian Murphy, Beineon O’Brien Whitmarsh.

Referee: Sean Grant

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