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Damien Duff nowhere to be seen as Shamrock Rovers march on in Europe

Ipswich boss Mick McCarthy was an interested onlooker in the stands, however.

David Webster of Shamrock Rovers celebrates scoring the first goal of the game with team mates.
David Webster of Shamrock Rovers celebrates scoring the first goal of the game with team mates.
Image: Donall Farmer/INPHO

Shamrock Rovers 3
Progrès Niederkorn 0

A DOUBLE FROM Kieran Marty Waters and a David Webster goal ensured Shamrock Rovers booked their place in the second qualifying round of the Europa League tonight in Tallaght Stadium.

Mick McCarthy was an interested onlooker in the stands, as was FAI Chairman John Delaney, but rumours of Damien Duff attending the game did not materialise.

Pat Fenlon named the same team that played in the 0-0 first-leg in Luxembourg last week, and just like in that game, Rovers had an early chance when Mikey Drennan broke at pace. His pass out to Gavin Brennan was played back across the 18-yard line for the striker, but he could not connect, and neither could Brandon Miele.

The visitors, who made three changes, proved in last week’s game that they could be dangerous if given the opportunity, and the Rovers centre-half paring of David Webster and Timothy Clancy looked less than comfortable in the early stages on the greasy surface in Tallaght Stadium.

The first real attack by Progrès came on 14 minutes, when Hakim Menai’s low pass skipped across the box, but Olivier Cassan failed to get a touch.

A rash challenge by Mickael Garos on Gary McCabe had the home support on their feet after that, and from the free-kick, the Tallaght side took the lead.

Kieran Marty Waters’ delivery was only cleared as far as Miele, and his shot was redirected into the goal by David Webster, who quickly adjusted his feet to steer the ball in.

The less-than-convincing defending in the heart of the Rovers defence continued despite the goal, however, and Caasan and Menai were both gifted chances, but the tricky playing surface meant neither could get a clear shot away.

The slippery surface was clearly proving difficult for all involved, and when Flauss misjudged Simon Madden’s cross from the right after 41 minutes, Waters forced his way through at the back post to put the ball in.

And the former Bray man was celebrating again just before the hour mark when he bagged his second, after Patrick Cregg and Mikey Drennan combined play him in on the left side of the six-yard box.

Progrés lost any intensity that had been in their game after the third goal, and Gary McCabe’s presence in midfield alongside Cregg really gave the Hoops a stranglehold on the game.

Drennan should have made it 4-0 when Miele sent him away with a lovely weighted pass, but the striker saw his shot saved, and although the visitors ended the game with a couple of half chances, they rarely looked like scoring.

The Hoops now face the winners of Moldovan side Sherriff and Odd of Norway, with that game set to take place on Thursday evening.

SHAMROCK ROVERS: Hyland, Byrne, Webster, Clancy, Madden, Waters (R Brennan, 75), G Brennan, Cregg, Miele, McCabe, Drennan (North, 87).

PROGRÈS: Flauss, Dog, Bouzid, Menai, Cassan, Fiorani (Bossi, 76), Ferino, Rossinio, Garos, S Thill (O Thill, 77), Rougeaux (Poinsignon, 67).

Man of the Match: Kieran Marty Waters

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Simon Walsh

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