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This wonder goal by Burke from halfway line helps Shamrock Rovers to victory over Derry City
Graham Burke’s strike put the league champions ahead 2-0 at half-time.

LAST UPDATE | Apr 13th 2021, 9:46 PM

Derry City 0

Shamrock Rovers 2 

GRAHAM BURKE’s WONDER goal from the halfway line sealed a comfortable victory for champions Shamrock Rovers against a Derry City outfit that remains rooted to the bottom of the table.

graham-burke-scores-a-long-range-effort Tommy Dickson / INPHO Graham Burke's stunning strike in the first half for Shamrock Rovers. Tommy Dickson / INPHO / INPHO

Rory Gaffney, who netted the late equaliser against Sligo Rovers at the weekend, fired the Hoops in front on 34 minutes with a close-range strike.

Burke then stole the show with an audacious lob from the centre circle which sailed over the head of the back-peddling Nathan Gartside.

It was a 26th consecutive league game unbeaten for Rovers and a second win of the season which moved Stephen Bradley’s troops into third spot.

For Derry, it’s the Brandywell club’s worst start since 2003 when they also lost their opening four league matches, a season which ended with a relegation playoff win over Finn Harps to maintain their top flight status.

The Candystripes now go into next Friday’s crunch clash with Drogheda United at Brandywell desperate to get their first points of the season.

Devine made three changes from the team which lost to St Pat’s on Friday night at Richmond Park including the suspended Danny Lupano as Ciaron Harkin and Joe Thomson dropped to the bench.

In came 20 year-old Brendan Barr for his first senior start alongside 18 year-old Ronan Boyce and experienced defender Ciaran Coll.

As for Rovers, Stephen Bradley handed Ireland U18 international Max Murphy a start at left back while Gary O’Neill, Sean Gannon and Gaffney all came in.

The visitors had a strong looking bench with Aaron Greene, Sean Kavanagh, Ronan Finn, Chris McCann and Roberto Lopes among the substitutes.

Derry, searching for their first points of the campaign began sharply and the Candy Stripes almost took advantage of a mis-timed back pass on 16 minutes.

Parkhouse did superbly to chase down Sean Hoare who sold the advancing Alan Mannus short with a header towards goal allowing the alert Parkhouse to nip in front but the Derry striker’s first time attempt hit the outside of the post and went wide.

It was a lucky escape for Rovers but moments later Derry failed to clear their lines and Burke really should’ve done better with his effort from 10 yards but Nathan Gartside gathered it cleanly.

From a Will Patching free-kick from the right side of the Rovers’ penalty area ex-Hoops wingback Lafferty rose highest but his headed effort went high over the target on the half hour mark.

Rovers took the lead on 34 minutes after Gartside produced a superb save at full stretch to deny Burke.

rory-gaffney-scores-a-goal Tommy Dickson / INPHO Rory Gaffney scores for Shamrock Rovers. Tommy Dickson / INPHO / INPHO

However, Gaffney reacted quickest at the far post and his strike hit the chest of Eoin Toal who couldn’t get out of the way at close quarters and it found its way into the net.

The champions turned the screw five minutes before the interval with a stunning lob from the halfway lines from Burke who spotted the City keeper in no man’s land and it bounced into the net.

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It was an unfortunate turn of events for the home side who were well in the contest at 1-0 but there looked no way back for the Candystripes going in at half-time. Burke tried his luck from 25 yards just short of the hour mark but Gartside gathered at the second attempt.

Gannon crossed dangerously towards Murphy who was free at the back post moments later but the youngster sent his volley into the side netting.

Mandroiu raced free down the right wing before testing Gartside with a left footed strike from the edge of the box but the City keeper parried clear the danger on 78 minutes.

Rovers substitute Aaron Greene’s strike was deflected behind as Rovers pushed for a third but the damage was done on 40 minutes with that spectacular strike from man-of-the-match, Burke.

graham-burke-celebrates-scoring-a-long-range-effort-with-teammates Tommy Dickson / INPHO Shamrock Rovers players celebrate scoring against Derry City. Tommy Dickson / INPHO / INPHO

Derry City: N. Gartside; R. Boyce, E. Toal, C. McJannet (C. McLaughlin 83), C. Coll; J. Malone (Harkin 76), W. Patching, B. Barr (C. Porter 83) D. Lafferty; J. Akintunde (P. Ferry 76); D. Parkhouse (W. Fitzgerald 59).

Shamrock Rovers: A. Mannus; S. Gannon, S. Hoare, L. Grace, L. Scales, M. Murphy (R. Lopes 65); D. Mandroiu (D. Williams 81), G. O’Neill, D. Watts (D. Nugent 75), G. Burke; R. Gaffney (A. Greene 65).

Referee: Damien MacGraith (Mayo).

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