Ryan Byrne/INPHO Gary O'Neill celebrates his goal with Lee Grace and Dylan Watts.
# invincibles
Shamrock Rovers extend unbeaten run to all-time record of 31 games with facile Waterford win
The Hoops are history makers thanks to a 3-0 win at Tallaght Stadium.

Shamrock Rovers 3

Waterford 0

Dave Donnelly reports from Tallaght Stadium 

SHAMROCK ROVERS REMAIN top of the Premier Division as they stretched their unbeaten run to a record 31 games with a facile 3-0 win at home to Waterford on Monday afternoon.

Rovers’ unbeaten run is now an all-time League of Ireland record, breaking records set by Athlone from 1980-81 and Rovers themselves 94 years ago. 

First-half goals from Rory Gaffney and Gary O’Neill were added to after the break by Danny Mandroiu as Stephen Bradley’s side cruised to victory with a minimum of fuss.

Injuries sustained by striker Aaron Greene and wing-back Neil Farrugia will be cause for concern for the Hoops boss, who otherwise saw some of his fringe players excel.

It may have been the first game of May but there was little that could be termed ‘summer football’ about a miserable Bank Holiday afternoon of wind and rain in Tallaght.

Nor was the action on the field the sort to inspire the imagination, but the home side took control from the off and led inside 12 minutes.

An uncontested drop ball, after referee Adriano Reale had blocked play, saw Mandroiu play in Rory Gaffney.

The striker manoeuvred himself into space in front of the Blues defence before picking a spot in the corner past Paul Martin.

Gaffney could have doubled his tally shortly afterwards as Greene looked to have laid him on a tap-in, but Cameron Evans managed to get a toe to the ball to poke it clear.

A late Tunmise Sobowale tackle saw Greene fall awkwardly and leave the field in pain. From the resulting free kick, Dylan Watts had his shot blocked twice before it was deflected into the path of O’Neill to stab home.

Gaffney then saw his shot spectacularly tipped over the bar by young Paul Martin, in the team in place of the inexplicably frozen-out Brian Murphy.

Graham Burke and Mandroiu went close early in the first half, and the Blues should have had a penalty when Sean Hoare caught John Martin late in the box.

Waterford were still protesting as Rovers broke down the field and wing-back Max Murphy played in Mandroiu to round off a comfortable victory.

Shamrock Rovers: Alan Mannus; Lee Grace, Sean Hoare, Liam Scales; Sean Gannon, Gary O’Neill, Dylan Watts (Chris McCann 55), Max Murphy (Neil Farrugia 68); Danny Mandroiu (Dean Williams 55), Rory Gaffney (Darragh Nugent 68), Aaron Greene (Graham Burke 35).

Waterford: Paul Martin; Darragh Power, Tunmise Sobowale, Cameron Evans, Jamie Mascoll (Josh Collins 61); Katlego Mashigo, Adam O’Reilly, Niall O’Keefe; James Waite, Prince Mutswunguma, John Martin.

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