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Ireland's latest call-up Burke earns Shamrock Rovers draw with high-flying Waterford

Gavan Holohan had given the Blues a lead at Tallaght Stadium.

Burke has a pop at goal with Bastien Hery close by.
Burke has a pop at goal with Bastien Hery close by.
Image: Bryan Keane/INPHO

Shamrock Rovers 1
Waterford 1

Ben Blake reports from Tallaght Stadium 

IT’S BEEN A week to remember for Graham Burke.

The 25-year-old was yesterday named in Ireland’s provisional squad for the upcoming friendly matches, and he struck his 10th league goal of the season in tonight’s 1-1 draw with Waterford.

Gavan Holohan had put the Blues in front before half-time at Tallaght Stadium, but Shamrock Rovers were good for the point after a strong second period.

With Joey O’Brien suspended after his red card in the defeat to St Patrick’s Athletic, Stephen Bradley brought Ally Gilchrist into the backline and stuck with the five-man defence he been using of late.

Tomer Chencinski replaced Kevin Horgan in goal after he failed to recover from a knock picked up  that night at Richmond Park, and Dan Carr was dropped in favour of Gary Shaw as the lone striker.

The visitors were without former Rovers defender David Webster, who was serving the final game of his additional suspension, while Kenny Browne and John Kavanagh were absent through injury.

That meant Estonian midfielder Sander Puri slotted in at right-back alongside Derek Daly, Dylan Barnett and Rory Feely.

Stanley Aborah and Ronan Finn Waterford midfielder Stanley Aborah and Rovers skipper Ronan Finn. Source: Bryan Keane/INPHO

It was the away side who looked most likely to score in the opening half. Bastien Hery shot over before Ismahil Akinade pounced on a wayward header from Gilchrist, but his effort was a weak one.

On 10 minutes, Gavan Holohan worked his way into the box and and drilled at Chencinski, who was well-placed to save.

Rovers weren’t at their best but managed to create a couple of half-chances, as Boyle failed to make sufficient contact with his header from Kavanagh’s cross.

Burke saw a shot blocked by the leg of Barnett. Shaw was then inches away from getting on the end of Boyle’s squared ball after good work by the full-back, but it was Waterford who took a deserved lead seven minutes before the break.

Aborah did really well to lay off to Holohan and the swerve on his 25-yard strike left Chencinski rooted to the spot.

Gavan Holohan celebrates scoring a goal Holahan celebrtes his goal. Source: Bryan Keane/INPHO

Bradley used the half-time interval to make needed changes as Carr and Brandon Miele were introduced for Shaw and Gilchrist, while they switched formation to 4-2-3-1.

It brought about a significant improvement in Rovers’ play, and captain Ronan Finn forced Waterford stopper Lawrence Vigouroux into a save after patient build-up.

Aborah wasn’t far way from doubling Waterford’s lead with his free-kick from just outside the box, while Miele came close down the other end after being played in by Greg Bolger.

The Hoops were the better side second half and fellow substitute Carr produced a moment of quality for the equaliser on 74 minutes — getting beyond his man down the left before putting in a perfect ball for Burke to nod in from close range.

SHAMROCK ROVERS: Tomer Chencinski; Ethan Boyle, Roberto Lopes, Lee Grace, Ally Gilchrist (Brandon Miele 46), Sean Kavanagh; Aaron Bolger, Greg Bolger, Graham Burke, Ronan Finn (David McAllister 76); Gary Shaw (Dan Carr 46).

WATERFORD: Lawrence Vigouroux; Sander Puri, Rory Feely, Dylan Barnett, Derek Daly (Daryl Walsh 90); Paul Keegan, Gavan Holohan, Stanley Aborah, Bastien Hery; Courtney Duffus (Faysel Kasmi 78), Ismahil Akinade.

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Ben Blake

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