James Crombie/INPHO
Fun in the sun

Miele on the mark as Shamrock Rovers take derby win away to Saints

Gary Shaw struck late on as Rovers looked to hit the hosts on the break.

St Patrick’s Athletic 0

Shamrock Rovers 2

SHAMROCK ROVERS MOVED five points clear of rivals St.Patrick’s Athletic with 2-0 win in a tense Dublin derby at Richmond Park tonight.

Both sides came into the game on the back of disappointing results last weekend but it was Rovers who bounced back in a close contest as they cleverly soaked up pressure before pouncing on the counter-attack to produce the game winning moments in a couple of these forays.

It was another disappointing result for Liam Buckley’s side, but they did begin like a side intent on making amends for last weekend’s humbling defeat at the hands of Bohemians.

They had the first meaningful effort on eight minutes when a Conan Byrne cross wasn’t dealt with by Craig Hyland who could only punch to the waiting Sam Verdon on the edge of the area but his half volley was deflected just over.

It was the visitors though who took the lead on the quarter hour mark through a neat finish from Brandon Miele.

Rob Cornwell strode out of defence to find Gary Shaw who in turn spotted Simon Madden steal a march down the inside right before he cut the ball back to the Miele who took a touch to feint past Darren Dennehy and then calmly slot low into the corner past Brendan Clarke.

Christy Fagan was showing well up front for the Saints and linked up for a couple of attacking plays with Conan Byrne but Pat’s were lacking a killer touch in the final third as Rovers soaked up wave after wave pressure from the hosts who couldn’t find the breakthrough they craved.

After the break Rovers continued to be content to play on the counter and came closest early in the second as Hyland threw out to Dean Clarke who broke from his own half and he was allowed make his way to the edge of the Pat’s box to shoot from 20 yards but he failed to really test his name sake in the Pat’s goal who saved comfortably.

The intensity of the game had dropped after the interval leading to Pat’s introducing Keith Tracey and Mark Timlin.

Stephen McPhail celebrates after the game James Crombie / INPHO Stephen McPhail celebrates the final whistle. James Crombie / INPHO / INPHO

In a sustained period of pressure they should have equalised as Timlin was on the pitch only a matter of moments before he played in Billy Dennehy who got in behind the Rovers defence and settled himself to shoot across Hyland who got down well to parry just past the near post.

Dennehy took the resulting corner where he found his brother Darren whose header was cleared off the line. But Rovers then punished the home side for failing to draw level as Patrick Cregg found himself in acres of space down the right which gave him the freedom to curl a cross to the unmarked Gary Shaw who turned a right footed shot under Clarke to seal the win.

ST PATRICK’S ATHLETIC: Brendan Clarke; Ger O’Brien (c), Darren Dennehy, Rory Feely, Ian Bermingham; Conan Byrne (Mark Timlin, 66), Sam Verdon, David Cawley (Keith Tracey, 55), Graham Kelly, Billy Dennehy; Christy Fagan (Jamie McGrath, 75).

SHAMROCK ROVERS: Craig Hyland; Simon Madden, David O’Connor, Sean Heaney, Robert Cornwall; Stephen McPhail (c), Killian Brennan, Patrick Gregg, Brandon Miele, Dean Clarke (Trevor Clarke, 71); Gary Shaw (Arron Dobbs, 77).

Referee: Tomas Connolly

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