Clarke inspires Hoops' victory
Galway United 0-1 Shamrock Rovers
Shamrock Rovers are back within two points of second place thanks to Gary Shaw's strike at Eamonn Deacy Park.
Shaw struck for his fifth league goal of the season just before half-time, and despite creating a couple of decent chances, the Tribesmen were unable to force an equaliser.
In the opening half Rovers had the better of the chances and were unlucky not to take the lead after a quarter of an hour when United 'keeper Sam Ramsbottom pulled off a super, full-length save to deny Brandon Miele from a free-kick.
Ten minutes later the home side had a great chance to go ahead, but Alex Byrne was unable to convert after some good work from Vinny Faherty.
Trevor Clarke was Rovers' real dangerman and after he came close to scoring 11 minutes from the break, but the 18-year-old made amends and picked out Shaw for the crucial goal in the 45th minute.
The home side needed to make a good start to the second half but they found themselves doing a lot of defensive work. Clarke was a continuous threat and he drew another save from Ramsbottom in the 48th minute from a narrow angle.
Tommy Dunne's men continued to push for an equaliser, but it was Shaw who came close to doubling Rovers' lead but his volley flashed across the face of goal.
GALWAY UNITED - Ramsbottom; Horgan, Cantwell, Aganovic, Folan, Ludden (Devaney 81); Melody, Byrne, Connolly; Cunningham (Shanahan 66), Faherty (Curran 81).
SHAMROCK ROVERS - Murphy; Heaney, Cornwall, Webster; Madden, McCabe, McPhail (Cregg 68), Miele (Doona 66), Clarke; Shaw, Dobbs (Boyd 78).
REF - R Hennessy (Clare)