Firework incident spoils Hoops party
SHAMROCK RVS 4 GALWAY UNITED 0
LIKE the presidential race, the Airtricity League Premier Division title was decided early, meaning that this game was always going to be a parade for Shamrock Rovers as they were crowned champions at Tallaght Stadium -- and they enjoyed their coronation.
Dean Kelly's late winner against UCD on Tuesday meant that there were no nerves in Dublin 24 -- only celebrations.
There was, however, something of sour note to to the occasion, as the home fans' unofficial fireworks display, which took place before and during the game, resulted in an eight-year-old supporter being taken to hospital with burns.
Referee Anthony Buttimer eventually halted play after the Hoops' third goal and warned that he would abandon the match if the fireworks continued. Rovers are likely to be fined.
Already condemned to the promotion/relegation play-off, Galway belied their status as the league's worst team by starting well and Bobby Ryan rolled back the years with a long-range effort that had Ryan Thompson scrambling.
At the other end, Karl Sheppard capitalised on Yob Son arguing with the referee to spring Kelly, who raced clear only to see his shot hit the woodwork.
Eventually the gulf between the league's haves and have-nots became clear after 31 minutes, when Chris Turner fired the Hoops ahead with a dipping volley that gave Conor Winn no chance.
Billy Dennehy doubled the lead just before half-time with a free-kick that deceived Winn, who was under pressure from Turner.
Dennehy went close to adding a third after the break, before Turner fired another effort just wide and Kelly rounded Winn, but struck the base of the post from an acute angle.
Rovers finally made it 3-0 on 65 minutes minutes when Sheppard scored from the penalty-spot after he had been hauled down by Rory Gartlan as he wound up to shoot.
The Galway defender was sent off and will miss the first leg of the play-off.
Ronan Finn added the gloss with eight minutes to go with the club's 100th league goal at Tallaght.
All that was left was the presentation of the trophy to a delighted Dan Murray for the second successive year.
SHAMROCK ROVERS -- Thompson; Sullivan, Oman, Murray (Finn h-t), Paterson; Ricketts (Rice 64), McCormack, Turner,m Dennehy; Sheppard, Kelly (O'Neill 61).
GALWAY UNITED -- Winn; Gartlan, Son, Gaughan, Sinnott; Ryan, Kelly (Walsh 67), Murphy, Gu Kim; Cauldwell (Duggan 81), Gilmore (Sibanda 76).
REF -- A Buttimer (Cork).