Heaney gets Hoops back on track
Shamrock Rovers 2 Bray Wanderers 1
Teenager Sean Heaney won a penalty before scoring what proved the winner with his first goal for Shamrock Rovers to get them back on track at Tallaght Stadium.
After away assignments at champions St Patrick's Athletic and Dundalk, which yielded just one point, Rovers welcomed the gift of a penalty after just six minutes.
Bray's Adam Mitchell pushed Heaney to the ground in the area and Gary McCabe scored emphatically from the spot.
Rovers' slick passing and movement caused Bray all sorts of difficulty and goalkeeper Stephen McGuinness made a terrific save to deny ex-Bray winger Marty Waters' before twice foiling Ciaran Kilduff.
Bray defender Niall Cooney then saved his goalkeeper by heading away McCabe's goal-bound chip after the 19-year-old's clearance went straight to the Rovers winger.
Rovers doubled their lead 11 minutes into the second half when 18-year-old Heaney, on only his second league appearance, headed home McCabe's corner.
Scarcely in the game, Bray were given a lifeline on 76 minutes when Simon Madden impeded Ismahil Akinade as he came to meet David Cassidy's cross. Dave Scully blasted home the resulting penalty, but Rovers ran out more comfortable winners than the scoreline suggests.
Shamrock Rovers – Murphy; Madden, Cornwall, McGuinness, Heaney; Robinson, McPhail (Bayly, 63); McCabe, Finn (Sheppard, 75), Waters; Kilduff (Zayed, 68).
Bray Wanderers – McGuinness; McGill, Cooney, Mitchell, Maloney; Scully (S O'Neill, 85), Zambra, G Kelly (Curran, 74), Hanlon; Cassidy; Akinade (C Byrne, 78).
Ref – D Tomney (Dublin).