Monday 24 July 2017

Hoops show fighting spirit to close in on elusive crown

Shamrock RVS 2 Drogheda UTD 0

Neil Ahern

IT WAS a night when the majority of the action took place in the stands at Tallaght Stadium and at the end, there were scenes of unbridled joy as the most dramatic League of Ireland title race in many years swung dramatically back in Shamrock Rovers' favour.

The eventual league champions this year, it seems, will be decided by default and who would bet against Michael O'Neill's side now?

After such a dramatic capitulation that saw them surrender an eight-point lead at the top of the table, they finally looked like a side with the quality and composure to carve their name on a Premier League trophy for the first time in 16 years.

Now, all they must do is see off a Bray Wanderers side that haven't won a game in five. Crucially Rovers now have momentum and confidence on their side.

Spirit

As the engrossing story unfolding at the far side of the country filtered over the airwaves at the capital venue, the excitement here was palpable -- even before the first whistle as Galway's opener prompted massive cheers.

Just six minutes after the resumption they took the lead, when Enda Stevens' cross was nodded back across goal by Craig Sives for Thomas Stewart to head into an empty net.

Gary Twigg gift-wrapped the win 12 minutes later when he clinically dispatched Chris Turner's pinpoint pass into the back of the net.

While the Drogs' Corey Treacy and Ryan Brennan were sent off late on, it was by then a mere sideshow in what was one of the most enthralling nights in this venue since Rovers moved at the beginning of last season.

SHAMROCK ROVERS -- Mannus, Rice, Sives, Price, Murphy; Dennehy, Turner (Bayly 80), Bradley (Stevens 37), Stewart; Twigg, Baker (Fenn 70).

DROGHEDA UNITED -- Duggan, Treacy, McNally, Harris (Synnott 66), Haro; B McGill (McNamara 72), Crowley (Brennan 83), Daly, McMahon; Flood, Meenan.

REF -- D Hanney (Dublin).

Irish Independent

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