Hoops warm up for Iceland
Shamrock Rovers 4 Drogheda United 1
Fourth-placed Shamrock Rovers moved four points ahead of Derry and warmed up for Thursday's Europa League test in Iceland against Stjarnan in style by hammering Drogheda last night.
All the goals came in the second half with Gary Shaw and Trevor Clarke firing the hosts two goals ahead, a lead that was soon halved by Sean Brennan.
Substitutes Aaron Bolger and James Doona completed the rout with two more goals in the final ten minutes.
After a scrappy first half in which Michael O'Connor clipped the post, he chested the ball into the path of strike partner Gary Shaw to volley in the opener just 20 seconds after the restart.
Clarke then continued his rich vein of form by shooting the ball through the legs of goalkeeper Stephen McGuinness on 64 minutes before substitute Sean Brennan reduced the deficit from close range five minutes later.
Slack defending by Drogs, however, contributed to them extending their winless run to nine games, leaving them in deep relegation trouble.
Nine minutes from the finish, Brandon Miele's cross found Doona in enough space to turn and fire home into the bottom right corner.
Bolger, another promising young player sampling first-team action, netted in the last minute into exactly same spot after McGuinness wasn't helped by his defence going missing from a rebound off Shaw's shot.
SHAMROCK ROVERS - Chencinski; Madden, Lopes, Webster, L Byrne; Miele, Finn, Connolly (Bolger 60), Clarke (Meenan 77); Shaw, O'Connor (Doona 66).
DROGHEDA UTD - McGuinness; Deasy, Gallagher, McGuigan, Dunne (Kane 84); McEvoy, Purdy; Wixted, Elliott (S Brennan 36), Doyle; Masterson (Meaney 70).
Ref - S Grant (Wexford)