Monday 26 June 2017

Ugly scenes mar vital Rovers win over Bohemians

Bohemians 0 4 Shamrock Rovers

15 April 2016; Gary McCabe, right, Shamrock Rovers, celebrates after scoring his side's first goal with team mate Pat Cregg. SSE Airtricity League, Premier Division, Bohemians v Shamrock Rovers. Dalymount Park, Dublin. Picture credit: David Maher / SPORTSFILE
15 April 2016; Gary McCabe, right, Shamrock Rovers, celebrates after scoring his side's first goal with team mate Pat Cregg. SSE Airtricity League, Premier Division, Bohemians v Shamrock Rovers. Dalymount Park, Dublin. Picture credit: David Maher / SPORTSFILE
Daniel McDonnell

Daniel McDonnell

A night of beautiful Shamrock Rovers goals ended with ugly scenes between rival supporters on a miserable Dublin derby night for Bohemians.

They suffered a beating at the hands of their arch rivals with the superb Brandon Miele inspiring a second half rout that culminated with a 78th minute strike from Gavin Brennan.

That prompted idiotic behaviour from a lone Bohemians fan who invaded the pitch and charged towards the jubilant away end, an action which succeeded in goading a couple of Hoops followers to breach security and start a punching match.

Riot police waded in as the situation threatened to get out of hand and missiles were thrown but order was eventually restored to allow the final minutes play out without incident. Some pre-match coverage of this game had centred in on the small hooligan element associated with both parties and the images of the pathetic behaviour will not help the image problem that comes with that kind of coverage.

The football battle on the pitch was won by Pat Fenlon's side. Ironically enough, he'd asked his players to show a bit of fight after castigating a 'gutless' display in Derry last week. This fraught affair provided the ideal opportunity to show they really do have character and the scrappy nature of the game placed a high value on those qualities.

They led at the interval after a first half where they had initially lacked inspiration going forward and risked disaster at the back with some errant touches. Ismahil Akinade could have put the natives ahead when capitalising on an error from Dave Webster but Hoops right back Simon Madden was on hand to block his shot.

The latter was busy with the lively Ayman Ben Mohamed a constant threat who left his marker for dead to fashion an early opportunity for Keith Buckley. As the half progressed, however, Rovers varied from going long to Gary Shaw to create some opportunities for Madden to overlap down the right flank.

It was from one such break that they claimed the lead when a late challenge from Lorcan Fitzgerald cut him down just outside the area. Killian Brennan's quick free was aimed for Miele but was duly deflected into the path of Gary McCabe whose powerful shot found a way past Dean Delany.

The real sucker punch came within two minutes of the restart. Bohs had resumed with purpose and nearly levelled when a ferocious strike from Paddy Kavanagh came back off the bar. Rovers responded by doubling their lead.

Miele, a leading candidate to take over from Richie Towell as the league's most exciting talent, engineered a one-two with Shaw and darted into a gap in a static Bohs defence before arrowing a right footer into the bottom corner. The 21-year-old was selected on the left side by Fenlon but he is capable of cleverly dropping inside to pull the opposition out of shape.

Keith Long introduced a second striker in an attempt to instigate a comeback, yet Rovers clinically handled the situation by breaking to score a third with McCabe releasing Miele who again kept his cool to find the target. Gavin Brennan's stunning long range exocet completed the destruction and prompted the chaos that will dominate the security post-mortem.

Bohemians: Delany, Pender, Byrne, Prendergast, Fitzgerald; Lopes, Wearen; Kavanagh, Buckley (Byrne 55), Ben Mohamed; Akinade

Shamrock Rovers: Murphy, Madden, Blanchard, Webster, G Brennan; Cregg, K Brennan; Miele (Clarke 90), McCabe, Drennan; Shaw (McCaffrey 71)

Referee: P McLaughlin (Monaghan)

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