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Croly: we got it Dun'

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6 May 2013; Danny Ledwith, Shamrock Rovers, in action against Darren Meenan, Dundalk. Airtricity League Premier Division, Shamrock Rovers v Dundalk, Tallaght Stadium, Tallaght, Co. Dublin. Picture credit: Barry Cregg / SPORTSFILE

6 May 2013; Danny Ledwith, Shamrock Rovers, in action against Darren Meenan, Dundalk. Airtricity League Premier Division, Shamrock Rovers v Dundalk, Tallaght Stadium, Tallaght, Co. Dublin. Picture credit: Barry Cregg / SPORTSFILE

6 May 2013; Danny Ledwith, Shamrock Rovers, in action against Darren Meenan, Dundalk. Airtricity League Premier Division, Shamrock Rovers v Dundalk, Tallaght Stadium, Tallaght, Co. Dublin. Picture credit: Barry Cregg / SPORTSFILE

TREVOR CROLY believes that his Shamrock Rovers side are finally getting the rewards for their hard work and last night's win over Dundalk can finally kick-start their league season.

Rovers have, of course, had some joy in one of the cup competitions this season, having qualified for the Setanta Cup final against Drogheda United next Saturday, but the league campaign was a very testing experience for the Hoops who went through a run of just one win in nine games.

But Croly (below) will be very happy with the outcome of the weekend's league programme as Rovers first came from behind to earn a valuable draw at home to league leaders Sligo Rovers and last night secured a 1-0 win at home to Dundalk, Seán O'Connor's scrappy goal in first-half injury time the difference between the sides.

Rovers dominated possession for most of the game and had a series of assaults on Peter Cherrie's goal, but they had to settle for just the one goal. The night, when ex-Rovers boss Stephen Kenny returned to Tallaght Stadium for the first time since his dismissal by Rovers last year, could have had the same pattern as recent games where Rovers dominated but lacked the killer instinct to finish off the opposition, so Croly was happy to simply get the three points as a platform for looming Dublin derbies against St Pat's, Bohemians and Shelbourne between now and the end of the month.

"You break your backside to get results and it was hard on the lads when they weren't getting the results, so it's great for the group that we got the reward and the result," Croly said after the 1-0 win.

"We played well, scored a goal and could have had more, I think they only had one chance. We dominated the game and if their chance had gone in we'd have been disappointed.

"Every night for us is about getting the performance. You want the performance because that gives you the chance of winning, but you want to win the game, even a 1-0 in a scrappy game.

"We have had good performances and played well, look at the UCD game where we had 23 chances, besides dropping off for set plays the guys were excellent, they gave everything. We had been playing well and performing well and now the results have come."

Dundalk came to Tallaght looking to extend their stunning record outside of Oriel Park this season, five away games and five wins, and all five of them against Dublin teams (if you include Bray Wanderers as a Dublin side, however much that may annoy the Wicklow people).

 

Carve

But apart from a well-struck effort by former Bohemians man Keith Ward, Dundalk never really threatened Rovers 'keeper Barry Murphy. They did carve out some openings for striker Pat Hoban but he was unable to really test Murphy and Rovers looked comfortable throughout, Dundalk's cause hampered before the game when experienced defender Mark Rossiter was ruled out due to injury.

O'Connor's scrappy finish in added time at the end of the first half was the only goal of the night but the Hoops came close time and again, left back Danny Ledwith hitting the post with a good effort just into the second half and Karl Sheppard forcing a number of saves from Cherrie.

"We didn't play as well as we can last night," said Dundalk boss Stephen Kenny. "We have been playing really well of late and that wasn't our best performance. We missed a couple of good chances, Pat Hoban missed a sitter for us but their goal changed the psychology of it, conceding in the 47th minute was a bad blow for us and we should have dealt with that a lot better than we did.

"We missed chances without playing that well, we were still in the game at the death so it's disappointing to lose, I know we can do better."

Another plus for Rovers was the sight of Mark Quigley coming on as a second half sub following an injury-enforced absence.

"It was good to get Mark Quigley on. He hasn't done a lot in terms of minutes in training. He only started back on Sunday, so the maximum we could use him for was the 20 minutes we gave him," added Croly.

"We haven't mentioned it much but we had a lot of injuries in one area. We didn't have too many injuries as such but the ones we had were all in the same area which made it very difficult.

"We had to play Stephen (Rice) at full back, we were a bit disjointed but the lads did really well to get through the games, and I'm delighted for them in that they are getting their rewards."


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