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Rovers profit in Dalyer raid

IT'S FIRST blood to Shamrock Rovers in the battle for supremacy in Dublin in 2014 as the Hoops powered their way past Bohemians to earn the points in the first big local derby of the new season with a 3-1 win at Dalymount Park.

A spectacular own goal by Rovers captain Conor Kenna could have been the story of the night as that strike 18 minutes into the second half levelled the scores and sparked hopes among the Bohs support of a win.

But this Rovers team like their away days – they scored four in Athlone last week and struck twice in the space of two minutes to finish strongly.

Much is expected from the Hoops' attacking midfielders and wingers this season but it was trusty old right back Simon Madden who was their key player on the night. Two crosses from Madden set up the goals for Ronan Finn and Kieran Marty Waters.

Both teams started with a gifted playmaker in midfield, each with the ability to turn a game around, Finn in the Rovers XI and Paddy Kavanagh in the home side.


But such is the nature of these derby games – all huff and puff – that the pair were peripheral figures for parts of the game and could have had time to stand aside and chat about their days as team-mates at UCD, though Finn did get to have more of the ball in the second half and scored the crucial goal which put Rovers 2-1 up, a rare header from the classy midfielder.

It was one of those nights when a set-piece was most likely to influence the match and that's how it started at least, as Rovers took the lead on 15 minutes from the penalty spot.

Winger Gary McCabe was felled in the box by Jack Memery. McCabe stood up to take the kick himself, beating Dean Delany right in front of the Rovers support in the school end.

The fluid play which Bohs have displayed so far this season was hard to find and it took them until half an hour in to trouble Barry Murphy in the Rovers goal.

First up was a chance for Dinny Corcoran, who managed to get a shot over the line but he was deemed to be offside. On 34 minutes Kevin Devaney struck the crossbar with a fierce shot after some good work by Steven Beattie while Craig Walsh almost got on the end of a Devaney cross a minute later.

The Bohs fans looked for a response after the break but Rovers started the stronger side in the second half, Finn and Gavin Brennan going close while substitute Jason Byrne had a chance to equalise with his first touch but Murphy did well to save.

Owen Heary's side did get level on 63 minutes, Rovers captain Conor Kenna looping the ball past his own keeper from a cross by Steven Beattie, but the sides would not remain level for long as Bohs were undone by two goals in two minutes, both defensive calamities.

On 74 minutes Finn was left unmarked in the box and was able to head home to make it 2-1, after Ciaran Kilduff had nodded on a Madden cross.

And Madden was the creator again two minutes later, his time his deep cross headed past Delany by sub Waters.

Their unbeaten home record against Rovers now gone, Bohs must regroup before their next test, away to Dundalk on Friday, while Rovers have no rest as they are in Setanta Cup action on Monday.