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St Pat's close in on top-three finish

Shamrock Rovers lost ground in their race for a third-place finish as they could only draw 1-1 away to St Patrick's Athletic in a thrilling Dublin derby last night.

At the start of this week which saw they play back to back Dublin derbies, Rovers had set themselves a target of a minimum of four points with possibly all six needed if they were to dislodge Pats from third place.

But after drawing 1-1 away to Bohemians on Tuesday the Hoops had to settle for the same away to Pats last night and league champions Pats can further their claims to third place when they face Bohemians next Tuesday.

In front of a healthy crowd of 2,188 at Richmond Park, the night started well for Rovers when Gary McCabe fired the Hoops in front after only four minutes, McCabe puncing in a weak back pass from former Hoops Ger O'Brien in the Saints defence.

Aware that a win would given them a superb chance of finishing third, Rovers pressed for a second goal.

But in the-form Conan Byrne came up with yet another goal on 59 minutes. Aaron Greene provided the cross and Byrne was free to head past Barry Murphy to claim the equaliser.