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Chambers and Finn on double to put Rovers in seventh heaven

After seven league games, six draws and nearly as many false dawns, Shamrock Rovers finally clicked their season into gear.

The victory, as comprehensive as the scoreline suggests, moves them to within nine points of leaders Sligo, who play Cork today.

Yet, with more than two-thirds of the campaign remaining, whatever sense of panic Rovers may have felt prior to last night will have eased – because finally there is a sense that the Croly regime is taking off.

Within six minutes they were ahead. By half-time there were three goals separating the sides and the only question then was how many they would finish with.

Seven was the answer, James Chambers (two), Ronan Finn and Mark Quigley getting the second-half goals to add to the first-half strikes from Danny Ledwith, Ciaran Kilduff and Finn.

Finn's first, scored just seconds before half-time, was the best – a team effort that involved Ledwith, whose cross from the left was met by Sean O'Connor's cushioned header and the midfielder's subsequent clever finish.

Eight minutes earlier, Finn had served as the provider, dissecting the Bray defence with a superb pass which Kilduff took in his stride, before holding off two Bray defenders and squeezing a low shot beyond Darren Quigley.

The Bray 'keeper saved brilliantly from Mark Quigley, but there was nothing he could do in the second half.

Rovers kept on attacking – and scoring, Quigley getting a header from another Ledwith cross before Chambers scored two excellent goals, the first after a corner was only partially cleared and the second from a free kick, which deceived the Bray 'keeper.

Then in stoppage-time, Finn scored his second, Rovers' seventh, from the spot.

Shamrock Rovers – Murphy; Sullivan (Rice 78), Foran, Oman, Powell; O'Connor, Chambers, Finn, Ledwith (Dennehy 70); Quigley, Kilduff (Sheppard 86).

Bray Wanderers – Quigley; Doyle (Moffat 86), Webster, Knight (O'Neill 55), Earley; Waters, Sambra, Dempsey, Thomas; Mulroy; Byrne (Akinade 85).

Ref – P McLaughlin (Dublin)

Irish Independent