Burke nets four as Shamrock Rovers rout Derry
Shamrock Rovers 6 Derry City 1
Graham Burke was the star of the show with a remarkable four goals to help Shamrock Rovers to an emphatic, and long overdue, victory over Derry City at Tallaght Stadium.
Rovers have had a desperately poor record against their visitors in recent years – this their first win in eight outings, six of which they’d lost.
In an open first half, Stephen Bradley’s side rode their luck to go in a goal to the good at the interval.
Though Derry started much the better, it was their goalkeeper Ger Doherty who had to make the first key save of the game, batting Sean Kavanagh’s 19th-minute drive round a post.
Kavanagh then put Brandon Miele through on goal five minutes later only for his fellow midfielder to slice his shot well wide of the target.
And, though Derry continued to pose Rovers problems, the Hoops conjured a sublime lead goal on 41 minutes.
Captain Ronan Finn’s delightful dinked through-ball found the run of Burke and he smashed his left-footed shot past Doherty.
Dan Carr blazed the ball over from Burke’s low cross two minutes after the break before Kavanagh, who trained at Derry pre-season before joining for Rovers, made no mistake in doubling the home side’s lead on 51 minutes.
Collecting Sam Bone’s pass, Kavanagh calmly cut past a defender before placing the ball into the corner of the net for a composed finish.
Two goals in as many minutes then ensured victory for Rovers.
Finn blasted home with a low drive from just outside the area on 67 minutes.
A poor clearance from Doherty was then punished as Miele set up Burke to shoot calmly to the corner of the net.
Substitute Ronan Hale got Derry’s consolation on 73 minutes, driving home following Rory Patterson’s through ball.
However, Rovers – and Burke – had the last say. Two minutes later, the former Belvedere player completed his hat-trick tapping home Trevor Clarke’s low cross, and then he raced clear onto substitute Gary Shaw’s pass to add his fourth .
Shamrock Rovers – Horgan; Boyle (Lopes, 68), Grace, Gilchrist, Clarke; Bone; Miele, Finn (McAllister, 73, Burke, Kavanagh; Carr (Shaw, 72).
Derry City – G Doherty; Cole, Toal, Logue (Ronan Hale, 58); McDonagh (McDermott, 28), Rory Hale (Kayode, 83), McEneff, Low, B. Doherty; Patterson, Curtis.
Ref – T Connolly (Dublin)