Shamrock Rovers secure third as Miele and Finn strike to gun down Limerick
SHAMROCK ROVERS completed the campaign by holding onto third spot thanks to second-half goals from Brandon Miele and Ronan Finn against Limerick last night.
Following a dull first half in which seventh-placed Limerick was marginally the better side, the Hoops forged into a 53rd-minute lead through Miele’s 16th of the season from the spot.
Finn’s superb individual effort six minutes later wrapped up their 17th league win of the season, though they conceded a sloppy goal nine minutes from the end from substitute Colm Walsh-O’Loughlin.
Rovers goalkeeper Kevin Horgan did well to recover from a hasty dash from his line midway through the half when Henry Cameron rounded the stopper only to be denied by the back-pedalling Horgan.
The brother of Daryl Horgan was again tested on the half-hour mark after a half-cleared free-kick fell kindly to teenager William Fitzgerald who could only fire straight at the custodian from eight yards.
Rovers got a grip on proceedings after the interval and profited from a needless foul by Shane Duggan on Dean Carpenter. Miele, who had delivered the corner for the incident, smashed home the penalty to the right of Freddy Hall.
If the Bermudian couldn’t keep that out, he should have done better for the second goal.
Finn charged down the inside-right channel, brushing off two challenges, and buried a shot inside Hall’s near post.
The goalkeeper did do his job on 64 minutes when substitute Ryan Connolly was foiled from point-blank range.
That miss could have been costly after substitute Colm Walsh-O’Loughlin cut the arrears by rifling into the top corner from 20 yards but Rovers held on.
SHAMROCK ROVERS – Horgan; Madden, Bone, Carpenter, L Byrne; Bolger, Finn; King (Connolly 59), McAllister (Doona 67), Miele; Boyd (Dillon 75).
LIMERICK – Hall (Holland 80); D Clarke, Whitehead, D O’Connor, Murphy; Fitzgerald, Hery, Duggan, Ogbene; Cameron (O’Sullivan 60); Berki (Walsh-O’Loughlin 73).
Ref – J McLoughlin (Roscommon)