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Shamrock Rovers take big step towards title with important win over Sligo

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Daniel Cleary scored an important goal for Shamrock Rovers against Sligo. Photo by Seb Daly/Sportsfile

Daniel Cleary scored an important goal for Shamrock Rovers against Sligo. Photo by Seb Daly/Sportsfile

Daniel Cleary scored an important goal for Shamrock Rovers against Sligo. Photo by Seb Daly/Sportsfile

Shamrock Rovers continue their roll towards a third league title on the spin after they pushed aside a poor Sligo Rovers at the Showgrounds.

Goals from Dan Cleary, Dylan Watts and Graham Burke did the trick for the Hoops, while Nando Pijnaker netted Sligo’s consolation.

Well in charge throughout, the Hoops made their dominance count on the quarter hour when Cleary nodded home Sean Kavanagh’s cross. The visitors owed their second to some Jack Byrne brilliance on 38 minutes. The playmaker split the heart of both the Sligo midfield and defence with a clever ball into the path of Watts, who added a clinical finish.

A Hoops third was inevitable and it arrived on 70 minutes when Sligo allowed Rory Gaffney’s ball all the way through to Burke, who was left with a simple tap in at the back stick. The Connacht side did salvage something from the night when Pijnaker turned home Kailin Barlow’s cross from the left.

Sligo Rovers: Richard Brush; Colm Horgan, Shane Blaney, Nando Pijnaker, Paddy Kirk; Adam McDonnell (Kailan Barlow 63), David Cawley (Robbie Burton HT), Greg Bolger (Niall Morahan 63); Frank Liivak (Karl O’Sullivan 72); Aidan Keena, Max Mata (Will Fitzgerald 63).

Shamrock Rovers: Alan Mannus; Sean Gannon (Sean Hoare 74), Daniel Cleary, Lee Grace; Ronan Finn (Neil Farrugia 84), Sean Kavanagh (Andy Lyons 71); Dylan Watts, Jack Byrne (Viktor Serdenyuk 84), Gary O’Neill; Graham Burke (Aaron Greene 71)

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