Back on track and still very much the team to beat, Shamrock Rovers made light work of Drogheda's challenge last night in a game that looked every bit the champions against the basement boys.
Gary Twigg's brace added to a show of force from a Rovers side that hadn't fully hit top gear in the four league games up to this.
Their still-impressive 10-point haul from those encounters was all the more reason to have the Boynesiders quaking in their boots at their arrival last night.
And the Hoops certainly arrived in no mood to delay the expected outcome, with the first half hour providing Drogs 'keeper David Quirke with a stress test all of his own, and after both Billy Dennehy and Gary McCabe had threatened, the Hoops made the breakthrough on 28 minutes.
Dennehy moved onto an Enda Stevens pass and the Kerryman had ample time to ping in a cross for Twigg to race onto. Bagging his third goal this term, the Scot nodded past Quirke, who got little help from his flat-footed defence.
Firmly in the ascendancy, Rovers were good value for their half-time lead and within five minutes of the restart Ciaran Kilduff tucked in their second after both McCabe and Dennehy had rattled the bar.
Twigg's frustration at being substituted in the last three league games was no doubt alleviated somewhat last night, with the assassin's touch very much returning. He pounced for his second on 56, prodding past Quirke after Dennehy had again provided the bait with his whipped-in corner.
Dennehy deserved his own moment of glory and he got it with a peach in the 73rd minute after Pat Sullivan had forayed up the right to find him with a classy square pass.
Drogheda Utd -- Quirke; Gannon, Kovacsevics, Whelan, Hand; C O'Brien (Costigan h-t), Quigley, Lester (McCrossan h-t), M O'Brien (Flynn 60), Freeman; Corcoran.
Shamrock Rovers -- Mannus; Sullivan, Murray, Oman (Flynn 60), Stevens; McCabe, Finn (McCormack 78), Rice, Dennehy; Twigg, Kilduff (Sheppard 77).
REF -- N Doyle (Dublin).