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Twigg return downs Drogs

There is an entire table between Shamrock Rovers and Drogheda United, and at times last night it looked a lot more.

Rovers eventually produced a fine passing performance, with Gary Twigg even returning to the line-up and the scoresheet.

They only belatedly showed their quality last night, in a performance punctuated by as many first-half errors as second-half moments of excellence. That could perhaps be excused by a week of extremes.

Last Saturday, a high came as they overcame Dundalk in a tempestuous and tense Setanta Cup final. On Wednesday, lifelong supporter Philip Greene was buried. The late RTE commentator's life was celebrated with a fitting minute of applause.

As such, a certain flatness to Rovers' game was forgivable.

And a worrying anxiety afflicted their play. Clearances were miscued, passes were misplaced.

It took a set-piece to calm their nerves. A minute after half-time, a Conor McCormack free-kick found Craig Sives' head to open the scoring.

From there, normal service was resumed. Two divine passes -- one from O'Neill, the second from Gary McCabe -- fell to Twigg who netted on his first start since getting injured a month ago.

And, within minutes, Billy Dennehy played a through-ball of equal quality. Onrushing keeper Steven Trimble was caught out, allowing Twigg an even easier finish.

The result leaves Drogheda rooted to the bottom of the table with just two points from 14 games. That's an average of 0.14 points a match. The worst in League of Ireland history were Bray Unknowns, who managed a solitary win from 22 games in 1936 while all of Jacobs 1930, Bohemians 1960 and Bray Unknowns again in 1942 failed to win a game.

Drogheda performed reasonably last night. They were just unlucky to face a Rovers side with many more gears.

SHAMROCK ROVERS -- Mannus; McCormack, Stevens, Sives, Murray; Turner (Rice 60), Finn, Dennehy, McCabe; Twigg (Kilduff 70), O'Neill (Sheppard 65).

DROGHEDA UNITED -- Trimble; O'Brien, Hand, Gannon, Ekanem; Quigley, McCrosson, O'Brien, McNamara (Murray, 65; Gaul 70); Freeman (Campbell 80), Corcoran.

REF -- P Sutton (Clare)

Irish Independent