A late double salvo from Ronan Finn and Kieran ‘Marty’ Waters settled a scrappy and tempestuous Dublin Derby as Bohemians suffered their first defeat of the season at the hands of their fiercest rivals. A Conor Kenna own goal had earlier cancelled out Gary McCabe’s penalty as the Gypsies coughed up more sloppy goals at Dalymount Park.

A huge and boisterous crowd meant the game was played at a frantic pace, and featured chances at both ends, refereeing disagreements, and the usual cacophony of crowd hostility inside the stadium. This was the League of Ireland at its best, writes KEVIN FAGAN.


Boss Owen Heary named the same team that drew with Drogheda United last week, with fit again Karl Moore starting from the bench. The opening 15 minutes were extremely cagey – a line that could easily have been written about every Bohs-Rovers game ever. The visitors looked the more comfortable on the ball, particularly the returning Luke Byrne, who was given an extremely hostile reception from the Bohs faithful.

If Byrne looked comfortable, the same could not be said of Jack Memery, who will want to completely wipe the memory of this game from his mind. The left back was culpable for all three Rovers goals, beginning with the opener on 14 minutes. After Gary McCabe got in behind Memery on the byline, the defender’s clumsy challenge left referee Padraig Sutton with little option. McCabe himself stepped up, and sent Dean Delany the wrong way to send the surprisingly large away crowd into convulsions of glee. Owen Heary would have no complaints about the penalty, but was aggrieved at the award of a Rovers throw-in in the lead up. The Bohs boss rightly felt that Simon Madden had touched the ball last.

Heary was also miffed on the half hour mark, when Dinny Corcoran had a goal dubiously ruled out for offside. Paddy Kavanagh’s cross fell kindly into Corcoran’s path, but the near-side linesman waved a slightly late flag. Corcoran looked to be level when the ball was kicked. Bohs best first half chance came just three minutes later when the impressive Craig Walsh snarled his way into the box with a determined run. His effort was blocked, and Kevin Devaney’s rebound agonizingly hit the crossbar and went over.

Heary didn’t waste much time changing things in the second half, which was barely 10 minutes old when Jason Byrne arrived, moving the Gypsies into a 4-4-2 formation. Byrne was almost instantly through on goal, but his effort was excellently saved by Barry Murphy. However, the change of shape did initially give Bohs a boost, and the equaliser deservedly arrived on 65 minutes. A delicious triangle of passes involving Kavanagh, Corcoran, and Derek Pender led to the latter bursting into the Rovers box. His low, drilled cross was a defender’s nightmare, and Hoops captain Conor Kenna could only smash an attempted clearance into his own net.

Unfortunately, that was as good as it got for Bohs. The game had drifted into a bit of a lull when a 3 minute one-two sent the home side onto the canvas. Rovers right back Simon Madden, who was excellent all game, made the most of a Jack Memery slip to send a lovely deep cross onto the head of Ciaran Kilduff. He nodded the ball back across to Ronan Finn, who forced his header in. Although the header was from close range, the ball was straight at Dean Delany, but somehow found its way into the back of the net.

The killer blow arrived less than 3 minutes later. Madden went into a 40-60 with Jack Memery and came out well on top. The spinning ball stayed in play, and allowed the full back to pick out another super cross. This time, Kieran Marty Waters gave the Cheerin Shouty Supporters more to crow about, and the game was all but done.

Bohs have a tough task to bounce back from this defeat, and a trip to Oriel Park is next on the calendar for Owen Heary’s men.

Bohemians: Dean Delany Derek Pender, Roberto Lopes, Aidan Price, Jack Memery (Karl Moore 78), Steven Beattie, Craig Walsh (Stephen Traynor 75), Kevin Devaney (Jason Byrne 56), Ryan McEvoy, Paddy Kavanagh, Dinny Corcoran. Subs not used: Daniel Byrne, Keith Buckley, Philip McCabe, Lee Murphy.

Shamrock Rovers: Barry Murphy, Simon Madden, Jason McGuinness, Conor Kenna, Luke Byrne,  Ryan Brennan (Robert Bayly 78), Shane Robinson, Gary McCabe, Ronan Finn, Sean O’Connor (Kieran Marty Waterts 75), Ciaran Kilduff. Subs not used: Rob Cornwall, Karl Sheppard, Eamon Zayed, Dean Kelly, Craig Hyland.

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