Shamrock Rovers crawled out of a rocking Dalymount Park with an ill-deserved point as their European hopes took another blow on a tumultuous Tuesday in North Dublin. The Hoops now look consigned to fourth place after Owen Heary’s Bohemians dominated this fiercely contested Dublin Derby. The Gypsies will be devastated not to come away with all three – it took a controversial penalty, a fortunate rebound, and some heroic goalkeeping to keep Bohs from gaining their first win over the Hoops this season, writes KEVIN FAGAN.


Coming off a difficult cup defeat to St Pats and a dour draw with Athlone, Bohs were definitely the better side against their supposedly more illustrious visitors. Pat Fenlon’s team produced a Stoke-esque display of long ball punting, and Dean Delany only had to make one save all night. Unfortunately for the home side, his 84th minute penalty save fell straight to Shane Robinson – who cancelled out Derek Pender’s fantastic opener.

Despite Heary’s pre-game talk of playing some fringe players, only Keith Buckley would be considered in that bracket for the Bohs starting 11. He partnered Dave Mulcahy in midfield, with Paddy Kavanagh in front of them in a 4-4-1-1 formation. Bohs started the game well, displaying an intensity that you would associate with this fixture. An early corner floated all the way to the back post, but Dinny Corcoran couldn’t quite make meaningful contact. The Jodi Stand thought it was in, but the angle was deceiving – and Rovers cleared.

Luke Byrne’s move to Shamrock Rovers and subsequent Twitter tomfoolery has left a bad taste in many a Bohs mouth, and there was mass joy when Pender clattered the former Bohs left back on 10 minutes. Byrne had a poor game, struggled to cope with Steven Beattie, and could be easily blamed for the Bohs goal when it arrived. Rovers themselves offered little going forward in the first half. Despite their finances, B-teams, stadium etc, when the most oft-used option is Jason McGuinness lumping balls forward – it isn’t pretty to watch.

Bohs continued to press into the second half, and Dave Mulcahy went close with a looping header before the game exploded into life on 65 minutes. Beautiful interplay from Beattie and Kavanagh put Pender in on the right flank. The full back beat his man and let fly with a rocket of a shot which, despite the tight angle, screamed into the roof of Barry Murphy’s net.

The Gypsies looked relatively comfortable until the 84th minute, when Roberto Lopes hung out a leg and sub Kieran ‘Marty’ Waters went down. It was right on the corner of the box, but referee Paul Tuite pointed instantly to the spot. Dean Kelly took the penalty, put placed it weakly to Delany’s left. The Bohs keeper palmed it away, but Shane Robinson was on hand to fire in the rebound. Bohs could have won it late on, but Steven Beattie’s glancing header was brilliantly turned around the post by Murphy. A share of the spoils – and just to confirm – the pitch was absolutely fine!

Bohemians; Dean Delany, Derek Pender, Roberto Lopes, Aidan Price, Jack Memery, Steven Beattie, Dave Mulcahy, Keith Buckley, Karl Moore, Paddy Kavanagh, Dinny Corcoran. Subs not used: Ryan McEvoy, Jason Byrne, Anto Murphy, Adam Evans, Stephen Best, Paddy Collins, Aaron Shanahan.

Shamrock Rovers; Barry Murphy, Simon Madden, Conor Kenna, Jason McGuinness, Luke Byrne, Shane Robinson, Sean O’ Connor (Kieran ‘Marty’ Waters, 53), Ryan Brennan (Stephen McPhail, 68), Gary McCabe (Dean Kelly, 80), Ronan Finn, Ciaran Kilduff. Subs not used: Robert Cornwall, Karl Sheppard, Patrick Cregg, Craig Hyland.

Mr. Green Bohemian Man of the Match: Dave Mulcahy

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