The Hoops earned an important three points in their bid to secure European football next season as they cruised to victory away at Turners Cross
Two superb strikes from James Chambers and Ronan Finn helped Shamrock Rovers defeat Cork City at Turners Cross, despite the hosts clawing a goal back through Shane Duggan late on.
The game, which was preceded by minutes applause for the late former Cork City manager Noel O’Mahony, burst into life early on as the visitors almost took an early lead through Karl Sheppard. Sheppard raced on to a clever flick from Billy Dennehy before neatly starting the ball under the on rushing City keeper Kevin Burns but his goal bound effort was hacked off the line by Darren Dennehy.
Rovers continued to control proceedings, but despite dominating possession for long spells they failed to break through City’s stubborn rearguard. Ronan Finn twice tried his luck from distance but neither effort caused the City shotstopper too much trouble. Burns needed to be alert midway through the half to first stop Billy Dennehy’s powerful strike from the edge of the area, before denying Karl Sheppard’s close range rebound.
With the half drawing to a close, Rovers finally took the lead that their dominance merited through a fine strike from James Chambers. Chambers’ exquisite chest control in the City penalty area allowed him to turn and fire the ball on the half volley across the keeper and into the far bottom right corner. The Hoops nearly added another moments later as Karl Sheppard’s close range header was excellently tipped over by Burns.
At half-time, the City fans unfurled a banner saying “Don’t forget who you are playing for” in attempt to spark some life into their team as they trooped off the pitch. But within 50 seconds of the restart, Rovers all but sealed the three points as after some good work from James Chambers. Chambers fed Ronan Finn who unleashed a fierce shot from the edge of the box that flew across the keeper and into the net via the post. That goal all but killed off the challenge of the Leesiders, who eventually mustered a shot at goal when Daryl Horgan sliced his effort high and wide after the hour mark.
Shamrock Rovers kept the ball well as they tried to see out the game but City game them a scare late on as Shane Duggan sent a lovely lob over the keeper from distance. The goal proved too little to late for City, as they continue to languish near the bottom of the table, while the Hoops stay in contention of a top four finish.