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Wins for Shamrock Rovers, Derry City, St Pat's and UCD made for an interesting opening day to the 2012 Premier Division season

Shamrock Rovers opened their title defence with a comeback win over Drogheda United, taking full advantage of other results to top the table on the opening day of the 2012 Airtricity Premier Division season.

St Patrick's Athletic 1-0 Bray Wanderers

It only took a few minutes, but already the new season has its first controversy. After a quarter of an hour at Richmond Park, debutant Dean Kelly’s header was scrambled away by Pierce Sweeney, but with the linesman flagging, it was adjudged to have crossed the line. One to check out on MNS maybe?

The second half was goalless, despite Stephen O'Flynn going close on a number of occasions, but as the game wore on, things got more heated. A second yellow for a foul on Jake Kelly saw Dave Webster sent off for the visitors, while Kelly himself received a red card for a late challenge on Dane Massey.

A harsh red card which also requires a second look.
Drogheda United 1-2 Shamrock Rovers

Goals from Gary Twigg in each half helped holders Shamrock Rovers come back from one down to start their season with a win.

Full Match Report
Shelbourne 1-1 Sligo Rovers

There was plenty of drama at Tolka Park as Sligo Rovers grabbed a late equaliser against Shelbourne.

Five yellow cards and one red were handed out by referee Derke Tomney, with striker Mark Quigley being harshly dismissed for a lunge on Paddy Kavanagh at the end of the first half.

Shels led 1-0 at the break thanks to a Philip Hughes goal against the run of play, but 10-man Sligo did not give up and deserved their equaliser in the 93rd minute.

An attempted bicycle kick by Gavin Peers found Jason McGuinness, who headed home for a crucial point.
Monaghan United 0-0 Dundalk

Monaghan United and Dundalk played out an uneventful 0-0 draw at Gortakeegan, as Mons returned to the Premier Division for the first time in 10 years with a whimper.

Robert Bayly could have put the hosts ahead in the 60th minute, but saw his shot come back off the post. Both teams introduced new players to try to win the game, but neither side could muster up a decent opportunity, with a scoreless draw a fair result.
Derry City 1-0 Bohemians

A tight game at the Brandywell was decided by Stephen McLaughlin's second-half goal, on a night which promised much but delivered little.

Neither keeper was challenged much in the first half, and only for Adam Martin's sending off, the game could have remained scoreless.

Martin was ordered off just before half-time after going in late on McLaughlin. Ten-man Bohs had their work cut out in the second half, but were it not for a lovely cross from Simon Madden, they could have grabbed a point.

As the game wore on chances became slimmer, with Derry happy to hold on to their 1-0 lead.
UCD 1-0 Cork City


The Students and the Leesiders played out a scrappy opening half hour, but full-back Mark Langtry’s goal on 36 minutes livened up the game.

Langtry got his head onto a Chris Mulhall cross after the UCD midfielder was allowed too much time on the ball.

Tadgh Purcell almost levelled before the break, but his shot rebounded off the post.

Purcell squandered a number of opportunities in the second half, as Cork pressed for the equaliser, but UCD defended well and started the season with a deserved win.

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