Shamrock Rovers 3-0 Sligo Rovers
A Gary McCabe brace along with Gary Shaw's first Shams goal just before the break saw Rovers beaten by three goals to nil at Tallaght Stadium.
Rovers came into this game on the back of three straight wins but conceded a seventh minute penalty. Captain Craig Roddan was harshly adjudged to have pushed Gavin Brennan to the ground as both men jostled in the air inside the penalty area. Referee Graham Kelly pointing straight to the spot. Shamrock Rovers skipper McCabe stepped forward to blast home from twelve yards, his fourth league goal of the season.
Gary Shaw got the slightest of touches to Brandon Miele's corner on 18 as he almost doubled his side's lead. The former Longford striker did well to stand his ground but was unable to direct Miele's set piece inside Micheál Schlngermann's far post. Shaw saw his header land on top of the Rovers goal moments later when he bravely beat Schlingermann to a McCabe cross from the right.
The closest Rovers came to breaching the Hoops rearguard was just short of the half hour. Jimmy Keohane forced John Russell's corner back towards Craig Hyland's front post, from where Liam Martin could only drag his shot on the turn into the side netting.
The home side extended their lead three minutes from the break. Full back Simon Madden did well to bring the ball inside, beating Regan Donelon before squaring for the alert Shaw who, from five yards, tucked the ball between Schlingermann and the post for his first goal for the club.
Two became three on 57 as the torrential rain continued to batter the Dublin 24 venue. Gavin Brennan won possession just inside the Sligo half with a clattering challenge on Jordan Richards before he released Dean Clarke down the Shamrock Rovers left, Clarke in turn delivered a superb ball into the path of McCabe who was left with a simple finish as he netted his brace, tapping past Schlingermann at the first attempt.
Danny North played an instrumental part in the Bit O'Red's last league win at Tallaght, back in October 2013. The Grimsby man, who was a 61st minute Shamrock Rovers substitute set up McCabe for what should have been his hat-trick four minutes later. North had meant to spray a ball out to the right to the feet of Miele. However the ball was unintentionally blocked by McCabe who did well to avoid the attention of Mick Leahy but could only flash his effort across the Rovers goal.
North was offered a decent opportunity to bag the Hoops' fourth nineteen minutes from time. Schlingermann did well to parry away McCabe's dipping header from a Miele cross, only to push the ball into the path of the prowling North who hit the side netting from close range.
Kieran Sadlier injected life into Rovers when he was introduced on 67. The Republic of Ireland underage international showed showed neat trickery to nutmeg Stephen McPhail on the end line. Hyland was however equal to Sadlier's resulting effort from the angle on 77 which stung the palms of the 25-year-old shot stopper.
Hyland ensured his clean sheet three minutes into injury time at the end of the game. Sligo flew forward on a counter as Jaanai Gordon teed up Keohane. The former Wexford man found the Hoops goalkeeper in no forgiving mood as he expertly blocked down Keohane's shot at the edge of his area.
Shamrock Rovers: Craig Hyland; Simon Madden, David Webster, Robert Cornwall, Gavin Brennan; Killian Brennan (Sean Boyd 83), Pat Cregg, Brandon Miele, Gary McCabe; Dean Clarke (Stephen McPhail 74), Gary Shaw (Danny North 61).
Sligo Rovers: Micheál Schlingermann; Tobi Adebayo-Rowling, Mick Leahy, Gary Boylan, Regan Donelon; Jimmy Keohane, Craig Roddan, John Russell, Jordan Richards (Phil Roberts 73); Liam Martin (Kieran Sadlier 67); Raffaele Cretaro (Jaanai Gordon 83).
Referee: Graham Kelly.