Shamrock Rovers moved level on points with St Pat’s at the top of the Premier Division table following this pulsating Dublin derby win at a sun-drenched Tallaght Stadium.
Dan Murray put Rovers ahead on 24 minutes when he met Thomas Stewart’s ball and slammed a cool and confident shot past Barry Murphy.
Gary Twigg shot in the second on 62 minutes before Billy Dennehy netted the third on 86.
Rovers finished with ten men after Pat Flynn was shown a straight red card for kicking out at Gareth McGlynn on 58 minutes.
Fresh from an opening day English League Championship victory over Leeds United yesterday, Derby County manager Nigel Clough was an interested spectator among the bumper crowd in Dublin 24 and saw Rover go close to taking an early lead.
The explosive start saw Stephen Bradley crash a free kick off the crossbar for Rovers on three minutes. Former Rovers keeper Murphy in the Bohs goal was well beaten by Bradley’s strike but agonisingly for Bradley the woodwork denied him.
The early excitement soon petered out with both sides cancelling each other out though Rovers were having ever so slightly much more of the possession.
Bohs threatened on 21 when Brennan fed Quigley but his cross into the area arrived too soon for the inrushing Madden to connect though the fourth official’s flag had gone up in any case.
A minute later Rovers’ Paddy Kavanagh got the better of Mark Rossiter deep on the right and squeezed a cross past Ken Oman but Murphy saved before any Rovers man could take an advantage.
Rovers took the lead on 24 minutes when Thomas Stewart slid the ball across from the left for Murray to slam a cool and confident shot past Murphy.
Madden then showed exceptional individual skill on 39 minutes when he tried to get Bohs back into the game all on his own.
Out of nothing he took possession and made a cracking mazy run along the right wing and darted past several Rovers challenges but was ultimately undone by Murray who snatched the ball off him inside the six yard box.
That sequence of Bohs pressure also saw Brennan’s ball from the right wing hit the crossbar and Alan Mannus save from Quigley as the visitors went in search of an equaliser before the break.
One of the reasons that Bohs were behind was that they had failed to keep possession and not make passes and crosses count in the first half.
This was evident again on 54 when Brennan’s free-kick managed to evade everyone in the Rovers box and sailed into touch.
Stewart showed creativity and perseverance on 55 when he managed to curl the ball around Brian Shelley inside the area but Oman was on hand in the centre to clear.
Rovers were then reduced to ten men on 58 when a moment of madness from Flynn saw him shown a straight red card by referee Dave McKeon for kicking out at McGlynn.
O’Neill responded by withdrawing Kavanagh and introducing Craig Sives to shore up the back. His side responded in spectacular fashion by going further ahead on 62 minutes.
Aidan Price’s ball found Twigg in acres of space and the Scotsman brushed aside the Bohs challenge to shoot the ball beyond the reach of Murphy and into the back of the net.
Madden was next to be denied by the crossbar when his thunderous header crashed off it on 76 minutes.
Rovers had much the better finish though and sub Dennehy rounded off the afternoon with an absolutely fantastic shot past Murphy at the Tallaght Bypass end of the ground on 86 minutes with the Bohs defence nowhere to be seen.
Shamrock Rovers: Mannus; Stevens, Murray, Price, Flynn; Rice, Bradley (Chambers 52), Bayly, Kavanagh (Sives 61), Stewart; Twigg (Dennehy 78).
Bohemians: Murphy; Heary, Rossiter (Cretaro 73), Shelley, Oman; Cronin (Higgins 64), Brennan, McGlynn (Byrne 64), Keegan, Quigley; Madden.
Referee: D McKeon.