Shamrock Rovers spoiled the Sligo Rovers title-winning party in tonight’s final Airtricity League Premier Division fixture with a 2-0 victory at The Showgrounds.
Gary Twigg scored a goal in each half to finish off his Shamrock Rovers career with a match-winning brace, but it wasn’t enough to secure European football for the 2011 champions who had to settle with a fourth place finish in the league table.
The result mattered little for the 6,000 packed into The Showgrounds who watched their captain Danny Ventre lift the league trophy ending a 35-year wait in the northwest.
Despite a bright start from The Bit O’Red, it was the Hoops who took the lead when Gary Twigg opened the scoring in the 10th minute.
A Conor Powell cross from the left was met by the Scottish striker and his left-footed effort crashed off the bar.
However, Twigg showed the Hoops large travelling support what they will be missing next season as he guided the ball over the keeper, despite being off-balance, to give Rovers the lead.
The game was temporarily stopped in the first half due to firework displays affecting the players.
Joseph Ndo had Sligo’s first meaningful opportunity of the game when a sweetly struck volley from 30 yards forced Oscar Jannson into action. But the Hoops number one was behind it all the way and easily saved and it was Sligo’s only real chance of the half as the Hoops led 1-0 at half-time.
The away side started the second half as they finished the first and Twigg bagged his second of the night in the 57th minute when he capitalised on an error by Marty Owens before rounding Rogers and scoring from a tight angle.
The game petered out throughout the remaining 30 minutes as Sligo prepared to begin celebrations as they look forward to Champions League football next season.
Sligo Rovers: Gary Rogers, Jeff Henderson (Marty Owens, 55), Gavin Peers, Jason McGuinness, Ross Gaynor, Rafael Cretaro, Lee Lynch, Joseph Ndo, David Cawley, Pascal Millien (John Dillon, 67), Mark Quigley (Liam Buchanan, 80).
Subs: Richard Brush, Jake Dykes, Ryan Connolly.
Shamrock Rovers: Oscar Jannson, Pat Sullivan, Ken Oman, Graham Gartland, Conor Powell, Gary McCabe, Killian Brennan, Conor McCormack, Billy Dennehy, Aaron Greene, Gary Twigg (Dean Ebbe, 85).
Subs: Reyaad Pieterse, Colin Hawkins, Craig Sives, Sean Gannon, Shane O'Connor, Stephen Rice.
Referee: A Buttimer (Cork).