Richard Brush (Shamrock Rovers)
The Hoops’ goalkeeper has had to play second fiddle to Barry Murphy for much of the season but has always impressed when called upon and so it was against Bray Wanderers. Brush looked confident in goal, commanding his area well and reacted brilliantly to deny both Kieran Waters and John Mulroy when called to do so.
Jeff Henderson (Sligo Rovers)
Deputising for both Evan McMillan and Gavin Peers in recent weeks, the Newcastle native has played his way into deserving a contract for the 2014 season and was impressive again on Monday night against Cork City. Marshalling the Sligo back four, Henderson got forward at every occasion and almost wrapped up the points for the Bit o'Red in the dying minutes only to nod an Iarfhlaith Davoren cross narrowly wide of Mark McNulty's cross.
Gavin Peers (Sligo Rovers)
A main-stay of the Sligo defence over the past number of years, Peers played his 283rd game for the reigning League of Ireland champions and in doing so, he became the club’s ninth most capped player in Rovers’ history. He was again assured at the heart of the Sligo defence on Friday last against Shels before being substituted late on. Due to serve a two-game suspension in the coming weeks, Peers is sure to be sorely missed as the centre half looks set to miss vital games against both Shamrock Rovers and St Pat’s over the coming weeks.
Patrick Nzuzi (Limerick)
The defender recently turned down the opportunity to represent DR Congo at the Francophone Games and Limerick manager Stuart Taylor will be delighted that he did so. He chose to stay due to the injury crisis within the Super Blues squad and was imperious against Dundalk at Oriel Park, nullifying the threat of Pat Hoban and Kurtis Byrne well and helping out in attack when needed. A consummate full-back’s performance.
Mark Rossiter (Dundalk)
Dundalk’s captain led by example and much of his side’s assured moves going forward came thanks to what he did down the right. His aerial balls over the top looked like they would prove fruitful and he had an effort fly past the post after getting forward well in the second half.
Danny Ventre (Sligo Rovers)
The Sligo Rovers captain has been plagued by injury in recent times following an impressive 2012 season and was one of Rovers’ star performers on Friday evening as the Bit o’Red recorded a comfortable 2-0 win over Shelbourne. Composed on the ball at all times and providing the bite the champions required to see off a dogged Shels side, Ventre also chipped in with a goal on the 25-minute mark.
Ruaidhri Higgins (Derry)
Derry were far from their best last week, and although their intricate build up was nice to watch at times, it failed to yield clearcut chances but much of their clever passing moves came through the ex-Bohemians man. He struggled to dictate in the closing stages but his deliveries always looked like they would be the Candystripes' best chance of a goal.
Ryan McEvoy (Bohemians)
Bohemians took a massive step towards ensuring their survival in the Airtricity Premier Division with a 2-0 win over Derry City thanks to Ryan McEvoy’s brace. His first was a coolly taken penalty and his second a precise header but his all around play was impressive too. McEvoy will consider himself unlucky not to have scored a hat-trick but if he can have another couple of nights like this then the Gypsies will be safe.
Daryl Horgan (Cork City)
The former Sligo winger provided plenty of headaches to a well-tested Rovers defence. The Galway native went close on a few occasions himself. The best of these being when the young attacker was unfortunate not to open the scoring five minutes into the second period when he saw his shot fizz wide of Rovers goalkeeper Gary Rogers' post. Accomplished in his defensive duties also, Horgan's energy gave Ian Baraclough's side plenty of problems throughout the tie.
Thomas Stewart (Shamrock Rovers)
Stewart has built up a great understanding with partner Gary McCabe and against Drogheda his goals helped to keep up the Hoops’ push for European football next season. His brace against the Drogs was unspectacular and both goals from close range but he was always in the right place at the right time and alert to any opportunities as he stretched the Drogs back line.
Richie Towell (Dundalk)
It was never in doubt who was going to take the honour of being Dundalk's star man on the night as Towell's rich run of scoring form continued against Derry. He scored two inside two minutes in the first half with some technically terrific volleys before keeping a composed head in the second half to slot past Ger Doherty for a well-earned hat-trick but his overall performance was again of the highest calibre.