St Patrick's Athletic 0-2 Shamrock Rovers

Shamrock Rovers reinvigorated their slim title hopes as Pat Fenlon’s side earned a priceless win over St Patrick’s Athletic in an insipid Dublin derby at Richmond Park.

Bradon Miele opened the scoring for the away side on the quarter hour for his fifth league goal of the season, with Gary Shaw sealing the win 13 minutes from time after catching Pat’s on the break.

Liam Buckley, who was without the suspended Sean Hoare, made four changes to the side that suffered the crushing defeat 5-1 to Bohemians on Sunday, with Rory Feely, Darren Dennehy, David Cawley and Conan Byrne all coming into the home side’s starting line-up but lacked any penetration throughout the entire 90 minutes.

Rovers took the lead after 15 minutes when Simon Madden’s cross was met by Miele on the edge of the box and with typical composure the 21-year-old found the bottom right corner of Brendan Clarke’s goal.

Miele nearly doubled his tally for the game but his shot from distance was gathered by Clarke after an initial fumble.

It was Sam Verdon that came closest to opening the scoring for Pat’s in the first-half but his attempt was deflected wide, after Byrne whipped in a teasing cross that was punched away by Rovers goalkeeper Craig Hyland.

But it was a Graham Kelly free-kick from 30 yards that went over the Shed End and out of the stadium that summed up the home side’s first-half performance.

It wasn’t until midway through the second half that Pat’s started to trouble the Hoops goal: from a Byrne cross, Cawley swivelled but failed to make clean contact with his volley.

While substitute Mark Timlin’s through ball found Billy Dennehy, the Kerry man’s shot was saved by the onrushing Craig Hyland.

From the resulting corner, Hyland was forced into action again with a superb fingertip save from a Darren Dennehy header.

With the Saints chasing an equaliser, the visitors doubled their advantage catching the home side on the break. Patrick Cregg’s fine pass found Shaw in the box and the striker easily fired past Clarke.

Late on, defender Robert Cornwall missing a gilt-edged opportunity but his shot went wide.

Pat’s had plenty possession throughout the match but lacked that cutting edge and imagination to get themselves back in the game with the home side booed off the pitch at full-time after losing their second Dublin derby in a week.

When the league returns in three weeks, Pat’s travel to Oriel Park to take on champions Dundalk, while Rovers host Cork City on the same night.

St Patricks Athletic: Brendan Clarke; Ger O’Brien, Rory Feely, Darren Dennehy, Ian Bermingham; Graham Kelly, Sam Verdon, David Cawley (Keith Treacy 56’); Conan Byrne (Mark Timlin 66’), Christy Fagan (75’ Jamie McGrath), Billy Dennehy.

Subs not used:Patrick Jennings, Michael Barker, Lee Desmond, Dylan McGlade.

Shamrock Rovers: Craig Hyland, Simon Madden, Robert Cornwall,Sean Heaney, David O’Connor;Patrick Cregg,Stephen McPhail; Dean Clarke (Trevor Clarke 72’),Killian BrennanBrandon Miele; Gary Shaw (Aaron Dobbs ‘78).

Subs not used: Barry Murphy, Max Blanchard, James Doona, Richie Purdy

Referee: Tom Connolly