Michael O'Connor's 43rd-minute goal was enough to see Shamrock Rovers capitalise on Derry's defeat to Bray and move into fourth place in the Premier Division as they beat Finn Harps 1-0 at Finn Park. 

O'Connor, who was up against his older brother Ciaran on the opposite side, decided the game with a well timed header as he latched on to Simon Madden's cross to sentence Harps to their first defeat in four outings. 

Both sides were well matched throughout the opening half but it was the Tallaght outfit who fashioned the first chance of the evening on eight minutes. 

Harps' Packie Mailey was hesitant in coming for Ryan Connolly's cross. The ball trickled through to Madden who with time and space on his side, could only fire over from the angle.

The home side were then offered a golden opportunity to open the score with 18 minutes played. But Mailey could only head straight at Rovers goalkeeper Tomer Chencinski at the front post although it seemed as if Mailey didn't realise he was in such a profitable position. 

Rovers' Brandon Miele fired wide on 23 before Harps' Sean Houston's attempted chip sailed over the Hoops cross bar five minutes later after Eddie Dsane cushioned Ciaran O'Connor's ball from deep into the path of the former Derry man.

Miele was involved again three minutes from the break. His 20 yard volley was initially on target but took the slightest touch off the shoulder of a Harps defender before slipping past Ciaran Gallagher's post. 

The Dubliners were not to be denied just sixty seconds later. It was the younger of the O'Connor siblings, Michael who leaped highest to meet Madden's cross from the right and steer the ball past Gallagher for his second goal of the year.

The second period was just two minutes old when Hoops defender Daniel Devine nodded wide from close range having shrugged off the attention of his marker.

Gallagher came out meet and deny Miele after a speedy Rovers break on 56, while Chencinski was comfortable in dealing with Dsane's effort at the other end shortly after.

Harps' Johnny Bonner speculated from distance fifteen minutes from time but Chencinski was again equal to the effort. 

Rovers substitute Sam Bone was only seconds on the pitch when his powerful effort licked the Harps crossbar on 78 as Stephen Bradley's men looked to settle the tie. 

Bonner then attempted to chip Chencinski in the third of four minutes added on as Harps threw men forward in an attempt to salvage something from the game.

But it wasn't to be for the Donegal men as they continue to sit just two points clear of the drop zone.  

Finn Harps: Ciaran Gallagher; Kilian Cantwell, Packie Mailey, Ciaran Coll; Paddy McCourt (BJ Banda 82), Barry Molloy, Sean Houston, Johnny Bonner, Gareth Harkin; Eddie Dsane, Ciaran O'Connor (Pascal Millien 75).  

Shamrock Rovers: Tomer Chencinski; Simon Madden, Daniel Devine, Roberto Lopes, Luke Byrne; Darren Meenan, Brandon Miele, Ronan Finn, Ryan Connolly; Gary Shaw; Michael O'Connor (Sam Bone 77). 

Referee: Robert Harvey