Ronan Finn and Greg Bolger in turn scored arguably the sweetest goals of their careers as Shamrock Rovers simply blew Limerick away in clinical fashion in their SSE Airtricity League Premier Division clash at Tallaght Stadium.

The impressive Dylan Watts was also on the scoresheet, along with Roberto Lopes, as this facile victory consolidates Rovers’ hold on third place in the Premier Division table.

The only consolation on a night to forget for ninth-placed Limerick was bottom side Bray Wanderers, to whom they travel next week, losing at Waterford.


Rovers started on the front foot and punished abysmal defending to find themselves a goal up on 90 seconds and three ahead inside 20 minutes.

Brandon Kavanagh did well to win the first corner of the game which Watts floated over.

Limerick’s clearance of sorts fell to Finn some 30 yards out and the Hoops skipper cracked home a stunning right-foot drive that arrowed into the corner of the net.

While he saw little of that shot, Jack Brady, making his league debut for Limerick, did well four minutes later to batt a Finn free kick round a post after Shaun Kelly saw yellow for a bad challenge on Watts.

But Limerick were found napping again from another corner on 12 minutes as Rovers doubled their lead.

This time Watts played the ball straight back out to Bolger to hit a venomous right-foot drive from outside the area to equal Finn’s in giving Brady little chance for a memorable first goal of the season.

With Limerick’s defending virtually non-existent, the lively Kavanagh blazed over the top after a Watts shot cannoned back to him before Rovers got a third goal on 19 minutes.

The influential Watts’ struck a drive that deflected off a defender to loop over the stranded Brady to the net.

Brady did do well six minutes later, getting a finger-tip to a Sean Kavanagh free kick as Rovers’ onslaught didn’t let up.

And they should have added to the scoreline on 35 minutes following a flowing move from the halfway line involving Finn, Brandon Miele and Aaron Greene put Watts in on goal. 

The midfielder got his left foot a little too under the ball, though, to see his shot sail well over the bar.

But goal service resumed on 44 minutes.

Bolger’s drive brought a seventh Rovers corner of the night.

Kavanagh took over the duty from Watts to float the ball over for negligently marked central defender Lopes to score with a well-placed header.

Finn drilled a shot against a post early in the second half prior to adding his second goal of the game on the hour.

Greene’s header from a Watts cross was parried out by Brady for Finn whose close range shot found the net.

Shamrock Rovers: Alan Mannus; Ethan Boyle, Lee Grace, Roberto Lopes, Sean Kavanagh; Greg Bolger, Dylan Watts;  Brandon Kavanagh, Ronan Finn (Aaron Bolger 63), Brandon Miele (Dan Carr 63); Aaron Greene (Dean Williams 75).

Limerick: Jack Brady; Shaun Kelly, Colman Kennedy, Killian Brouder (Kilian Cantwell 58), Shane Tracy; Darren Murphy (Cian Coleman 64), Shane Duggan; Billy Dennehy, Barry Maguire (Karl O’Sullivan 76), Will Fitzgerald; Danny Morrissey.

Referee: Sean Grant (Wexford).