Shamrock Rovers deservedly ran out comfortable winners, seeing off ten men Derry City, at a packed Tallaght Stadium.

Former City man Aaron McEneff was the home side’s fans favourite as he played a starring role and sealed the win with a late penalty.

Rovers boss Stephen Bradley kept faith with the side which secured an opening night win at Waterford.

Derry were forced into one change from the team which had a comfortable win over UCD last week, as Ally Gilchrist came in to face his old club as he came in to replace Darren Cole, who missed out through injury.

The home side should have taken an early lead as McEneff, who was coming up against his old club, played a super through ball to release Aaron Greene, who easily got away from the City back-line, but the striker’s shot was saved by Peter Cherrie.


A minute later McEneff feed Daniel Carr down the left and his centre found an unmarked Greene at the back post, he slotted the ball home, but his celebrations were cut short, as the assistant’s flag was up and the effort was ruled out for offside.

Rovers did take the lead on the half-hour mark as City failed to clear Sean Kavanagh’s centre, as Ciaron Harkin’s sliced clearance fell perfectly to Dylan Watts and the ex-Bohemians man blasted home from 18 yards.

Derry made a change at the break with Josh Kerr, who struggled in the opening 45 minutes, replaced by Jamie McDonagh.

Rovers' Trevor Clarke and Gerardo Bruna of Derry City 

With the breeze in the favour they went close on 51 minutes as Eoghan Stokes’ wind assisted effort from 35 yards, which had Rovers keeper Alan Mannus scrambling, flashed just over the bar.

Rovers should have added a second just after the hour mark as Jack Byrne’s pass released Sean Kavanagh, who cleverly clipped the ball over Eoin Toal, but his first-time volley from close range was brilliantly kept out by Cherrie.

The home side sealed the points on 78 minutes from the penalty spot, after substitute Orhan Vojic broke clear of the City defence before seeing his shot handled inside the box by a sliding Eoin Toal, referee Robert Hennessy pointed to the spot.

After City’s protests were waved away, McEneff made no mistake from the spot, coolly chipping the ball down the middle as Cherrie dived to his right.

To compound matters Derry were reduced to ten men on 86 minutes as substitute McDonagh, hacked down Ronan Finn, as the red mist came down.

Shamrock Rovers: Mannus, Boyle, Lopes, Grace, Kavanagh; Watts (Bolger 62), McEneff, Byrne; Finn, Carr (Clarke 60), Greene (Vojic 73).

Derry City: Cherrie, Kerr (McDonagh HT), Toal, Gilchrist, McClean; Harkin, Sloggett, McNamee; Stokes, Parkhouse, Ogedi-Uzokwe (McCrudden 60).

Referee: Rob Hennessy (Dublin).