Shamrock Rovers extended their lead the top of the table to four points with a well-earned win over a poor Sligo Rovers at Tallaght Stadium.

Dan Carr, Ronan Finn and Jack Byrne were amongst the goals as Stephen Bradley’s charges maintained their unbeaten home run.  

Watched on from the stands by the Republic of Ireland senior management team, it was the home side who began the sharper.

Carr saw his header fly wide of Mitchell Beeney’s goal 10 minutes in while Kyle Callan-McFadden had to rely on defensive partner John Mahon two minutes later.

Mahon blocked down Finn’s stab at goal, after the Hoops skipper had intercepted McFadden’s stray pass, and Beeney got a finger-tip to Byrne’s powerful drive from long range a half hour in as the Tallaght traffic remained all one-way.

 Republic of Ireland manager Mick McCarthy (L) and assistant coach Robbie Keane watch on

The victors had their inevitable lead on 39. Sligo failed to deal with Byrne’s corner as Carr was allowed nod to the net whilst unmarked at the back post.

The Dubliners almost doubled their lead before the break as Beeney went full stretch to touch Aaron Greene’s drive around his post.

Carr had Beeney sprawling on 49 when the striker’s effort slipped past the Sligo post and the same man should have had his second three minutes later.

Sligo’s defence was carved open as Byrne squared for Carr, but the latter was unable to get his foot around the ball with an open goal gaping.

Further poor defending from Liam Buckley’s side led to the league leaders' second.

Greene’s pass found its way through a disorganised rearguard and found Finn, who made the most of a McFadden slip to force the ball past Beeney.

Two became three on 82, Byrne’s curler offering Beeney little chance as the ball sailed into the top corner of the Sligo net.


Shamrock Rovers: Alan Mannus; Joey O’Brien, Lee Grace, Roberto Lopes, Trevor Clarke (Sean Kavanagh 68); Ronan Finn (Dylan Watts 67), Greg Bolger; Aaron Greene, Jack Byrne, Aaron McEneff; Dan Carr (Joel Coustrain 80).

Sligo Rovers: Mitchell Beeney; Niall Morahan, John Mahon, Kyle Callan-McFadden, Lewis Banks; Johnny Dunleavy, David Cawley (Sam Warde 78); Kris Twardek, Ronan Murray (Daryl Fordyce 78), Romeo Parkes (Liam Kerrigan HT); Ronan Coughlan. 

Referee: Rob Rogers