Shamrock Rovers stayed level on points with Dundalk at the top of the Premier Division with a routine win over Finn Harps in Ballybofey.

First-half goals from Ronan Finn and a Dylan Watts penalty before a late Aaron Greene third enabled Stephen Bradley's keep pace with the league champions, who won 2-1 in their fixture against Bohemians. 

It only took Rovers only six minutes to open the scoring and the manner of the concession would’ve been one something that would’ve frustrated both Harps manager Ollie Horgan and his goalkeeper Peter Burke, who spilled a pretty routine shot from Dan Carr. Greene gobbled up the rebound to square for Finn to score. 

Rovers made it 2-0 from the penalty spot after 32 minutes, as Watts sent Burke the wrong way after the Harps goalkeeper had fouled Greene following a chipped pass from Finn. 

Roberto Lopes climbed highest in a crowded penalty area six minutes before half-time but couldn’t keep his header from a Jack Byrne free-kick underneath the crossbar.

Harps had picked up eight points from their previous four outings to move ahead of UCD at the bottom of the Premier Division table.

However, the performance was flat throughout for Harps against a Rovers team who had beaten them twice already this season – 1-0 in Ballybofey in March and 3-0 at Tallaght Stadium the month before. 

With the Dublin side 2-0 up at the break, Finn warmed the hands of Burke at the restart. Greene played a wonderful give-and-go with Byrne on 68 minutes and got away before seeing Burke save his shot.

The three points were wrapped up with the third goal seven minutes before the end when Greene was on hand to put a free delivered by Byrne past Burke at the Town End.

Finn Harps: Peter Burke; Niall Logue, Sam Todd, Daniel O’Reilly; Colm Deasy, Mark Coyle (Keith Cowan 77), Jacob Borg (Tony McNamee, half-time), Mark Russell; Caolan McAleer, Nathan Boyle (Liam Walsh 83), Mikey Place.

Shamrock Rovers: Alan Manus; Joey O’Brien, Roberto Lopes, Lee Grace, Trevor Clarke (Ethan Boyle 77); Greg Bolger (Dean Dillon 83), Dylan Watts, Dan Carr (Joel Coustrain 64), Ronan Finn, Jack Byrne; Aaron Greene. 

Referee: Robert Hennessy

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