Danny Mandroiu showed everyone why Shamrock Rovers signed him with his performance at Tallaght Stadium on Friday night, according to man of the match Ronan Finn.

The former Bohemians' attacking midfielder scored a screamer to set Rovers on the way to their first win of the season against rivals Dundalk.

In an evenly fought contest, Dylan Watts doubled the hosts' lead in the second half before Pat Hoban pulled one back for the Lilywhites.

"That's the reason why the club signed him," Finn told RTÉ Sport afterwards.

"He's a lovely footballer; very technical. He was unlucky last week against Pats where the keeper made a great save.

"Similar tonight, he caught it really well. It was good to get Danny off the mark."

Between them, these clubs have shared the last three SSE Airtricity League Premier Division titles.

The President's Cup game at the same venue last month showed the tension that exists between the two sides as the visitors won on penalties that day.

Dundalk could count themselves slightly unlucky not to take something from tonight's game after hitting the woodwork twice before Hoban's late consolation.

And Finn admits it was nice to get one over on the co Louth club.

"There's been a healthy rivalry building there for the last few years. When we play them there's always nothing it.

"You saw it when we played them a couple of weeks ago in the President's Cup. In fairness tonight I thought Dundalk played well in the second half.

"We maybe rode our luck but we're grateful for the three points."

For Dundalk manager Shane Keegan it's now three league games without a win this season.

With just one point to show for their exploits, the Lilywhites are now eighth in the table ahead of tomorrow's clash between Waterford and Derry City. A victory for either club in that game at the Ryan McBride Brandywell Stadium would push Dundalk into the bottom two.

Abibi watches Watts' strike creep into the net

While Mandroiu's strike at Tallaght would have been difficult to stop on any night, Watts' effort looked to have crept under the body of goalkeeper Alessio Abibi.

For Keegan though, in admitting that their start has been far from ideal, he told RTÉ Sport that the morale is still high amongst his squad.

"The only thing in common with last week is that we came out with zero points. In terms of the performance it's a million miles away from what we delivered last week.

"Last week simply wasn't good enough and it was a case of casting everything aside and starting from scratch for this game. It was two very good strikes by them that has won them the game. The woodwork, plus some bad look, has managed to keep us out.

"I'm standing right behind Mandroiu's strike as he hits it and it's absolutely fantastic. The second one looked like a good, clean strike to me but Ali seems to think he could have done better. People who've seen it back on TV say he could have done a bit better on it.

"Shamrock Rovers are a phenomenal side. If we're limiting them to shots from that distance then by and large we're happy without our night's work. Unfortunately tonight it has ended up in the back of the net twice.

"I hope people saw enough tonight to show that we are working hard but when you look at the games coming up it isn't going to get a lot easier for us.

"There's no whinging and moaning. The conversation in that dressing room is players talking about how they can give more or what they can do better, as are management.

"There's no blame game. We'd be in a completely different position if the finger pointing had started but I can 100% assure you that the finger pointing hasn't started.

"I fully believe that we will turn it around."