Shamrock Rovers manager Stephen Bradley was quick to applaud Graham Burke's goal from the halfway line that sealed the Hoops' win over Derry City in the Airtricity League Premier Division.
Burke backed himself in looking up to direct a shot that the back-tracking Derry goalkeeper Nathan Gartside could not get to. That goal, on 39 minutes, came after Rory Gaffney's opener at the Ryan McBride Brandywell Stadium and the 2-0 win moved the champions up to third in the table.
Speaking after the game, Bradley said of Burke's audacity: "You would go a long way to beat that in terms of goal of the season. He's a top, top player and an Irish international for a reason. He showed real quality; his awareness was so quick to execute it.
Overall, Bradley was happy with the performance on Foyleside, but would have liked more goals from his charges in the second period.
"We wanted to score more goals. That's the way we play and we're at our best when we do that. We had opportunities but we were a little sloppy in the final third.
"We have a few levels to go; this team will only get better.
"I was happy on the back of Saturday and a long trip to Sligo, where we had a tough game. Derry are fighting to get their first win and I feel they've been unlucky so far, so we knew it would be a difficult game."
🚀 Nothing quite like a goal from the halfway line!— Soccer Republic (@SoccRepublic) April 13, 2021
Graham Burke with an absolute screamer to put @ShamrockRovers 2-0 up at @derrycityfc
Watch live now on #WATCHLOI #rtesoccer pic.twitter.com/MworvP3ejv
Derry City are still without a point in the league, but boss Declan Devine felt they were more than a match for their opponents, despite the scoreline.
"There were a lot of good performances in the game, we had as good as chances that they had," he said.
"The one bit of magic from Burke could have been prevented - we conceded a goal from a throw-in that was easily preventable. We have got to be better for the two moments we were punished for.
"That said, there was a lot of bravery about our performance.
"We asked questions of Shamrock Rovers which a lot of teams don't - a lot of team sit, try and defend and play them on the counter. We tried to be expansive.
"I thought the two young lads making their debuts tonight - Ronan Boyce and Brendan Barr - were outstanding. They showed a lot of courage in the way they played. Myself and the senior players will have to say that's the level where we want to be."