Bohemians crashed Shamrock Rovers' title party with a 3-1 victory over the champions at Dalymount Park.
Less than three weeks after the two teams drew 1-1 in Tallaght, Keith Long's side scored three times in the first half through an own goal from Lee Grace, a stunning strike from Promise Omochere, and a thundering shot from Rob Cornwall.
Away from local pride and bragging rights, the result is crucial for Bohemians who are chasing European qualification for the third consecutive season.
All of the madness came after a tense opening at Dalymount Park. The first chance of the game fell to Tyreke Wilson, who had a free-kick headed away by Sean Hoare. Rovers charged up the pitch and won a free-kick of their own, which Dylan Watts took. His ball was headed away by Wilson to Graham Burke, who fired wide.
Wilson was all over the pitch for Bohemians and he was nearly rewarded for his performance when an excellent free-kick from the defender sailed over the Rovers wall and towards the top left corner. Leon Pohls dived to meet it and he pushed the ball off the post, sending it out for a corner, which came to nothing.
With 38 minutes played the game exploded into life. First, a free-kick from Ali Coote bounced off Sean Hoare and was then turned in by Grace for an own goal. Rovers charged up the pitch following this setback and equalized through a Watts ball which found Mandroiu at the back post and he headed in.
The forward - who played for Bohemians from 2019 to 2020 – dashed towards the home fans in celebration. This sparked an argument between Stephen Bradley and Keith Long, which led to both managers getting sent off by Paul McLaughlin.
As soon as the game resumed, Omochere capitalised on a mistimed header by Hoare and he charged free down the right hand side. Pohls came out to meet the forward, and Omochere knocked the ball past the goalkeeper before slotting in from the tightest of angles.
This was a clear sucker punch to Rovers who looked dazed following the restart and Bohemians quickly pressed, won possession, and put the ball out for a corner. From this, a corner from Coote fell to an unmarked Cornwall who blasted the ball into the roof of the net.
Rovers used half-time to reset themselves and they began the second half by bringing on Richie Towell and switching to a 4-3-3 formation, with Graham Burke playing in a false nine role.
Bohemians did not flinch when coming up against this new look Rovers attack and they stuck to Keith Long's direct game plan.
The game seem to settle down into a familiar pattern after this, with the Hoops attacking and the home side defending.
Bohemians countered Rovers a number of times in the second half but each was halted by a strong Hoare and Joey O'Brien. Late in the game, they had shouts for a penalty after Coote and Burt were brought down in quick succession inside the box. The calls were waived on and Rovers broke, which led to Aaron Greene shooting for the top right corner and James Talbot making an excellent save.
The game finished with a strike from Ali Coote, which looked to be heading in but it hit the side netting.
Bohemians: James Talbot; Anto Breslin, Ciaran Kelly, Rob Cornwall, Tyreke Wilson, Conor Levingston, Liam Buckley, Keith Ward (Stephen Mallon 81), Liam Burt, Ali Coote (Roland Idowu 90), Promise Omochere.
Shamrock Rovers: Leon Pohls; Lee Grace (Max Murphy 40), Sean Hoare, Joey O’Brien (Dylan Duffy 74), Lee Farrugia (Richie Towell 45), Sean Gannon, Gary O’Neil, Dylan Watts, Danny Mandroiu, Graham Burke, Aaron Greene.
Referee: Paul McLaughlin