Style and substance was the order of the day for Shamrock Rovers as they extended their winning run to five games by taking all three points in a raucous Dublin derby with Bohemians.
The home fans were heading for the exits with 10 minutes to go, a sure sign of the control the champions had over a contest they only briefly looked like being troubled in.
From the moment Andy Lyons pounced in the fifth minute it was the Hoops who asserted control.
A Max Murphy own goal 10 minutes before half-time was a helping hand they hardly required and even when Junior Ogedi-Uzokwe halved the deficit in the 68th minute the joy was fleeting.
Within 60 seconds Danny Mandroiu restored the two-goal advantage and the points were secured.
Jack Byrne's performance was the reason for Rovers' dominance.
He was left on his backside by a tackle roughly two seconds after kick-off but it was the only time he didn’t have the Bohs players chasing shadows.
The Republic of Ireland international picked the opportune time to show how he can run an entire game as well as make key contributions in the final third.
In front of the watching Stephen Kenny, the Rovers midfielder dominated a game of fire and fury not with aggression or strength, but anticipation, vision and, crucially, precision.
Byrne retained possession in even the tightest of crevices and provided the base from which the champions were able to knock the stuffing out of Bohs' early exuberance.
The opening goal after just five minutes was crucial to that and the Dubliner’s set-piece delivery – a constant thorn throughout the 90 minutes – caused panic in the home defence.
His outswinger from the right found its way to Mandroiu at the back post and his strike towards goal was turned home by another recent recruit from these parts, Lyons.
It was the Ireland Under-21 full back’s fourth goal of the season for the Hoops, and he almost had a fifth moments later when he came onto Byrne’s deft through ball and curled an effort that was tipped just around the post by James Talbot.
The sole first-half threat from the hosts came via Kris Twardek down the right flank but the extent of his influence was merely a dangerous cross that Alan Mannus had to palm away at the near post.
And the Canadian was one of three players Bohs boss Keith Long removed at the interval in order to spark his side into life.
But by that point they faced a mountain to climb as a second for the Hoops 10 minutes before the break gave them a healthy cushion.
Byrne, typically, was central to matters, even if there was a hint of good fortune when his cross to the far post was turned into his own goal by right back Murphy.
It was a disastrous piece of defending and he paid the price, getting hooked by Long when they returned to the dressing room.
Promise Omochere was another introduced as part of a treble change by the Gypsies’ boss and their increased presence in attack paid dividends when they pulled one back in the 68th minute.
Dawson Devoy’s cushioned volley from the edge of box was pushed clear by Mannus but Junior followed up to finish the rebound.
The home crowd stood to roar their delight but less than 60 seconds later they were slumped back in their seats when a hopeful punt from the kick-off wasn’t dealt with properly by Jordan Doherty.
Mandroiu collected the loose ball, got it under control and glided into the box where he placed his shot low and precise into Talbot’s right corner.
He enjoyed the celebrations in front of the fans who used to adore him here knowing it was the goal that knocked the wind out of Bohs’ sails and kept Rovers’ winning run going.
Bohemians: James Talbot; Max Murphy (Rory Feely, HT) (Jordan Doherty, 46), Ciarán Kelly, Grant Horton (Sam Packham, HT), Tyreke Wilson; Conor Levingston (c) (Jordan Flores, 81), Dawson Devoy; Liam Burt, Ali Coote, Kris Twardek (Promise Omochere, HT); Junior Ogedi-Uzokwe.
Shamrock Rovers: Alan Mannus; Seán Hoare, Roberto Lopes, Lee Grace; Ronan Finn (Sean Gannon, 74), Gary O’Neill, Richie Towell (Dyla Watts, 71), Jack Byrne (Chris McCann, 81), Danny Mandroiu, Andy Lyons; Rory Gaffney (Aaron Greene, 71).
Referee: Neil Doyle (Dublin).