Wanderers cause more misery on Harps to extend bullets

Neil Farrugia scored his first goals in two years thanks to a fine brace that helped beat the unlucky Finn Harps at Tallaght Stadium.

The result and performance were just the tonic that Shamrock Rovers wanted ahead of their trip to face Gent in the European Conference League on Thursday.

A clean sweep of four wins over HARPS this season sees champion Stephen Bradley four points clear at the top of the Premier League table, ahead of Derry City with a game in hand.

After the UCD beat Dundalk on Friday night, the defeat left the bottom of the Harps.

Although Harps, who had never won at Tallaght, fired his first shot on target from Filip Mikhaljevic’s taming effort, Rovers dominated from the start and were in front eight minutes later.

Jack Byrne played his first full game for Rovers since May

Sean Kavanaugh and Aaron Green may have both put effort on target before Rovers carved harps very easily.

Jack Byrne fed Andy Lyons who was blocked by goalkeeper James McKeown. Farrugia hit the loose ball off the slow toe of Gary Boylan to confidently fire his shot from his weaker right foot into the roof of the net.

This is the second goal of the winger for Rovers and his first after two years of injury.

Byrne was guilty of cutting up the goal as Harps was extended again in 20 minutes, great country ball Dan Cleary to Lyon setting up the opportunity.

Then Ethan Boyle finally brought a quick run into the box by usurped Farrugia to the end with a fine tackle as the Rovers maintained their attack.

The visitors had once again knocked out Rovers’ first corner of the game in the half hour, the first time Lyon had taken a shot from Byrne that went straight into McKeown’s hands.

Despite their superiority, Rovers took advantage of an easy penalty to double their lead after six minutes. Ryan Rainey was harshly judged for holding Green when he vaulted for a Rory Gaffney cross.

Gaffney scored sympathetically from 12 yards to score his eleventh goal of the season.

If he was pissed off by this questionable refereeing decision, Harps had no complaints when Rovers extended his lead further in the 40th minute.

Horgan has seven matches left to avoid automatic relegation

Farrugia and Gaffney combined well down the right to work the hatch. Lyons put an end to his ninth shot of the year with a first-time rising shot past McKeown.

The defeat continued, after three minutes, Byrne passed a ball across to Farrugia to confidently find the net from his left foot.

To their credit, Harps didn’t lie down after the first half and scored a superb goal in the 57th minute. Eric McCouds provided the decisive pass to substitute Jaime Seig with a powerful shot past Alan Manos.

Minutes later, the Jordanian shook the crossbar for Rovers with a stunning scissor kick.

It provided a short-lived respite for Donegal’s side, as Rovers regained their four-goal advantage in 62 minutes.

McKeown saved a close shot from substitute Idomo Imako from Gaffney’s cross to give Burn a simple shot.

shamrock rovers: Alan Manos. Sean Gannon, Dan Cleary, Lee Grace; Gary O’Neill (Gideon Tetteh 64) and Shawn Kavanagh; Neil Farrugia (Simon Power 64), Jack Byrne, Andy Lyons (Victor Serdinyuk 64); Aaron Green (Aidomo Emakhu ht), Rory Gaffney (Graham Burke 64).

Vin Harps: James McKeown; Ethan Boyle, Rob Slevin (Jose Carrillo 85), Gary Boylan (Harry Nicholson 72); Ryan Connolly and Elie Mzie; Ryan Rennie, Dylan Duncan (Jaime Seige HT), Barry McNamee (Rob Janes 64); Philip Mihaljevich, Eric McCawds (Adam McCaffrey 85).

RuleDerek Tomney (Dublin).

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