Premier Division round-up: Shelbourne secure top-four finish as Shamrock Rovers lift title
Shelbourne secured fourth place after fighting back from 2-0 down to defeat Drogheda United at Weavers Park 4-2.
And the victory may help the Drumcondra club to a return to European football next year if St Patrick’s Athletic lift the FAI Cup next weekend against Bohemians at the Aviva Stadium.
Despite having chances throughout the first half, Duff’s side were dealt with two sucker-punches just before the half-time break.
A Dayle Rooney cross crept into the net to give them the lead inside 31 minutes before Adam Foley doubled their advantage four minutes later with a superb volley.
But the game turned on its head after the half-time break.
As he often does, Jack Moylan dragged Shels back into the game with a fine finish after getting on the end of a knockdown from Harry Wood.
And just moments later, Luke Heeney was dismissed for a second yellow card after fouling Will Jarvis.
Jarvis then levelled proceedings in the 54th minute before the fightback was complete just minutes past the hour mark when Moylan scored again.
Paddy Barrett then found the net with a header to seal the deal.
And that win meant that Bohemians and Dundalk’s respective wins over Cork City and UCD proved to be merely academic.
Shelbourne’s Damien Duff pic.twitter.com/jQiQZ2UjFv— Shelbourne FC (@shelsfc) November 3, 2023
Bohs eased to a 4-0 win over relegation-threatened Cork City at Dalymount Park.
A Jonathan Afolabi brace and a Danny Grant opener sent the Gypsies on their way before Sam Bailey turned into his own net for the Leesiders in Dublin 7.
But that was not the only heavy defeat of the night as UCD fell to a heavy 5-1 reversal against the Lilywhites.
Michael Gallagher gave the Students a shock lead before Stephen O’Donnell’s men took charge.
Paul Doyle levelled matters just before the half-time break while goals from Daryl Horgan and Daniel Kelly put Dundalk in command.
And legendary striker Pat Hoban - who may be leaving the club in the coming weeks - then scored a late brace.
Meanwhile, Shamrock Rovers lifted their 21st Premier Division title - and fourth in a row - after
defeating Sligo Rovers 4-2 at Tallaght Stadium.
The game proved to be Ronan Finn and Alan Mannus’ last for the club.
But they fell behind early on thanks to a Kailin Barlow strike.
However, Rovers were on top for most of the game and equalised on the stroke of half-time through Graham Burke.
Dylan Watts then scored a second half brace either side of a goal from Aaron Greene to seal the deal.
Fabrice Hartmann had the last say although when he scored a consolation.
Elsewhere, Derry City secured second place with a 3-0 win over FAI Cup finalists St Patrick’s Athletic.
Will Patching, Brandon Kavanagh and Jordan McEneff were all on target for the Candystripes.