Date Time League Season
18 February 2022 8:00 pm Premier Division 2022

Match Report

Rovers get title defence off to a flyer

Shamrock Rovers got their title defence off to a winning start, as they beat an inexperienced UCD side 3-0 at Tallaght Stadium this evening.

After dominating the early possession, Sean Hoare opened the scoring with a header from a corner.

Then Danny Mandroiu doubled the lead with a sensational diving header that left the ‘keeper helpless.

A defensive mistake then allowed substitute Graham Burke to round off the win with a third.

It was expected that the Hoops would dominate the ball up against a young Students side, and the opening stages lived up to this. However, it wasn’t the hosts that would have the best chances in the first 30 minutes.

Liam Kerrigan burst past the defence twice to test Alan Mannus in the Rovers net. On both occasions the experienced stopper was equal to the UCD number seven’s efforts.

When it seemed like every cross would land on the heads of Yoro and Todd at the heart of the visitors’ defence, Jack Byrne played in a wonderful corner. Sean Hoare ran from deep to build up the momentum to drill his effort past Lorcan Healy.

It wouldn’t take too long to find a second, as shortly before half-time, Byrne worked his magic again. A whipped ball to the left side of the box seemed to be harmless, but Mandroiu thought otherwise. The forward threw himself past his marker, generating plenty of power and placing a beautiful header inside the far post.

After pressing initially at the start of the second period, the game settled back into its familiar pattern. The Hoops were on top, and the youthful UCD were beginning to wilt.

Then defensive mistake after defensive mistake from the formerly solid Yoro and Todd, handed the home side plenty of chances to put the game away. Mandroiu missed two with poor finishes, but Burke wasn’t to be denied as he found the bottom corner.

It’ll be worrying for Andy Myler how much his side fell off after a reasonable start. Despite this, there isn’t a harder game to start the season with, and it’ll be other games that will decide the Students fate this term. For Rovers it was simply another day at the office, a high quality performance and a great start to their season.

  • Full Time: Shamrock Rovers 3-0 UCD.

  • 90'

    Jack Keaney blasts the free-kick well over the bar.

  • 90'

    Fantastic chance from a free-kick for UCD.

  • 88'

    Defensive mistakes have killed UCD in this half. They've conceded chance after chance, it really should be more than 3-0.

  • 84'

    Goal Rovers! Burke makes the most of a mistake from Todd. 3-0!

  • 83'

    Burke puts Healy to work again. He saves well at his near post and it's out for a corner.

  • 82'

    Adam Lennon is on for UCD.

  • 82'

    Colm Whelan is off for UCD.

  • 81'

    Aaron Greene plays through Emakhu. He shoots, but it's straight at Healy.

  • 76'

    Dylan Duffy and Evan Caffrey are off for UCD.

  • 76'

    Mark Dignam and Lennon Gill are on for UCD.

  • 74'

    Graham Burke and Aidomo Emakhu are on for the Hoops.

  • 74'

    Jack Byrne and Rory Gaffney are off for the Hoops.

  • 72'

    Cotter shoots after finding some empty space. His effort leaves a lot to be desired though.

  • 69'

    Aaron Greene and Richie Towell are on for Rovers.

  • 69'

    Dylan Watts and Danny Mandroiu are off for Rovers.

  • 68'

    Chaos in the box from a corner as the ball pings about this way and that. The Students can't clear and Gaffney has a go. It's blocked and goes out for another corner.

  • 66'

    Another defensive mistake as Todd swipes at the ball and falls over himself. Mandroiu races onto the loose ball but finds the legs of Healy with the shot.

  • 64'

    A poor pass from Yoro lets Mandroiu in. The forward shoots, but it's deflected and pings off the post. A lucky break for UCD.

  • 62'

    Jack Keaney is down after a heavy challenge from Andy Lyons.

  • 60'

    Caffrey drives forward and plays in Kerrigan on the right side of the box. It's a good chance, but Kerrigan slices his attempt and it slides harmlessly wide.

  • 59'

    Cotter finds himself in the action at the other end. He opens himself up to shoot from outside the area, but it ends up high in the south stand.

  • 58'

    Liam Kerrigan gets into a footrace with Barry Cotter. The UCD winger goes down in the box. No reaction from the ref.

  • 53'

    A quick move between Byrne, Gaffney and Mandroiu results in a Mandroiu shot. Healy has to make himself big to make the save.

  • 53'

    Sean Hoare heads over after a corner deflects high into the air. Hoare rises highest but can't find the target.

  • 52'

    Gaffney bursts into the area and shoots from a tight angle. Lorcan Healy is equal to the shot and scrambles the ball away for a corner.

  • 51'

    Barry Cotter goes down after a challenge in the box. The referee is having none of it though.

  • 45'

    Norris is on for the Students.

  • 45'

    Evan Ossam is off for the Students.

  • 48'

    The Students are already pushing higher and pressing Rovers as they play out from the back.

  • 46'

    And it's back underway in Tallaght. Colm Whelan kicks off.

  • Half-Time: Shamrock Rovers 2-0 UCD

  • 45'

    Goal Rovers! Jack Byrne finds Danny Mandroiu with a cross. Mandroiu puts plenty of power into the header and it flys past the 'keeper.

  • 45'

    Harry McEvoy is on for UCD.

  • 45'

    Michael Gallagher is off for UCD.

  • 43'

    Jack Byrne plays a deflected through-ball to Barry Cotter. The left-back powered past his marker but was stretching to get to the ball, his shot ended up well over the bar.

  • 39'

    Goal Shamrock Rovers! Sean Hoare scores a near-post header from a Byrne corner. For once the UCD defence couldn't get the cross away.

  • 37'

    Barry Cotter is on for Rovers.

  • 37'

    Neil Farrugia is off for Rovers.

  • 36'

    Neil Farrugia is down. Not good considering his injury history.

  • 34'

    A lovely passing interchange from the Hoops results in Gaffney playing in Mandroiu, with a wonderful pass from right to left. The number 14 opens up his body and wastes the chance with a weak shot.

  • 31'

    UCD are really putting a shift in, they're outworking Rovers. If they don't get anything from the game this evening, it won't be due to lack of effort.

  • 25'

    Mandroiu dinks a ball towards the right side of the box. Andy Lyons is well positioned to meet it, but can't quite connect. Lyons has been making his way into the box plenty of times, he could score a few goals this season.

  • 20'

    The first warning signs from the Students. They've had the best chances of the opening 20. Unfortunately for them, Liam Kerrigan hasn't found the net.

  • 18'

    Sean Brennan looks up and plays a perfect ball to find Kerrigan. The number seven tries to squeeze the ball low past Mannus, but it deflects up and harmlessly away.

  • 15'

    UCD hit on the counter. Evan Caffrey with some sublime hold up play. He turns, plays in Kerrigan, but the winger only finds the gloves of Alan Mannus.

  • 12'

    Farrugia hits the side netting in the best chance of the half so far. Grace picks up the ball on the edge of the box, and slides a ball to the free Farrugia, he opts for power and misses the target.

  • 11'

    There's been plenty of the ball for the Hoops so far, but the Students' compact shape is making it difficult to play through the middle. Yoro and Todd are working overtime to deal with crosses.

  • 9'

    Free-kick for Rovers in a dangerous position out wide, as Keaney fouls Hoare. The delivery isn't the best however, and UCD are able to push out.

  • 5'

    Mandroiu, Farrugia and Gaffney have all had a go at playing a pass into the UCD box. The Students' defence has been stout so far though.

  • 4'

    Early stages are suggesting that Rovers will be in control of possession as expected. Jack Byrne is dictating the tempo and picking passes.

  • 1'

    And it's underway at Tallaght Stadium. Rovers get the game going with the kick-off.

  • Eric Yoro making his debut for UCD this evening at centre-back is just 17 years-old. It'll be a real test for someone so inexperienced.

  • Interestingly, Stephen Bradley will not be on the touchline for the Hoops this evening due to a ban. Glenn Cronin will be taking charge.

  • UCD team news: Andy Myler starts with the deadly partnership that fired the Students to promotion. Colm Whelan leads the line, with support from Liam Kerrigan. Will they be able to score as freely at a higher level?

  • Rovers team news: Stephen Bradley gives a first league start to Andy Lyons and Jack Byrne. There's also a start for Neil Farrugia on the left, the wing-back missed a great deal of last season through injury.

  • Hello and welcome to Final Whistle's coverage of Shamrock Rovers vs. UCD in the Irish Premier Division. I'm Jon Parkin, and I will be covering this evening's game.

Shamrock Rovers

1Alan Mannus Goalkeeper
3Sean Hoare Defender 39'
4Roberto Lopes Defender
5Lee Grace Defender
7Dylan Watts 17 Midfielder
14Daniel Mandriou 9 Midfielder 45'
16Gary O’Neill Midfielder
20Rory Gaffney 38 Forward
22Andy Lyons Defender
23Neil Farrugia 6 Midfielder
29Jack Byrne 10 Midfielder
25Leon Pohls Goalkeeper
2Sean Gannon Defender
6Barry Cotter 23 Defender
8Ronan Finn Midfielder
9Aaron Greene 14 Forward
10Graham Burke 29 Forward 84'
17Richie Towell 7 Midfielder
26Chris McCann Midfielder
38Aidomo Emakhu 20 Midfielder


1Lorcan Healy Goalkeeper
2Michael Gallagher 4 Defender
3Evan Osam Defender
6Jack Keaney Midfielder
7Liam Kerrigan Midfielder
9Evan Caffrey 19 Forward
10Colm Whelan 12 Forward
11Dylan Duffy 8 Midfielder
21Sean Brennan Midfielder
22Sam Todd Defender
29Eric Yoro Defender
4Harry McEvoy 2 Defender
5Luke Boore Defender
8Mark Dignam 11 Defender
12Adam Lennon 10 Midfielder
15Alex Dunne Defender
19Lennon Gill 9 Forward
25Daniel Norris Forward
26Matthew Scott Midfielder

Past Meetings

8 - 2
eLOI Group C
Online Event

Shamrock Rovers v UCD AFC

(Series 14)
2 - 5
First Division
Tallaght Stadium

Shamrock Rovers v University College Dublin AFC

(Series 5)
3 - 1
First Division
UCD Bowl

University College Dublin AFC v Shamrock Rovers


John McLoughlinBrian Fenlon
Eoin Harte


Tallaght Stadium
Tallaght Stadium, Whitestown Way, Tallaght, Dublin 24, D24 XC9W

A master's journalism student at Birmingham City University. Jon Parkin has done interviews with numerous people from across the English football pyramid. He has also written for website My Old Man Said for over a year and a half.