Date Time League Season
18 September 2021 7:45 pm Premier Division 2021

Match Report

Gaffney delivers Shamrock Rovers win

Sligo Rovers ceded all three points to rivals Shamrock Rovers tonight at the Showgrounds, with Rory Gaffney’s goal enough to secure them the 1-0 triumph.

Effectively gutting The Bit O’Red second surge in the title race, the showcase from Stephen Bradley’s team asserts their ascendancy at the top of the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division.

Sligo will have been disappointed not to have pulsed more into the match after the 24th minute game changer but despite glimmers of promise their lack of creativity up front is to blame for the setback.

Before the kick-off this one promised to be a cracker with both sets of fans ensuring an electric atmosphere played host in the West.

The opening exchanges reflected that tense nature, Shamrock Rovers finding their feet up front with efforts from Barry Cotter, Gaffney and Ronan Finn while the same could be said for the The Bit O’Red attempting to push forward through Walter Figueira and Andre Wright.

As sure as rain is wet Greg Bolger managed to pick up a yellow card just before his ex-outfit secured the opener. Gaffney made good on his early bright sparks to slot the ball through Ed McGinty’s legs and into the back of the net.

This strike gave the visitors the confidence they needed to push on, simultaneously sending Sligo on the back foot with their tenacity. Forcing McGinty into a few tough saves, the score-line remained the same at the interval thanks to John Mahon and Co.

The start of the second half saw the same story with Hoops excelling in the driving seat, but as time went on tensions rose, cards were issued to Finn, Richie Towell, Roberto Lopes and Daniel Mandriou while Sligo picked away for an equaliser.

Opportunities from Melvyn Lorenzen and Figueira all came close, but even with the five minutes added time the absence of young John Kenny was evident as that moment never came for the home squad.

This was big win for Shamrock Rovers, as the result sees them six points clear of St Patrick’s Athletic and in poll position coming into the back end of the season.

  • 95'

    All over. 1-0 to Shams the final score

  • 93'

    Sligo continuing to push for an equaliser and the crowd getting behind them

  • 90'

    Melvyn Lorenzen gets a shot off and it goes wide. 5 minutes added time to come

  • 87'

    Goalscorer Rory Gaffney off, Aidomo Emakhu on Shamrock Rovers

  • 85'

    Chance Rovers, ball played into the box but Shams keep it out

  • 83'

    Sub for Shams, Daniel Mandriou taken off for Chris McCann. Ronan Finn off for Neil Farrugia

  • 79'

    It stays 1-0 in the Showgrounds heading into the final 10. Is there yet to be a Sligo goal to equalise remains to be seen

  • 75'

    Massive chance for Sligo there as Melvyn Lorenzen leaps for a cross but can\'t get his head to it

  • 72'

    Lopes and Mandriou booked

  • 72'

    Tensions rising in the Showgrounds and referee Nigel Doyle becoming more and more involved

  • 71'

    Bolger's free kick find John Mahon but he has no where to go but backward.

  • 69'

    Corner for Sligo as the rain starts to pour

  • 67'

    Yellow for Richie Towell. DeVries replaced by Melvyn Lorenzen

  • 64'

    Gaffney shot results in another corner for Shams

  • 63'

    Shamrock Rovers corner

  • 59'

    Yellow for Finn for a foul on McCourt

  • 57'

    Walter whacks a low ball into the box intended for Wright but he can't get a touch to it

  • 55'

    DeVries down injured brings a stop to the play

  • 53'

    Sligo Rovers under siege here by Shams at the minute who are ploughing forward in numbers.

  • 50'

    Gaffney gets a head to a cross put into him and he tries to tuck it away at the back post but it doesn't come off

  • 47'

    Corner Sligo. McDonnell takes but it goes over everyone in the box and sends Shams on the counter

  • 45'

    2nd half underway!

  • 45'

    1 minute added time

  • 45'

    Bolger wins Sligo a freekick. Takes it himself and makes designs on Wright in the box who powers a header towards goal. Wide ball

  • 40'

    Walter gets a shot off on Mannus in what is the Bit O'Reds first in a while

  • 38'

    Gaffney strikes one at McGinty but he swallows it and keeps the scoreline at 1-0

  • 37'

    Garry Buckley and John Mahon hand Sligo a get out of jail free card there are they get their side out of a spot of bother. As does McGinty when he gets on the end of Ronan Finn shot

  • 35'

    Andre Wright finds a touch of space just outside the box and while it doesn't come off it gives Sligo some attacking momentum

  • 33'

    Richie Towell plays a cross into the danger area but it's pulled out of the air by McGinty

  • 32'

    Passed the half hour mark now and the atmosphere remains electric in the Showgrounds. Still 1-0 to Shams thanks to Gaffney's 24 the minute strike

  • 28'

    Sligo struggling to get forward after conceding the goal. Shamrock Rovers on the other hand have grown significantly in confidence

  • 24'

    Gaffney bags the opener as he catches the rebound from O’Neill’s long-range shot and slots the ball through McGinty's legs

  • 22'

    Bolger tackle earns him a yellow after a disagreement with the ref

  • 20'

    Adam McDonnell free locates Colm Horgan's head but the effort sails over the bar

  • 19'

    Cross field ball from Horgan finds the dugouts instead of McCourt and its out for a Shamrock Rovers throw

  • 17'

    Gaffney fires one at McGinty and it comes back out to a green shirt but the ball skirts wide

  • 16'

    Shams beginning to pick things up a little now. No goals to report but an increase in intensity from both sides

  • 13'

    Good work from Sligo to get out a tricky spot their in defence under pressure

  • 10'

    Great touch from Gaffney to try and play through his teammates but to no avail. He\\\'s been good for the Hoops in these early stages but Sligo have been more dangerous going forward.

  • 7'

    Horgan attempts to pick out Andre Wright in the box but its out for a Bit O'Red corner

  • 5'

    Strong shot from Cotter is well collected by McGinty

  • 4'

    Shamrock rovers free kick that came from a Walter infringement goes out over the sideline. Throw in Rovers

  • 2'

    Gaffney with an early cross int o the box for Shams but its out for a corner. Watts takes

  • Kick off in the Showgrounds

  • Nearing kick off in the Showgrounds! The rain is holding off as of yet and there's a lively atmosphere amid both fans. Shaping up to be a good game here in Sligo

  • The teams are in! As suspected no Kenny or Banks in the line up for Sligo.

  • At the other end of the field Shamrock Rovers are also not too shabby, Rory Gaffney and Graham Burke both with nine goals each in 2021. Sligo recently sold their top scorer in Jordan Gibson, but Romeo Parkes and Jonny Kenny are still plucking away for their outfit.

  • Two of the best defensive outlets in the Premier Division, Sligo keeper Ed McGinty will be hoping to add another tally to his clean sheet statistics this evening (seven), as will rival net minder Alan Mannus who has accumulated five of his own throughout the course of the season.

  • Mark Byrne, Shane Blaney and Regan Donelon have been ruled out of this evening’s match for the hosts due to injury, while Johnny Kenny and Lewis Banks are also concerns as they gathered niggles during the week.

  • There The Hoops picked up a routine 2-0 victory over Waterford at Tallaght Stadium. As Daniel Mandriou netted twice to set right their previous series 26 loss to Finn Harps.

  • With a new formation and personnel for Sligo working in two of their last three games , Liam Buckley’s men are coming off the back of a renewed run of form, while visitors tonight have been idle since last Friday.

  • Namesakes come to blows this evening in The Showgrounds as Sligo Rovers host Shamrock Rovers in the League of Ireland Premier Division (KO- 7:45pm). My name is Alanna Cunnane and I will be bringing you tonight’s match commentary

Sligo Rovers

1Ed McGinty Goalkeeper
3Colm Horgan Defender
5Robbie McCourt Defender
6Greg Bolger Midfielder 22'
9Ryan DeVries Forward
10Walter Figueira Forward
17Adam McDonnell Midfielder
21John Mahon Defender
22David Cawley Midfielder
26Garry Buckley Midfielder
44Andre Wright Forward
30Richard Brush Goalkeeper
4Danny Kane Defender
8Niall Morahan Midfielder
11Seamus Keogh Midfielder
12Mark Byrne (Sligo) Midfielder
19Regan Donelon Defender
20Darren Collins Forward
27Romeo Parkes Forward

Shamrock Rovers

1Alan Mannus Goalkeeper
2Sean Gannon Defender
4Roberto Lopes Defender 69'
5Lee Grace Defender
16Gary O’Neill Midfielder
17Richie Towell Midfielder 67'
8Ronan Finn Midfielder 58'
6Barry Cotter Defender
20Rory Gaffney 38 Forward 24'
7Dylan Watts Midfielder
14Daniel Mandriou 26 Midfielder 71'
25Leon Pohls Goalkeeper
21Adam Wells Defender
24Max Murphy Midfielder
26Chris McCann 14 Midfielder
27Dean McMenamy Midfielder
38Aidomo Emakhu 20 Midfielder


Past Meetings

(Series 13)
Premier Division
Tallaght Stadium

(Series 4)
Premier Division
The Showgrounds

(Semi Final)
Tallaght Stadium

(Series 14)
Premier Division
Tallaght Stadium

(Series 5)
Premier Division
The Showgrounds


The Showgrounds
The Showgrounds - Sligo Rovers F.C., Magheraboy Road, Knappagh Beg, Sligo, Sligo Municipal Borough District, County Sligo, Connacht, F91 P523, Ireland

Alanna is currently pursuing her studies in journalism at Dublin City University and writes regularly for her local media outlets in Sligo.