Shamrock Rovers 5-0 Cobh Ramblers
These two sides met in the opening round of the league at St. Colman’s Park in March when the home side dominated much of the game and finished 3-1 winners. Since then Cobh have been enjoying a brilliant season and travelled to Tallaght today as Southern Section leaders.
In the second minute of this afternoon’s game David Hurley glanced wide for the visitors and immediately at the other end Adam Doyle tested Cobh ‘keeper Conor Hogan with a long-range effort. That set the tone for much of the first half and although both sides were showing strong at the back they were also both creating some fine chances.
This was a very strong Rovers’ side though. Manager Aidan Price must wish he had this squad at his disposal every week. Sean Boyd has come back into the fold and today he was joined by Aaron Bolger, who gave a wonderful display last night against Drogheda, and Sam Bone.
The Hoops took the lead in the 28th minute when Bolger put the ball through the middle for Dobbs to take possession despite the close attention of his marker, the Wexford lad then wasted no time, leaving Hurley with no chance, for a sweet goal.
Eleven minutes later a swift Rovers’ attack saw Dobbs get a second to make it 2-0. Doyle had been proving to be an effective performer along the left, carving open some good opportunities and when he picked Dobbs out the striker met the ball with his head and clinically finished to the net.
Just coming up to half time Darren Murphy found himself brilliantly blocked by Sean Callan and then Scott McCarthy shot at Luca Gratzer who made a good save. Dobbs had a further opportunity to make it 3-0 almost on the blow of half time but he headed straight into Hogan’s hands.
As expected Cobh upped the pressure from the off for the second half. They found the Hoops in an uncompromising mood though and the back four of Callan, Cian Collins, Bone and Conor Gleeson were absolutely brilliant. Midfielder Richie English, team captain for the day, helped in with a spot of defending too and in the 63rd minute nipped in with a neat tackle on Murphy to concede a corner.
This was followed by a super move a minute later when Bolger held the ball up in the middle giving Collins time to get down the right flank before slotting the ball to the centre half; Collins then delivered it across the box for Dean Dillon who threw himself at the ball and almost connected with it.
Gratzer made a good save from Hurley in the 64th minute and the Hoops’ lead looked fairly safe. A well-taken corner kick by English in the 73rd minute was met by Boyd who rose above the Cobh defence to head in and make it 3-0. Two minutes later Boyd got his second to make it 4-0 after substitute Harry Cornally linked up from the middle.
The scoring wasn’t over yet with Dobbs getting his hat-trick in the 86th minute.
Shamrock Rovers: 1. Luca Gratzer; 21. Sean Callan, 16. Cian Collins, 2. Sam Bone, 3. Conor Gleeson; 15. Sean Boyd, 10. Richie English, 6. Aaron Bolger, 19. Dean Dillon, 7. Adam Doyle; 9. Aaron Dobbs. Substitutes: 17. Shane Stokes (Bolger 78m), 11. Emmanuel Lawal Boyd 78m), 22. Evan White (English 82m), 4. Darragh Gibbons (Bone 82m), 8. Harry Cornally (Bolger 64m).
Match report and photos (here) by Robert Goggins.