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Shamrock Rovers hold nerve to claim Irish title

Published: Saturday 30 October 2010, 0.35CET
Shamrock Rovers FC have won the title in the Republic of Ireland on goal difference with a 2-2 draw at Bray Wanderers AFC securing a first championship since 1994.
by Aidan Fitzmaurice
from Dublin
Shamrock Rovers hold nerve to claim Irish title
Shamrock Rovers celebrate winning the championship ©Sportsfile
Published: Saturday 30 October 2010, 0.35CET

Shamrock Rovers hold nerve to claim Irish title

Shamrock Rovers FC have won the title in the Republic of Ireland on goal difference with a 2-2 draw at Bray Wanderers AFC securing a first championship since 1994.

Shamrock Rovers FC have ended their 16-year wait for the league title in the Republic of Ireland after Michael O'Neill's team clinched the championship on the final day of the season.

We really wanted to do it for those fans who stuck with the club through thick and thin
Danny Murphy

The Hoops, who drew 2-2 away to Bray Wanderers AFC in their last match, finished ahead of their Dublin rivals Bohemian FC on goal difference. Bohemians, champions in the previous two seasons, won 3-1 at home to Dundalk FC but needed a five-goal margin to claw back Rovers' advantage.

Shamrock were stunned on 20 minutes when Jake Kelly put Bray ahead and that goal, coupled with Bohemians taking the lead, meant the pre-match leaders were in danger of missing out. But efforts either side of the interval from top scorer Gary Twigg and Tommy Stewart proved pivotal despite Gary Shaw levelling for Bray.

"It's a brilliant day for the club and fans," said Rovers defender Danny Murphy. "We really wanted to do it for those fans who stuck with the club through thick and thin, through all the hard times when the club were relegated and nearly went out of football, so we are honoured to do it for them.

"We did it the hard way in the end with the final game of the season," added Murphy after picking up the second title of his career. "We had to come from behind but the best team in the country wins the league and this season that is us."

The campaign could bring further silverware for Rovers if they overcome Sligo Rovers FC in the FAI Cup final on 14 November to complete the double. Sligo finished third in the league thanks to a last-day win at home to Saint Patrick's Athletic FC, while Bray will play Galway United FC in a relegation play-off.

Last updated: 04/01/11 6.34CET

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