Ronan Finn may have left Dundalk last year but his Man of the Match performance at Tallaght Stadium ensured that the Lilywhites’ faint hopes of retaining the title are still alive, for another few weeks at least. Finn led a youthful Shamrock Rovers
Ronan Finn may have left Dundalk last year but his Man of the Match performance at Tallaght Stadium ensured that the Lilywhites’ faint hopes of retaining the title are still alive, for another few weeks at least.
Finn led a youthful Shamrock Rovers side to a resounding 3-1 win over champions elect Cork City and thoroughly enjoyed the experience. “It was a good game to play in. Cork are a fantastic side. They have beaten us in the league twice already this season. We wanted to play our own game and impose ourselves. We did that,” was Finn’s assessment of his team’s slick passing display which contrasted with the more direct style employed by the visitors.
The former UCD midfielder scored Rovers first with a deflected shot from and distance and popped up with an assist for the clincher, scored by substitute Michael O’Connor with five minutes left just as City were pressing hard for an equalizer. That was after Gearoid Morrissey had rejuvenated the faltering Leesiders with a fine strike of his own on 70 minutes.
Finn puts the result down to a squad that has matured as the campaign has progressed. “Start of the season we dropped a lot of silly points – there was a bit of inconsistency. We’ve got better as the season has gone on – since the break. We’re definitely a good side and we showed that tonight.”
It was a sixth win on the bounce for the Hoops in all competitions and boosts their European ambitions. “European qualification is a must,” asserts Finn. “We’re building something for the future. And we’re building for next season as well. The manager has full faith in the squad.”
That faith included a starting place against Cork City for 17-year-old Aaron Bolger, who pressed his captain hard for the man of the match award. “I know how good Aaron is,” purrs Finn. “It was a pleasure (to play with him).”
With an exciting mix of youth and experience, the future looks bright at Shamrock Rovers.