Youth­ful Bit O’Red fin­ish off 2018 sea­son in style

The Sligo Champion - - SPORT - By JES­SICA FARRY

SHAM­ROCK Rovers man­ager Stephen Bradley branded his side’s per­for­mance ‘un­ac­cept­able’ as they suf­fered a 2-0 de­feat to Sligo Rovers at The Show­grounds on Fri­day night.

Bradley ac­cepted that his side were sec­ond best for most of the night, but was left an­gered by their dis­play.

“I’m dis­ap­pointed. We weren’t good enough and didn’t de­serve any­thing from the game.”.

Apart from a hand­ful of chances in the open­ing 10 min­utes, the Hoops rarely threat­ened the goal of Mitchell Beeney.

“We should have been ahead in the first 5/10 min­utes, we had one or two chances. But other than that, we didn’t do enough to have an im­pact on the game. We were slow in our pos­ses­sion and sloppy, no tempo out of pos­ses­sion. No we didn’t de­serve any­thing.

“We just switched off, we just looked like we switched off. You can’t do that in this league. It doesn’t mat­ter how good or bad you do, you get pun­ished. We ob­vi­ously switched off tonight and got pun­ished.

“It’s not good enough. It’s not ac­cept­able. They’re pro­fes­sional play­ers. That’s not ac­cept­able.”

Bradley’s job was the sub­ject of much spec­u­la­tion dur­ing the sea­son, but he was de­fi­ant and stuck it out, fin­ish­ing third and seal­ing Euro­pean foot­ball. But, he says that was not an achieve­ment.

SLIGO ROVERS SHAM­ROCK ROVERS

SLIGO Rovers fin­ished a dis­as­trous sea­son in style on Fri­day night as they de­feated Sham­rock Rovers 2-0 at The Show­grounds on the last day of the sea­son.

Mikey Dren­nan’s bi­cy­cle kick in the first-half opened the scor­ing with John Ma­hon’s sec­ond-half header giv­ing Brian Dor­rian’s side all three points.

Dor­rian took charge of his last game of the sea­son af­ter Ger­ard Lyttle left two weeks ago, and he was de­ter­mined to see his side take some­thing from this game to fin­ish the sea­son on a pos­i­tive note.

Liam Buck­ley was an­nounced as the club’s new man­ager ear­lier on the day, and he sat in the stands to watch his new side for the third con­sec­u­tive game.

The Hoops had al­ready se­cured a third place fin­ish, but Rovers could still move up to 7th and over­take Derry City af­ter the Candys­tripes’ de­feat to Bray Wan­der­ers last week, cou­ple with Rovers’ point over Bohs.

It was the Dublin­ers, how­ever, who got off to the bet­ter start on Fri­day night. Gary Shaw broke down the left hand side and forced Mitchell Beeney into his first save of the night with just three min­utes on the clock, be­fore Dan Carr’s shot was de­flected wide by John Ma­hon and Dylan Watts’ dan­ger­ous drive smacked the cross­bar.

The hosts started to threaten Alan Man­nus’ goal and were be­gin­ning to take con­trol of pro­ceed­ings when Mikey Dren­nan made it 1-0 to Rovers.

With his back to goal, Dren­nan got enough height to meet David Caw­ley’s ball from the left, and his over­heard kick caught Man­nus off-guard, giv­ing the Bit O’Red a pre­cious lead.

Brian Dor­rian’s side were well on top af­ter the restart, and picked up in the sec­ond-half where they left off in the first.

Adam Wixted’s free from the right was nod­ded in by lo­cal boy John Ma­hon, cap­ping off an ex-

Per­for­mance was ‘un­ac­cept­able’ says Hoops boss Bradley

cel­lent sea­son for the 19-year-old.

In truth, it was game over at this point, but Stephen Bradley’s side did try and make the score­line more flat­ter­ing in their favour.

Beeney had to force away a Watts free be­fore Joel Cous­train’s close range ef­fort just trick­led wide of Beeney’s post.

That re­sult earned Rovers a 7th place fin­ish, as Derry City suf­fered a heavy de­feat at the hands of St. Pa­trick’s Ath­letic.

Sligo Rovers: Mitchell Beeney; Kyle Cal­lan-McFad­den (Adam Wixted, 46) Sea­mus Sharkey, John Ma­hon, Pa­trick McClean; Liam Ker­ri­gan, Niall Mo­ra­han (Lewis Mor­ri­son, 92), David Caw­ley (Kris Twardek, 75), Jack Keaney; Mikey Dren­nan, Caolan McAleer.

Sham­rock Rovers: Alan Man­nus; Ethan Boyle (Sean Ka­vanagh, 50), Lee Grace, Joey O’Brien, Sam Bone; Bran­don Miele, Greg Bol­ger, Dylan Watts, Ro­nan Finn, Dan Carr; Gary Shaw (Sean Boyd, 66).

Ref­eree: Neil Doyle.

MIkey Dren­nan scores with a sen­sa­tional over­head kick. Pic: Carl Bren­nan.

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