GARY Twigg had a perfect last home game at Tallaght stadium Friday night as he scored both goals in Shamrock Rovers’ 2-1, all in all, deserved win against UC Dublin in the Airtricity League.
By Vegard Lilleas at Tallaght Stadium
Two goals by Rovers favorite, Gary Twigg, ensured a 2-1 half time lead for the hoops. An in-form David McMillan made sure that UCD entered the dressing room with a glimpse of hope before the second half.
Even though Twigg stole the show, it was McMillan strike that was the highlight of the first half. A spectacular volley from the UCD-striker in a loop over Oscar Jansson in the Shamrock goal could well be one of the goals of the season.
The first ten minutes was characterized by loss of possession by both teams, thus slowing down tempo. But after 17 minutes Tallaght stadium exploded. Top scorer and Rovers legend, Gary Twigg, score his 19th goal of the season as he passed Gerard Barron to give Shamrock an early, and easy, lead against “the students”.
Only two minutes later, “Twiggy”, made a clever run behind the UCD defence, and an equally clever pass from midfielder Stephen Rice unlocked the UCD defence yet again. Twigg scored his 20th of the season easily as he passed Barron yet again.
Shamrock had total control of play when the in-form David McMillan scored a stunner from 20 meters. Oscar Jansson in the Shamrock goal stood no chance against the volley strike.
Shamrock created enough chances to score both 4 and 5 goals, but inneffiency in front of goal gave Rovers only the one goal advantage going into the second half.
Both teams tried hard in the second half, but neither “the hoops” nor UCD managed to convert the few chances created into goals.
Nevertheless, it was UCD who created the most of the chances. Lead by the hard working David McMillan, UCD created some problems for the Rovers defence.
Keeper Oscar Jansson was lucky not to be sent off as he stopped McMillan at 17 meters as the last man. UCD players were furious at referee Paul Tuite with his decision.
Fortunately for Rovers, Jansson wasn’t sent off, and he became a vital player in the victory with a few good saves in the last ten minutes of the game.
Robert Benson, David McMillan and Barry McCabe made good efforts for UCD in the second half, but the luck wasn’t on “the students” side tonight.
Gary Twigg was substituted with around 15 minutes left to play in his last home game for the Rovers, escorted by standing ovations. He’s scored “when he wants” for Shamrock Rovers after joining the club in 2008, and he’s regarded as one of the top strikers ever to be in the club.
It was a fitting end to a successful career at Tallaght stadium.
In Derry, the home team beat St. Patrick’s Athletic, meaning that Shamrock Rovers still has a theoretical chance on grabbing the last Europa League spot, however very unlikely due to inferior goal difference.
Drogheda United beat newly crowned champions Sligo Rovers 2-1 at home, securing their Europa League spot for next season.
Shamrock Rovers 2 v 1 UC Dublin
Shamrock lineup: 1. Oscar Jansson, 27. Pat Sullivan, 5. Ken Oman, 17. Graham Gartland, 3.Conor Powell, 6. Stephen Rice, 22. Conor McCormack, 7. Gary McCabe, 20. Billy Denehy, 14. Aaron Greene, 9. Gary Twigg.
Subs: 30. Reyad Pieterse, 28. Shane O’Connor, 4. Craig Sives, 24. Thomas Stewart, 19. Sean Gannon, 10. Gary O’Neill, 23. Colin Hawkins.
UC Dublin lineup: 1. Gerard Barron, 13. Hugh Douglas, 3. Ciaran Nangle, 14. James Kavanagh, 5. Michael Leahy, 8. Paul O’Connor, 10. Robert Benson, 7. Gary Burke, 25. Samir Belhout, 23. David McMillan, 11. Chris Mulhall.
Subs: 16. Mark McGinley, 17. Daniel Ledwith, 18. Barry McCabe , 2. Mark Langtry, 26. Chris Lyons, 21. Dean Clarke, 15. Tyron McNelis.