Rovers to the four in Derby
Bohemians 0 Shamrock Rovers 4 - Fenlon's men lift Bohs curse as hooligans mar big clash
That Gypsy curse is well and truly lifted as a dominant Shamrock Rovers managed, at last, to get a win over their Dublin rivals Bohemians with the sort of devastating form which they hope will sustain a real title bid.
But sadly the image of the game was again damaged by some on-field disturbances between supporters, over 20 fans clashing on the pitch, incidents sparked off after Rovers scored their fourth goal 12 minutes from time.
Immediately after that goal from Gavin Brennan, two Bohs fans ran onto the pitch and approached the away supporters in the Shed End, sparking a reaction from the away fans and up to to two dozen 'supporters' then brawled, meaning that the game could only be finished safely with a heavy Garda presence, batons drawn by Gardai at one point to prevent some Bohs fans from going at the away supporters.
In reaction to the crowd trouble, Rovers manager Pat Fenlon said: "It's terrible to see. But the only way to stop this is if it's a criminal offence for someone to step on the pitch like it is in England and Scotland."
Bohs were unable to make a period of first-house dominance count and a goal just before, and just after, the half-time break gave Rovers the sort of lead which they could not lose. Former Bohs man Killian Brennan ran the show in midfield while Ayman Ben Mohamad, so impressive for the Gypsies in recent weeks, was unable to bring to bear the same influence he's had of late.
Rovers came into the game looking for a response to last week's 3-0 mauling up in Derry, but it was Bohs who looked like the side with more hunger and more to prove early on.
A great move from Ben Mohamed set up a chance for Keith Buckley in the 12th minute but Murphy saved, Murphy denying Derek Pender minutes later. On 18 minutes Eoin Wearen saw a shot from distance go just over the bar while Bohs had their best chance to go in front on 20 minutes, Simon Madden clearing the danger after a slip by Dave Webster in the box gifted an opportunity to Ismahil Akinade.
It took a while but Rovers did take control and began to make keeper Delany work.Youngsters Mikey Drennan and Brandon Miele had efforts but the lead goal fell to the long-serving McCabe just before the break.
A Killian Brennan free kick was delected out as far as McCabe and the midfielder struck it well to send his shot past Delany, giving Rovers that half-time lead.
Bohs' optimism at overhauling the one-goal deficit lasted only a minute as almost immediately after the restart, Rovers went 2-0 up.
Bohs dithered in possession in their own box, the ball fell for Miele who powered his way towards goal and fired home a shot which was beyond the reach of Delany.
Rovers' experience showed after that as they never showed signs of losing their grip on the tie.
McCabe set up Miele who calmly scored a third on 73 minutes, and Gavin Brennan clipped a shot past Delany on 78 minutes to make it 4-0 and a night to remember for the Hoops, but sadly the policing of this fixture will have to be looked at before the sides can meet again.