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Monday 25 September 2017

Twigg breaks UCD hearts to put Rovers top

Gary Twigg proved the hero once again as his late goal ensured Shamrock Rovers joined Dundalk at the top of the Airtricity League Premier Division table with a 2-1 victory over UCD at Belfield. The game looked to be heading for a draw after James Chambers free-kick had given the Hoops an early lead only for Paul Corry's deflected shot to put the Students level.

Then, in the 85th minute, a hopeful ball was flicked on by substitute Dessie Baker for Twigg, who raced through and smashed the ball past Billy Brennan to give his side the win.

Rovers had started the better, and took the lead in the eighth minute, the first goal UCD have conceded in 458 minutes of league football.

After a foul by Greg Bolger, Chambers' expertly placed free-kick found the bottom corner.

As the light drizzle stopped, UCD got going. Paul Corry found winger Dwayne Wilson, whose cross was well struck by David McMillan but Rovers keeper Alan Mannus got down to save.

Just before the quarter-hour, the Students equalised. Corry's shot from 25 yards hit Rover's Paddy Kavanagh, and spun past Mannus into the net.

Rovers began the second half as they had the first. Chambers' cross-shot was brilliantly saved by Brennan. From the resulting corner, Chris Turner's header was cleared off the line by Brian Shorthall.

On 65 minutes, Turner's goal-bound header was turned over, and with the introduction of Baker, in place of Turner, Rovers went 4-4-2 and easily kept the ball away from UCD.

The winner came with five minutes to go. Baker's dangerous cross was cleared by Shorthall, giving the Hoops a corner. UCD failed to clear the ball properly and up popped Twigg to grab his sixth goal in eight games.

As UCD tried desperately to hit back, Shorthall's half-volleyed effort flew wide just wide.

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