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MATCH REPORT: Shamrock Rovers 3-1 Sligo Rovers

Half-time substitute Graham Burke showed his class this evening, with a 15 minute hat-trick in Tallaght, as Shamrock Rovers defeated Liam Buckley's Sligo Rovers by three goals to one.

Stephen Bradley made 7 changes to his side for the starting-eleven that defeated Finn Harps in Dublin on Friday evening, whilst the Bit o'Red made five changes to their starting line-up from Friday's disappointing defeat in Tolka Park to Shelbourne.

The opening 45 minutes lack any real creativity or clear-cut chances, with a strong wind blowing through Tallaght forcing both sides to make uncharacteristic mistakes.

The Hoops made four changes at half-time, in the hope of creating more chances and putting the Sligo defence under pressure - something they lacked in the first-half.

And just seven minutes into the half, the Hoops were rewarded when Graham Burke was fed the ball by Jack Byrne, and the substitute calmly fired beyond former Hoop Richard Brush at his near post.

Two minutes later, it was two. Rovers broke on the counter, and Rory Gaffney picked up the loose ball in-front of the travelling away support, before firing across to Burke who found himself one-on-one with Brush and he slotted beyond the net-minder to double the Hoops lead.

Burke completed the hat-trick with twenty minutes to go, when Andy Lyons laid back to Burke on the edge of the Sligo box, and his first-timed effort skimmed underneath the arms of Brush and into the back of the Sligo net.

Liam Buckley's side netted a consolation goal with ten minutes remaining on the clock through a substitute of the own. Aidan Keena drove down the right-hand channel before unleashing a ferocious effort beyond Alan Mannus in front of the South Stand to give the away support something to cheer for for their journey to the capital.

Stephen Bradley's side comfortably saw out the remaining minutes to pick up another three points at homme this season, and going top of the Premier Division table in doing-so, after Derry City were held to a scoreless draw in the Ryan McBride Brandywell Stadium by St. Patrick's Athletic this evening.

All eyes will be on Tallaght Stadium this Friday evening, as Rovers host a top-of-the-table clash as Derry City come to town, in a 7:45pm kick-off - which will be broadcast live on RTÉ 2 from 7:30pm.

Sligo Rovers, meanwhile, host Tim Clancy's St. Patrick's Athletic side at The Showgrounds this coming Saturday in a 7:45pm kick-off.

Shamrock Rovers: Mannus, Hoare, Lopes (C), Kavanagh; Cotter, Watts, O'Neill (46' McCann), Farrugia (46' Lyons); Byrne (75' Towell), Emakhu (46' Burke), Greene (46' Gaffney).

Sligo Rovers: Brush; Banks, Buckley, Pijnaker, McCourt; Bolger, Keogh (62' Fitzgerald), Horgan (79' O'Sullivan), McDonnell (83' Morahan); Hamilton (62' Keena), Mata (62' Heaney).

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