Shamrock Rovers claimed another important SSE Airtricity League Premier Division victory when easily dismissing Galway United’s challenge at Tallaght Stadium.
Anxious to guarantee European football for the 2016 campaign, Rovers were far too crafty for a depleted Galway side.
In first half stoppage-time Gavin Brennan headed the Hoops into a deserved lead and Danny North added a second in the 66th minute.
With Galway keen to be safe and solid early on the opening quarter was tight, and the visitors’ had a penalty claim waved away by referee Anthony Buttimer in the 20th minute.
On a trip into Rovers territory Jake Keegan had an effort blocked by Ryan Brennan, but Buttimer decided that a spot-kick wasn’t warranted.
Surprisingly quiet initially, Rovers eventually went close in the 26th minute, as a Brandon Miele attempt was saved by Conor Winn.
Miele was causing Galway problems with skipper Paul Sinnott bravely denying the Rovers youngster on the half hour mark.
In the 37th minute Danny North shaved the woodwork with a delightful volley as Galway survived another significant scare.
But the Hoops hit the Galway net on the stroke of half-time when Gavin Brennan scored at the second attempt -heading home while on the ground after his first shot hit the post.
Galway were fortunate to only be trailing by one at the break as Winn was required to make a fine stop to thwart Miele.
When the action recommenced Galway came close to levelling on 48, but Conor Barry just failed to connect with a Gary Shanahan cross following a clever Jake Keegan pass.
A Galwegian lapse in concentration was nearly punished when Patrick Cregg fizzed a 61st minute effort narrowly wide.
Rovers pounced for a second in the 66th minute when Gavin Brennan outfoxed Kilian Cantwell which enabled North to supply the close-range finish.
Drennan and North spurned chances for an utterly dominant Rovers, who introduced former Republic of Ireland internationals Stephen McPhail and Damien Duff late on.
Shamrock Rovers: Barry Murphy; Simon Madden, Maxime Blanchard, Conor Kenna, David O’Connor; Gavin Brennan, Patrick Cregg, Ryan Brennan (Stephen McPhail, 80), Brandon Miele (Damien Duff, 80); Michael Drennan, Danny North (Gareth McCaffrey, 86).
Subs not used: Craig Hyland, Dave Webster, Dylan Kavanagh, Gary McCabe.
Galway United: Conor Winn; Cormac Raftery, Samuel Oji, Kilian Cantwell, Colm Horgan; Jake Keegan, Paul Sinnott, David O’Leary, Gary Shanahan (Conor Melody, 74); Conor Barry (Tomi Saarelma, 60); Enda Curran (Andy O’Connell, 69).
Subs not used: Ger Hanley, Aran McConnell.
Referee: Anthony Buttimer (Cork).