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Danny North on target as Shamrock Rovers beat St Pat's

SoccerBy Kevin Palmer
Danny North scored the winner for Rovers
Danny North scored the winner for Rovers

Danny North marked his competitive debut as Shamrock Rovers with the winning goal as the home side got their season off to a flying start with a 1-0 victory against St Patrick's Athletic at Tallaght Stadium.

North's goal after 17 minutes proved to be decisive on a night when Rovers stand-in ‘keeper Craig Hyland produced a dramatic last gasp save to secure all the points for Pat Fenlon's side on a windy night in Tallaght.

With the Rovers quintet Barry Murphy, Keith Fahey, Stephen McPhail and Brennan brothers Ryan and Gavin all suspended from the season opener, this was a big win for the home team who fended off an early surge from St Pat's before taking a lead.

Latching on to Christy Fagan's pass, North finished well when his big chance came and he celebrated with all the joy you might expect from a player eager to impress his new fans.

Ex-Hoop Ciaran Kilduff so nearly snatched a point for St Pat's at the death, but Hyland pushed his effort onto the bar and the points belonged to Rovers.

Elsewhere, Dundalk got their title defence off to a solid start as they record as 1-0 win against Longford thanks to a goal from Daryl Horgan, while President Michael D Higgins was on hand to see Galway United make a return to the League of Ireland, as they lost 2-1 against Derry.