By Killian McHale

Shamrock Rovers moved to the top of the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division for the first time this season with a comfortable 3-0 away win over UCD AFC in The Belfield Bowl on Friday night.

Goals from Trevor Clarke, Aaron Greene and an Adam Wells own goal saw the Hoops extend their unbeaten run to 12 games,

Coming into the clash against the Students, Stephen Bradley made five changes to his side that defeated Bohemians in Tallaght a week previous, with Sean Hoare, Ronan Finn, Darragh Nugent, Aaron Greene & Graham Burke all coming into the starting eleven.

After an opening 15 minutes where clear-cut chances were few and far between for both sides, it was the Hoops who opened the scoring in style in the 17th minute.

Trevor Clarke went on one of his mazy runs down the left-hand channel that started inside his own half, before finding Graham Burke inside the student’s box, who in turn found the free Clarke on the penalty spot who made no mistake to net his second goal in as many games to give Rovers a deserved lead.

Minutes later Rovers came close to making it two, with the same duo linking up as Clarke found Burke outside the UCD box, but the attacker dragged his effort wide of Kian Moore’s left-hand post.

Rovers controlled the game, stringing passes right across the pitch, but struggled to break down the stubborn UCD defence.

With 38 minutes on the clock, Kenny, Greene & Burke all linked up well outside the Student’s box, before Burke forced Moore into a low finger-tip save around his post. Just moments later, Sean Hoare volleyed inches wide following a Markus Poom in-swinging free-kick.

Rovers doubled their lead just eight minutes into the half when Aaron Greene netted his first of the season guiding home a Markus Poom cross from the right wing/

Rovers made sure of the points 20 minutes from time when substitute Justin Ferizaj raced down the wing before his cross was deflected into the UCD goal by former Hoop Adam Wells to make it 3-0 to the away side.

A comfortable night’s work for Stephen Bradley’s side, as the Hoops move to the crest of the Premier Division table after a strong performance.

It’s a quick turnaround, with yet another Dublin derby on the horizon on Monday evening as St. Patrick’s Athletic are the visitors to Tallaght in an 8 pm kick-off.

UCD: Moore; O’Regan, Keaney ©, Wells, Osam; Higgins (57’ Dempsey), Gallagher (57’ Clarke), Nolan (65’ Doyle), Behan, Norris (65’ O’Connor); Kinsella Bishop (84’ Izekor).

UCD Unused Substitutes: Colin Bolton (GK), Ryan Bowden, Fintan Agnew.

Shamrock Rovers: Pohls; Hoare, Lopes, Cleary; Finn © (46’ Gannon), Nugent, Poom, Clarke; Burke (64’ Noonan), Greene (70’ Ferizaj), Kenny (64’ Gaffney).

Shamrock Rovers Unused substitutes: Toms Leitis (GK), Lee Grace, Gary O’Neill, Richie Towell, Neil Farrugia.

Attendance: 1,673.