Shamrock Rovers made it clear that their early season wobble is very much behind them with this emphatic victory over high-flying St Pat's at Richmond Park in the Airtricity League Premier Division.
A Thomas Stewart brace secured the points for the Tallaght Hoops. The first came on 36 minutes after Stewart pounced when Ryan Guy's clearance was intercepted by Paddy Kavanagh. James Chambers missed a penalty on 34 before Stewart netted number two with a shot into Gary Rogers' bottom right corner on 59.
Alex Williams scored a terrific free for Pat's on 90 but Rovers held on through the three minutes of added time to snatch three vital points.
Rovers started in frenetic fashion and could have been one up within a minute but for an excellent save by Pat's goalkeeper Rogers. Dan Murray headed on target from Danny Murphy's ball after a short corner but Rogers was alert and got a hand to the ball and turned it around the post to his right.
St Pat's owner Garrett Kelleher was an interested spectator from the director's box as his side endured a slow start. However, they soon found the form that has seen them rise to the top of the table and concede just two goals in ten games. They first threatened seriously on 10 minutes but Dave Mulcahy's flashing volley flew left of the target.
Rovers continued to be the more dominant of the two sides with a series of attacks on the Pat's goal - the best of them on 12 minutes when Chambers tested the strength of Rogers' woodwork following a Murphy corner.
On 22 minutes Pat's Paul Byrne headed wide from the right after a decent Guy cross, while a minute later Murphy did well to cleanly tackle Byrne who had raced in on goal.
Rovers upped the ante again and were awarded a penalty on 34 minutes after a Damien Lynch foul on Kavanagh. Chambers stepped up to take the spot kick but slammed the ball off the left hand upright and Pat's managed to clear the danger.
Rovers were ahead just two minutes later however when Guy's clearance was intercepted by Kavanagh with the ball falling for Stewart for a fine strike past Rogers, to the delight of the Rovers fans in the Shed behind Rogers' goal.
Rogers denied Dennehy making it 2-0 on the stroke of half time with another good save.
Pat's started the second half well and Guy had a shot from the left just 30 seconds in but he fired wide of the target but it was Rovers who would get the next goal.
That came on 59 minutes when Stewart collected a Robert Bayly ball from the centre, jinked along the left wing, cut in and unleashed an unstoppable drive beyond Rogers and into the bottom right corner of the net.
Stewart had a chance for a hat-trick on 72 minutes but shot straight at Rogers from the left, much to the clear consternation of sub Gary Twigg who was unmarked on the edge of the area.
On the stroke of full time Williams slammed a terrific free kick past Rovers 'keeper Alan Mannus but despite an exciting three minutes of added time Pat's couldn't find an equaliser.