Shamrock Rovers 2
Dundalk FC were knocked out of the Leinster Senior Cup by Shamrock Rovers on Monday night.
Fielding a slightly weakened team, Ian Foster’s men made a explosive start to the game as Mark Quigley, looking lively through the middle, beat the defender with a quick change of feet before placing his shot on the right bottom corner but Robert Hughes could only palm it out for a corner.
Dundalk played some neat passes in midfield with a very high tempo but were unfortunate with their final ball on a few occasions.
In the 10th minute, Rovers were nearly handed the lead. Dundalk failed to clear and were nearly punished when Ciaran Kilduff got through but shot wide inside the area.
Dundalk’s defence looked comfortable and solid, easily dissolving Rovers’ attacks, that is until Gary O’Neill got inside on the 35th minute. He went on a dazzling run inside the middle, playing a one-two with Sean Byrne. He nutmegged the defender and was in the space behind Dundalk’ s defence.
Clean through on goal he clinically finished off the run,beating Cherrie with a low shot at the bottom corner.
Keith Ward followed up with a strike from 30 yards, but the shamrocks keeper saw it coming and saved comfortably.
Rovers could of doubled their lead late in the half. Colm Corcoran clipped the ball over Dundalk’s high line defence for for Gary O’Neill to chase, but Peter Cherrie read their intentions.
Second half Keith Ward found himself in space on the right flank his teasing cross for Mark Quigley was wonderfully intercepted by Shamrocks Pat Flynn.
Moments later McDonnell tried the spectacular. He dinged the ball outside the box, but Robert Hughes managed to push it over the bar on the dive.
Dundalk were growing in momentum now and playing with belief.
Eoghan Osbourne great run down the left,he found himself inside the box, his shot was blocked by the defender. Daniels Kearns couldn’t capitalise on the follow up he shot over from nine yards, a real chance for Dundalk.
In less than a minute Simon Madden dispossessed his man, teeing up Ross Gaynor in the box. He shot fractions wide of the Rovers top corner.
In the 75th minute, Dundalk’s missed opportunities would come back and sentence them.
After a well worked Shamrock Rovers set piece Colm Corcoran;s deflected shot, fell to the feet of Stephen O’Donnell.
He picked his spot and placed the ball beyond Peter Cherrie’s right hand corner. The mountain was too big to climb for Dundalk with no real physical presence upfront, the game finished 2-0 to Shamrock Rovers. A disappointing night in Oriel Park.
Dundalk: Peter Cherrie, Simon Madden, Eoghan Osborne (Nathan Murphy), Shane Guthrie, Colin Hawkins; Stephen McDonnell (Daniel Kearns), Keith Ward, Mark Quigley (Marc Griffin), Ross Gaynor; Johnny Breen, Greg Bolger. Unused subs: Paul Murphy.
Shamrock Rovers: Robert Hughes; Mick Doyle, Craig Sives (Sean Gannon), Pat Flynn, Jack Memery; Sean Byrne, Stephen O’Donnell, Colm Corcoran, Paddy Kavanagh; Ciaran Kilduff, Gary O’Neill (Paul Connolly). Unsued Sub:Donal Brannigan