Dundalk's Dean Watters climbs higher than Alan Byrne of Shelbourne. (Pic: Ciarán Culligan)
Leinster Senior Cup final
Dundalk 2-4 Shelbourne (AET)
Shelbourne claimed the Leinster Senior Cup for the first time since 2010 with a well-deserved extra-time victory over Dundalk at Oriel Park tonight.
Adam Evans was the matchwinner for Owen Heary’s men, scoring the second of his goals to put Shels ahead early in extra-time before Man of the Match James English converted from the penalty spot to seal the crown for the twentieth time in the Drumcondra men’s history.
Having dominated for lengthy spells, Evans’ first strike with nine-minutes to play handed Shels the lead for the first time. And it looked a decisive blow as the striker nodded English’s delivery past the helpless Gabriel Sava.
However, Dundalk’s youngsters fought back with Jake O’Connor arriving on the scene to head past Dean Delany and force the extra 30 minutes. The Lilywhites could even have won the game had Carlton Ubaezuono not dragged his effort across goal with virtually the final phase of play.
Conor Clifford had opened the scoring for the hosts with a stunning free-kick in the lead-up to the break, though his 30-yard effort was matched by Dayle Rooney’s second-half strike from virtually the same position.
From then onwards, Shels looked the likelier winners and, in the end, Dundalk can have no complaints as the large away following went home happy at the end of a long night. This despite having Niall Lanigan sent-off in the second-period of extra-time for a poor challenge of Dean Watters.
Dundalk: Gabriel Sava; Jason Woods, Jack Traynor, Gavin Smith, Shane Grimes (James Rice 78); Conor Clifford, Jake O’Connor; Cian Flynn, Jamie McGrath (Dean Watters 71), Carlton Ubaezuono; Thomas Stewart (Jack O’Keefe 72)
Subs not used: Ben Kelly (gk), Adam Finnegan, Aaron Townley, Luke Gorham
Shelbourne FC: Dean Delany; James Brown, Aidan Collins, Derek Prendergast, Dylan Kavanagh; Alan Byrne; Dayle Rooney, David O’Leary, James O’Brien (Niall Lanigan 113), Dylan Grimes (James English 53); Adam Evans
Subs not used: Jamie Quin (gk), Aaron Molloy, Chris Lyons, Aaron Ashe, Jackson Ryan
Referee: Paul McLaughlin (Monaghan)