Drogs well hammered by Hoops in Setanta final

Drogs well hammered by Hoops in Setanta final

Drogheda United 1 Shamrock Rovers 7

Shamrock Rovers regained their all-Ireland title in emphatic fashion as they overwhelmed Drogheda United to win the Setanta Sports Cup final before a crowd of 4,022 at Tallaght Stadium.

Early goals from James Chambers and Sean O’Connor set the tone as Rovers controlled the game from the start. Karl Sheppard added a third just before half-time to further deflate Drogheda.

A brace from man-of-the-match Ronan Finn early in the second half sealed the victory. Gary O’Neill got a consolation goal back for Drogheda before Billy Dennehy added Rovers’ sixth and seventh strikes to complete the scoring in a surprisingly one-sided decider.

Shamrock Rovers thus join Drogheda United in having won the Setanta Sports Cup twice.

Rovers’ bright start was rewarded with the opening goal on 12 minutes when O’Connor’s cross from the left was met by Drogheda midfielder Ryan Brennan. But his attempted headed clearance struck Rovers’ midfielder Chambers on the head to ricochet into the net.

It got worse for Mick Cooke’s side scarcely 90 seconds later. A cross from Danny Ledwith struck Drogheda defender Shane Grimes on the back to fall fortuitously at the feet of O’Connor who drilled an angled shot into the far corner.

Sava made two good stops before Rovers' third goal arrived on 44 minutes. Finn came alive to thread a delightful ball through for the run of Sheppard who slid the ball past Sava.

If the game wasn’t already over as a contest, it most certainly was by the tenth minute of the second half after Rovers had scored twice more inside a minute.

The fourth goal came on 54 minutes when Finn drilled a shot from 20 yards home off a post. And the midfielder was there once more to make it 5-0, showing delightful feet inside the area to shoot home after Dennehy crossed from the left.

O’Neill stabbed home a Ryan Brennan shot from virtually on the goal line on 65 minutes as Drogheda pulled a goal back.

But it was Rovers’ day and they hadn’t finished yet. Dennehy, whose late, late free-kick in Cork got Rovers to the final, rounded Sava to slide home their sixth goal on 73 minutes.

And winger Dennehy was there again to add the seventh three minutes from the end of normal time to complete the rout.

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