Amond’s brace fires Sligo into final

PADRAIG AMOND’S two-goal blast scuppered Shamrock Rovers’ dream of a domestic treble in last night’s cracking EA Sports Cup semi-final at The Showgrounds.

The former Hoops striker scored in the 17th and 48th minutes to lay the foundation for Sligo’s first appearance in the League Cup final in 12 years.

Billy Dennehy, James Chambers and Robert Bayly were involved in a promising move at the start of the first half as the Hoops ran straight at the Sligo defence but they failed to find an end product.

Amond went close for the home side on seven minutes as Paul Cook’s men began to get to the pace of the game but Gary Twigg broke the deadlock on 17 minutes following a throw-in by Stephen Rice.

Sligo struck back, Amond bringing the sides level less than 30 seconds later with a quick counterattack.

Hoops keeper Alan Mannus brought off a stunning save to keep a blistering Gary McCabe shot out on the 31st minute. But the visitors were unable to find an equaliser in spite of the best efforts of Thomas Stewart and substitute Stephen Bradley.

SLIGO ROVERS: Gibson, Keane, Davoren, Peers, Foran, O’Grady, Boco, Ryan, Doyle, McCabe, Amond.

Subs: Ventre for O’Grady (71); Blinkhorn for Amond (83); Russell for Boco (91).

SHAMROCK ROVERS: Mannus, Stevens, Price, Flynn, Rice, Murray, Chambers, Dennehy, Bayly, Twigg, Stewart.

Subs: Kavanagh for Bayly (59); Bradley for Chambers (67).

Referee: N Doyle (Dublin)

Monaghan United 1 Dundalk 0

By Peter Hughes

A SUPERB left-foot finish from Cathal O’Connor in the 86th minute sent Monaghan United into the EA Sports Cup final at the expense of north-east rivals Dundalk in a pulsating encounter at Gortakeegan.

First Division Monaghan started nervously, and Dundalk’s Matthew Tipton flashed a volley just over the bar in the opening minutes.

But United settled, and from their first corner on 16 minutes, captain Brian Gartland beat Dundalk keeper Peter Cherrie to the ball but his header dropped wide. Cherrie then made a vital save when Cathal O’Connor broke clear on goal.

A seesaw first half ensued with both sides pushing forward purposefully but unable to break the deadlock. Gartland for the Mons and Tom Miller for Dundalk both came close with headers.

Dundalk were fastest out of the blocks after the break, Tipton dispossessing Sean Brennan and testing Gabriel Sava with a delightful chipped effort. United came agonisingly close on 66 minutes, Sean Brennan crashing a 30-yard free-kick off the crossbar.

And then, with four minutes remaining, O’Connor latched onto Darragh Hanaphy’s pass, cut inside and drilled the ball past Cherrie to send United into their first-ever senior cup final.

MONAGHAN UNITED: Sava; Collins, McMahon (Whelan 54), Gartland, Grimes; O’Connor, McCrossan, Byrne, Clancy; Hughes (Hanaphy 79), Brennan (Bermingham 72).

DUNDALK: Cherrie; Madden, Burns (Hatswell 23), Miller, Kelly; Bennett, Kearns, McDonnell, Maher (McGuigan 72); Tipton, Lennon (Kudozovic 72).

Referee: Damien Hancock.

More in this section

CourtsSoccerPlace: The ShowgroundsPlace: DublinPlace: MonaghanPerson: AmondPerson: Billy DennehyPerson: James ChambersPerson: Robert BaylyPerson: Paul CookPerson: Gary TwiggPerson: Stephen RicePerson: Alan MannusPerson: Gary McCabePerson: Thomas StewartPerson: Stephen BradleyPerson: GibsonPerson: KeanePerson: DavorenPerson: PeersPerson: ForanPerson: O’GradyPerson: BocoPerson: RyanPerson: DoylePerson: McCabePerson: VentrePerson: BlinkhornPerson: RussellPerson: MannusPerson: StevensPerson: PricePerson: FlynnPerson: RicePerson: MurrayPerson: ChambersPerson: DennehyPerson: BaylyPerson: TwiggPerson: StewartPerson: KavanaghPerson: BradleyPerson: N DoylePerson: Peter HughesPerson: Cathal O’ConnorPerson: Matthew TiptonPerson: Brian GartlandPerson: Peter CherriePerson: CherriePerson: GartlandPerson: Tom MillerPerson: TiptonPerson: Sean BrennanPerson: Gabriel SavaPerson: O’ConnorPerson: Darragh HanaphyPerson: SavaPerson: CollinsPerson: McMahonPerson: WhelanPerson: GrimesPerson: McCrossanPerson: ByrnePerson: ClancyPerson: HughesPerson: HanaphyPerson: BrennanPerson: MaddenPerson: BurnsPerson: MillerPerson: KellyPerson: BennettPerson: KearnsPerson: McDonnellPerson: MaherPerson: McGuiganPerson: LennonPerson: KudozovicPerson: Damien HancockEvent: EA Sports CupEvent: League CupEvent: EA Sports Cup finalEvent: CupOrganisation: SligoOrganisation: Shamrock Rovers’Organisation: HoopsOrganisation: Monaghan UnitedOrganisation: DundalkOrganisation: MonaghanOrganisation: UnitedOrganisation: Mons

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