Rampant Rovers target cup treble

Shamrock Rovers 2 Drogheda United 0

Rampant Rovers target cup treble

Goals early in each half from Gary McCabe and Tommy Stewart saw The Hoops lift the EA Sports Cup at Tallaght Stadium to remain on course for a hat-trick of cup wins this season.

Rovers had already won the Setanta Sports Cup back in May and have an FAI Ford Cup semi-final with Sligo Rovers to come next month.

Having lost 7-1 to Rovers in that Setanta Sports Cup final at the same venue earlier in the season, Drogheda put in a far better performance, but simply didn’t get the rub of the green over the 90 minutes on Saturday night.

A bright start by Drogheda counted for nothing as Rovers took the lead on 11 minutes. Shane Grimes was somewhat harshly adjudged to have tripped McCabe in the area to concede a penalty. Left-back Grimes was booked for his protest before McCabe scored emphatically from the spot.

Drogheda fell further behind on 57 minutes. A block tackle by Paul O’Conor on Richie Ryan resulted in the Drogheda midfielder inadvertently playing Stewart in on goal and the striker showed good composure to sidefoot to the net past keeper Micheal Schlingermann.

Rovers were reduced to ten men on 68 minutes when central defender Ken Oman received a second yellow card after Declan O’Brien went down all too easily under his challenge.

Drogheda then had central defender Derek Prendergast shown a straight red card for a foul on Rovers’ substitute Sean O’Connor on 86 minutes, all but ending their challenge.

“Certainly that’s an aim,” said winger Dennehy of their hopes of completing a cup treble by also winning the FAI Ford Cup.

“But we also think that we can still get that fourth spot in the league.

“We have a lot of important games between now and then and we’re going to have to really deliver as a squad if we’re going to climb up the table a little bit further and perform in the FAI Cup as well.”

Despite their glorious campaign in the cups, Rovers’ real frustration this year has been flopping in the league race.

“Yes, definitely,” agreed Dennehy. “I think maybe we thought there’d always be a chance to catch up in the league.

“But maybe in the league, especially early on, teams were just sitting behind the ball, they were just happy with a draw.

“For our part maybe we weren’t doing enough to win those games and that’s the other side of the coin, we needed to be doing enough to win games early in the season.

“But in the cups we’ve certainly performed on the days that it was needed and we’ve done that again.”

SHAMROCK ROVERS: Murphy; Sullivan, McGuinness, Oman, Powell; Finn, Robinson, Ryan, Dennehy (O’Connor, 81); McCabe (Elebert, 72); Stewart (Zayed, 90+1).

DROGHEDA UNITED: Schlingermann; Daly, McNally, Prendergast, Grimes; Byrne (Foley, 62); Cassidy (Rusk, 87), R. Brennan, O’Connor (Hynes, 74), G. Brennan; O’Brien.

Referee: Padraig Sutton (Clare).

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