Ciaran Kilduff scored twice to ease Shamrock Rovers into their first EA Sports Cup final since 1998 as they beat an at times tired looking Limerick 4-1 at Tallaght Stadium.
Rovers will meet Drogheda United in the decider on September 22nd after Mick Cooke’s side avenged their heavy league defeat to Sligo Rovers on Saturday with a 2-1 win at Hunky Dorys Park in the other semi-final.
The final is scheduled for Saturday, September 22nd, with Tallaght Stadium the most likely venue.
Sean Gannon, nominally a full-back though playing on the right side of midfield, put Rovers deservedly in front on 24 minutes.
Billy Dennehy flicked on Conor Powell’s ball down the left to put Killian Brennan in the clear. The crisp, low centre ran through to Gannon at the far post and the 21-year-old confidently swept home with his right foot.
Striker Kilduff, on his first start of the season following injury, added the second goal on 66 minutes, rifling home from close range from Dennehy’s low cross from the left.
A mix-up between Limerick skipper Pat Purcell and keeper Barry Ryan then gifted Kilduff a simple tap-in for his second goal of the game on 78 minutes.
Jeffrey Judge got Limerick's consolation goal three minutes from time with a fine angled drive. But Rovers had the final say when Dennehy got in behind onto Kilduff's through ball to beat Ryan for a fourth time two minutes into stoppage time.
Drogheda, beaten 4-1 at the Showgrounds less than 48 hours earlier, scored twice inside four minutes to take a 2-0 lead into the break against Sligo earlier in the day.
Gavin Brennan met Stephen Quigley’s cross at the back post to volley Drogheda ahead on 26 minutes.
Three minutes later a long ball caught out Sligo’s Ryan Connolly and Jeff Henderson to bounce through for the run of Tiarnan Mulvenna who shot past Richard Brush.
A terrific counter attacking move on the hour mark got Sligo back into the game.
Breaking out following a Drogheda corner, Raff Cretaro sent Connolly away and he fed fellow midfielder Lee Lynch who fired low past Gabriel Sava.