Daryl Kavanagh proved his point at Tallaght Stadium with a brilliant away goal as Cork City drew 1-1 with Shamrock Rovers in their Setanta Sports Cup semi-final, first leg.
Danny Murphy’s own goal gave Rovers a 38th minute lead. But Kavanagh, who didn’t play as much as he would have liked in his spell at Rovers last year, rifled in a stunning equaliser to put Cork in the driving seat to reach the final ahead of next Monday’s return.
A silly foul by City right-back Neal Horgan on Mark Quigley led to Rovers’ lead on 38 minutes. Quigley’s low free-kick beat the wall but looked like running comfortably through to keeper Mark McNulty. But Murphy, stretching to attempt to clear, succeeded in merely deflecting the ball into his own net.
Cork equalised just two minutes later. Murphy knocked a ball down the left to Daryl Horgan who picked out Kavanagh. And the ex-Hoop looked up and curled a delightful right-footer to the far corner of the net from some 30 yards.
In the other semi-final, goals from Gary O'Neill and David Cassidy gave Drogheda United a 2-0 win over Sligo Rovers at Hunky Dorys Park.
O'Neill struck for the lead goal on 24 minutes, capitalising on a poor clearance to score with a spectacular overhead kick.
Midfielder Cassidy doubled the lead eleven minutes later. Gavin Brennan helped on a clearance from keeper Gabriel Sava and Cassidy raced in to lob Gary Rogers.
In the Premier Division, David O'Leary scored a last-gasp winner as 10-man Limerick came from a goal down to beat Bohemians 2-1 at Thomond Park.
Ryan McEvoy fired Bohs ahead from the penalty spot on 56 minutes after Patrick Nzuzi was sent off for bringing down Keith Buckley.
But Shane Tracy levelled the match five minutes later with a trademark free-kick.
Fellow midfielder O'Leary then won it in the first minute of stoppage time at the death, heading home another Tracy free-kick.