FAI Cup final: Player ratings as Rovers prevail in shootout

Alan Mannus: Not a save to make until the 38th minute as Rovers enjoyed the majority of the ball. But dealt ably with Gartland’s downward header to push it out for a corner. Saved well from Cleary in the shootout. 7

FAI Cup final: Player ratings as Rovers prevail in shootout

Shamrock Rovers

Alan Mannus: Not a save to make until the 38th minute as Rovers enjoyed the majority of the ball. But dealt ably with Gartland’s downward header to push it out for a corner. Saved well from Cleary in the shootout. 7

Joey O’Brien: As solid as expected on the right of the Hoops back three. Scarcely troubled by the threat of Duffy down Dundalk’s left. Confidently scored in the shootout. 7

Roberto Lopes: Playing in the centre of Hoops back three, the Cape Verde international won his first header with Hoban and scarcely put a foot wrong. Named Man-of-the-match seconds before his header dropped for Duffy to equalise. 8

Lee Grace: On the left of the defensive three, had little defending to do in the first half as much of the play was at the other end. Stood his ground defensively and read the game well. 6

Ronan Finn: The skipper played in an unfamiliar position wide on the right of Rovers’ middle four. Should have put Hoops ahead on 14 minutes but completely failed to make decent contact with Greene’s cross. 6

Gary O’Neill: Got the nod ahead of the more experienced Greg Bolger in anchoring Hoops’ midfield. Had the first goal-bound shot of the game which was blocked. The ultimate hero in the shootout with the deciding spot kick. 6

Aaron McEneff: Surprisingly struggled to get into the game despite Rovers enjoying much of the ball. Well-positioned to nick the ball off the toe of McGarth as he teed up to shoot early in the second half. Perfect penalty to put Rovers ahead in 90 minutes. 7

Sean Kavanagh: Playing in his familiar role on the left of Rovers’ midfield four. Saw little of the ball in the first half, though, despite Rovers pressing well and little surprise when subbed. 6

Jack Byrne: Worked hard to find the space to get Rovers motoring. Used his sublime ability to play his way into the game as Hoops dominated the ball in the first half. His quality control and passing shone throughout. Blasted home Rovers’ first penalty in the shootout. 7

Aaron Greene: Used his pace to create a chance to smack a shot wide. Might have done better when Byrne picked him out over the top. Harried a mistake out of Cleary minutes later with Finn missing the cross before winning Rovers’ late penalty. 7

Graham Burke: Involved from the off with a daisy-cutter and a free kick in the first half. A surging run and shot early in the second half worked Rogers who then tipped over a great chance from him later on. 7

Subs: Neil Farrugia (Kavanagh, 68 mins) An early run and cross promised more. Might have had a penalty which wasn’t given. Headed over the bar from a corner in extra-time. 6

Greg Bolger (Burke, 90+2): Came on with the intention of running down the clock ... seconds before Dundalk levelled. Rogers was alert to an audacious effort from distance in extra-time. Scored emphatically in the shootout. 6

Daniel Lafferty (Greene, 111): Came in for the jaded, hard-running Greene. Slotted in on the left as Farrugia went up top. 6

Subs not used: Kian Clarke, Dylan Watts, Thomas Oluwa, Brandon Kavanagh.

Dundalk

Gary Rogers: Safe hands by the 38-year-old as he looked pretty secure throughout. Terrific tip over save from Burke which was given as a goal kick. Helpless to save any spot kicks in shootout. 7

Sean Gannon: Composed as ever, tidied up some early Rovers flurries as Dundalk were on the back foot for much of the first half. Hadn’t the opportunity to get forward as much as he would have liked. 6

Brian Gartland: Surprising starter as boss Vinny Perth rejigged his side in the absence of Chris Shields. Skipper won his defensive headers and showed his experience in trying to deal with Greene. Brought the first save of the game from Mannus with a header in the first half. 7

Daniel Cleary: Struggled to handle Greene who robbed him to cross for an early Rovers chance. Was then close to giving Dundalk the lead in the final minute of the half when heading into the sidenetting. Penalty saved in the shoutout. 6

Dane Massey: Wasted a free kick opportunity, dinking his effort well over the top from where he would normally have hit the target. Struggled to deal with the threat of Finn early on and had few chances to get forward. 6

Sean Hoare: The technically excellent central defender was pushed up into central midfield to compensate for the loss of the suspended Chris Shields, playing a holding role. Struggled to influence the game. 6

Robbie Benson: Game passed him by as Rovers enjoyed plenty of the possession in the final third. Blazing a shot high and handsome in the second half summed up his afternoon. 6

Jamie McGrath: As with Benson, the Dundalk central midfield saw little of the ball.

Had to drop deep at times just to get a touch. Shot tamely wide in the second half when should have hit the target. Scored in the shoot-out. 6

Sean Murray: Another surprise in the champions starting line-up, replacing the injured PatrickMcEleney. Involved in Dundalk’s first attack, drilling his shot wide.

Fluffed a good opening on 56 minutes with a weakeffort that never troubled Mannus. 6

Michael Duffy: The Lilywhites’ talisman had one of his quietest games of the season. Starved of the chance to trouble Rovers until a stunning volley to equalise in the 94th minute to force extra-time. Then smacked the bar in the shootout. 6

Patrick Hoban: Starved of the ball as Rovers dominated.Enjoyed his limited battles with the Hoops defence and Lopes inparticular. Crossed in a good ball that led to Dundalk’s equaliser. 6

Subs - Daniel Kelly (Murray, 61 mins) Came in to give Dundalk more width on the right with McGarth slipping into a central roll. Troubled Rovers at time without really hurting them. 6

Georgie Kelly (Hoare, 90+1): Challenged Lopes in the air to force the week header away that fell for Duffy’s equaliser in extra-time. 6

Jordan Flores (Hoban, 99): Replaced the tired Hoban as Dundalk went for extra bodies in the middle of the park.Squeezed home his penalty in the shootout. 6

John Mountney (Benson, 112): Yellow carded as he warned up for holding onto the ball and tangling with O’Brien. 6

Subs not used: Aaron McCarey, Dean Jarvis, Andy Boyle.

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