Shamrock Rovers 2-0 Cabinteely FC
A Cabinteely side that had so gallantly beaten Dundalk in the quarter-finals put it to the Hoops in the Shield semi-final at Tallaght Stadium this afternoon. There was little or nothing between the sides in the first half as defences reigned and both ‘keepers weren’t particularly rushed off their feet.
The visitors made claims for a penalty in the 13th minute but referee Wayne McDonnell was perfectly placed for the incident and didn’t see the need to take any action. Five minutes later goalkeeper Calvin Gergahty made a brilliant save to deny Paul Fox the opportunity to break the deadlock. It was as important a save as any the Under 17 ‘keeper made this season. Five minutes before half time, Hoops’ Under 19 Player of the Year Cian Collins, playing at right full instead of his customary centre half spot, delivered a sweet cross into the box which looked perfectly placed for the head of Dean Dillon but Cabo centre half Conor Murphy managed to get a glance on it to send it out for a corner.
The second half began with a very high tempo. There was plenty of competitive challenges and the action became so frantic that at times it resembled Walkinstown roundabout during rush hour. In the 51st minute Sean Callan got a block on a shot from Fox to concede a corner and two minutes later a Hoops’ defender made a timely intervention on the goal line. Craig Canty hoped to put Cabinteely ahead in the 57th minute with a 25-yard shot that landed on the roof of the net.
The Hoops began to take control after that though and the Cabo goal survived a real scare in the 60th minute when ‘keeper Sean Hyland’s clearance ricocheted off a menacing Collins who had raided down the right; the Hoops’ defender lifted it into the box where substitute Dean Williams was waiting to finish it over the line but Murphy did well to meet it first and concede a corner.
By the mid-way point of the second half the Hoops were displaying some of the best football they have played all season. Cabinteely were pushed back deep and it seemed if a goal were to come it would come from a player in green and white. The deadlock was broken in the 74th minute following a low delivery from Emmanuel Lawal on the right to the inrushing Adam Doyle who finished it into the bottom right hand corner of the net. The Cabinteely resistance had been broken and nine minutes later it was all over when Williams, the top goalscorer with the Under 17s this season, had the most simple task in finishing to the net. Having rounded Hyland at the edge of the box, Williams calmly advanced on the unguarded goal and finished to the net to make it 2-0.
The Hoops will face Derry City in the final next weekend.
Goalkeeper Gavin Bazunu was unavailable for duty for the Hoops today following a freak accident at home last night. We wish Gavin and his dad Green all the very best.
Shamrock Rovers: 1. Calvin Geraghty; 16. Cian Collins, 21. Sean Callan, 15. Darragh Gibbons, 3. Eric Abulu; 11. Josh Hogan, 6. Evan White, 8. Harry Cornally, 10. Richie English, 7. Emmanuel Lawal; 9. Dean Dillon.
Substitutes: 18, Dean Williams (for White 54 mins), 22. Kenny Cunningham, 2. Conor Fitzharris, 17. Adam Doyle (for Hogan 71 mins).
Pics from the game here