Shamrock Rovers 4-0 Galway United.
Two teams that suffered the disappointment of being knocked out of the cup last weekend had the opportunity today to bounce back.
Strangely, Galway never got going at Tallaght Stadium but they suffered a serious setback after just one minute when Aaron Dobbs found the net for the Hoops. James Doona made a run down the left in possession of the ball and carried on right up to the end line before finding Dobbs on the opposite side and slipping the ball in for the big striker to finish in typical style.
The visitors had their best chance in the 18th minute after Cian Collins fouled Declan Sharkey. Ryan Manning got a touch to Sharkey’s free and Gavin Bazunu, in goal for the Hoops, managed to deflect the ball for a corner. Perhaps inspired by the magnificent performance by the first team against Dundalk the previous evening, the Hoops played with a brilliant confidence and looked dangerous in their many forays into the Galway box.
They went 2-0 up in the 27th minute when that man Doona again came in from the left and delivered the ball into the centre, it appeared to come off Dobbs but travelled as far as Luke Rossiter who controlled it nicely before letting fly with a shot that set the back of the net bulging.
Four minutes later Dobbs passed to Rossiter on the right and the winger’s shot again crossed the line for goal number 3. It wasn’t all good news for Rossiter though as the referee confirmed at half that the goal was an own goal.
The Tribesmen made three changes at half time in an effort to get back into the game. There was nearly another own goal though as Evan Murphy headed the ball back into goalkeeper James Tierney and it almost crossed the line.
Galway had a good chance in the 57th minute when substitute Oisin O’Sullivan put Michael Lynch in but the header went wide. The three ‘D’s’ combined for the Hoops to make it 4-0 in the 63rd minute. Dean Dillon careered down the right before picking out Dobbs who, being closely marked, decided to push it further out for Doona and the diminutive midfielder lashed it over the line. That killed off any chance that Galway might have had of getting back into the game and it effectively ended as a contest at this point. There was plenty of good play from both sides after that but the final outcome was never in doubt.
This game represented a personal achievement for 15-years-old Hoops’ goalkeeper Gavin Bazunu who kept a clean sheet on his debut for the Under 19s.
Shamrock Rovers: 25, Gavin Bazunu, 2. Shane Hanney, 21. Sean Callan, 16. Cian Collins, 3. Conor Gleeson, 7. Luke Rossiter, 10. Richie English, 18. Harry Cornally, 5, James Doona, 20. Dean Dillon, 8. Aaron Dobbs. Substitutes: 17. Shane Stokes for Doona (63 mins), 19. Emmanuel Lawal for Rossiter (63 mins), 11. Luke Kiely for James Doona (63 mins), 6. Conor Fitzharris for Hanney (68 mins), 22. Adam Doyle for Cornally (77 mins). Not used: Kalvin Geraghty
Report and photographs by Robert Goggins.