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Dundalk see off Rovers in extra-time to book FAI Cup final place against Cork City

Dundalk see off Rovers in extra-time to book FAI Cup final place against Cork City

Dundalk FC booked a place in their third consecutive FAI Cup final following an epic 4-2 extra-time victory against Shamrock Rovers in Tallaght Stadium last night.

Extra-time goals from David McMillan and Stephen O’Donnell saw Stephen Kenny’s side finally see off the Hoops after an epic battle over two legs.

It was no more than Dundalk deserved having gone into the game without a string of first-team players.

Dundalk had to do things the hard way to earn their win having fallen behind to a Ronan Finn volley after just 10 minutes.

Rovers’ lead would last just three minutes however as McMillan levelled matters with a header from a Sean Gannon cross.

In an end to end game, Dundalk then took the lead on 54 minutes when Robbie Benson bundled the ball home from close range after Michael Duffy’s corner had been flicked on in his direction.

The visitors looked to be heading for victory at that point but five minutes from the end substitute Michael O’Connor sent a bullet header to the net from Trevor Clarke’s cross to take the game to extra-time.

The contest threatened to boil over in the first half of extra-time following a coming together between Dundalk captain O’Donnell and Rovers manager Stephen Bradley that saw both benches pile into the argument. Rovers fitness coach Darren Dillon was sent to the stands in the aftermath with O’Donnell and Gannon booked for Dundalk and Clarke shown a yellow for Rovers.

That incident threatened to overshadow the game but Dundalk let their football do the talking and three minutes into the second half of extra-time McMillan fired home his second from 16 yards out.

The killer blow was then added on 113 minutes when O’Donnell looped a header past Tomer Chencinski to confirm Dundalk’s passage through to the FAI Cup final where they will meet Cork City once again in the Aviva Stadium on November 5th.

Shamrock Rovers: Tomer Chencinski; Simon Madden, Dave Webster, Lee Grace, Luke Byrne (Cameron King 73); Ronan Finn, Roberto Lopes (Michael O’Connor 81), Ryan Connolly (James Doona 60); Trevor Clarke, Gary Shaw, Brandon Miele.

Dundalk FC: Gary Rogers; Sean Gannon, Brian Gartland, Sean Hoare, Niclas Vemmelund (Shane Grimes HT); Stephen O’Donnell, Robbie Benson; Dylan Connolly (Tommy Stewart 69), Jamie McGrath, Michael Duffy (Chris Shields 106); David McMillan.

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