Paul Cook’s men started the brightest and forced Quigley into a smart early save from Gavin Peers inside the opening few minutes. Fingal began to get a foot in the game and had the ball in the back of the net only for it to be disallowed on 14 minutes. Fiachra McArdle collected a through ball from Williams and finished well but the striker was in a clear offside position.
Sporting had a great chance to open the scoring fifteen minutes in when they were awarded a penalty. Conan Byrne won a header and directed it across the box to the inrushing Alan Kirby. The midfielder’s goal bound volley struck the hand of Feeney and the assistant referee flaged for a penalty. Up stepped Ross Gaynor but his poorly struck penalty, just slightly right of the middle of the goal, was comfortable for Brush.
Fingal had the better of the opening half however Sligo broke deadlock against the run of play just before half time. Richie Ryan played a cracking ball in behind Sporting left back John Frost which Brian Cash latched onto. He over hit the initial cross but Stephen Parkhouse retrieved the ball and his delivery was met by Cretaro who dived in bravely to plant the ball into the back of the net.
It should have been two nil to Sligo moments later when Cash again produced a wicked delivery which found Parkhouse free in the box. The striker’s header however was brilliantly saved by Quigley in the Sporting goal as the ex Finn Harps man put the rebound wide under pressure.
Sligo were more resilient in the second half and began to dominate the possession as the home side struggled to create any good openings. Sporting’s best effort on goal came after Alan Kirby laid the ball off to Shane McFaul. The midfielders curled shot looked like it might have been creeping in but Brush got down well to parry it out.
Liam Buckley’s men continued to pile forward in search of an equaliser and it nearly came in the 70th minute. Conan Byrne’s cross was met by the head of Ross Gaynor. The striker’s header looked like it was arrowing into the back of the Sligo goal but Brush plucked the ball out of the air with a diving save. Byrne almost forced extra-time but his 87th minute header was touched over the crossbar.
Stephen Parkhouse had a chance to finish Fingal off right at the death when he skipped past Frost’s challenge but he fired over. Sligo however held on to book their place in the last four as the Bit O Red inflict a first defeat in eleven games on Liam Buckley’s men.
Full report to follow...