Leinster Senior Cup holders Shamrock Rovers progressed past Bohemians with ease in the quarter-final on Monday evening at Tallaght Stadium. A goal from Marty Waters and a brace from Karl Sheppard made it ten ties in a row that the Hoops have won in this competition.
Bohemians were the last team to knock out Rovers from this cup, back in July 2011, and their chances of repeating that victory were dealt a large blow just after the half hour mark. Dan Byrne took down Sheppard in the box and referee Robert Harvey reached for his red card. Bohs were punished with Byrne’s sending off, along with finding themselves 1-0 down after Sheppard dispatched the penalty.
Both managers were fielding some of their fringe players in this competition but there was still a lot of quality on show. Ryan Brennan making a return to the Rovers team after recent injury nutmegged Andy Mulligan to bear down on goal 10 minutes into the game. Darragh Reynor pulled him down with the resulting free kick from Sheppard clearing the Bohs wall but also their crossbar.
The Bohemians ‘keeper Dean Delany had a couple of excursions out of his box soon after. He was required to sprint out of his goal before Robert Bayly could get on the end of a ball played into the corner. A minute later he did it again to prevent Sheppard but Delany was outside the area when he caught the ball. However, the referee only brandished a yellow to the goalkeeper.
The visitors did create some chances of their own. A good run from Mulligan down the left saw him get a shot away. Keith Devanney and Stephen Traynor linked up well before 18-year-old Sean Heaney stepped in with a timely tackle for Rovers. Philly McCabe was unlucky with his shot that deflected off Devanney and went wide of Craig Hyland’s goal.
At the other end it required an acrobatic overhead clearance from Dan Byrne to prevent Sheppard getting sight of goal on 20 minutes. The Rovers striker then turned the Bohs left back McCabe and got a dangerous cross into the Bohs box. Cian Kavanagh somehow put it wide with all the goal to aim at in a real let off for the Gypsies.
When Byrne was sent off, Darragh Reynor dropped into the defence for Bohs and Owen Heary made two further switches at half time, bringing on Craig Walsh and Paddy Collins in place of Devanney and Lee Whelan
Bohs did put some early second half pressure on Rovers with Hyland having to pack peddled to catch a Walsh cross from the right, along with a header from Jack Memery from a centre from Jack Hyland.
However it was the Hoops who doubled their lead on 65 minutes. Sheppard and Rovers captain Robert Bayly linked up to play in Marty Waters. Delany was able to get a hand on Waters’ shot but he couldn’t keep it out.
Rovers went in search of another goal with Delany saving from both Bayly and Sheppard while at the other end Hyland needed to be on his toes to save from McCabe. However, the Hoops weren’t to be denied their third goal. In injury time, Sheppard scored his second as his delightful chip over Delany as the Hoops hung on to their Leinster Senior Cup crown with a semi-final awaiting them now later in the season.
Shamrock Rovers: Craig Hyland; Nathan Browne, David O’Connor, Sean Heaney, Evan Osam; Stephen Confey (Ronnie Bukhatwa 79), Robert Bayly, Cian Kavanagh (Richard Purdy 66), Ryan Brennan, Marty Waters (Mark Sandford 87); Karl Sheppard.
Subs not used: Shane Fagan, Gavin Dunne, Corie Treacy, Daniel Purdy.
Bohemians: Dean Delany; Lee Whelan (Craig Walsh 46), Jack Memery, Dan Byrne, Philly McCabe; Keith Buckley, Stephen Traynor (Keith Mahoney 80), Jake Hyland, Darragh Reynor, Andy Mulligan; Kevin Devanney (Paddy Collins 46).
Subs not used: Gavin Moore, Roberto Lopes, Paddy Kavanagh, Karl Moore.
Booked: Delany (14), Reynor (29), Mulligan (77).
Sent Off: D Byrne (32).
Referee: Robert Harvey.
Attendance: 600 (estimate).
Extratime.ie man of the match: Karl Sheppard (Shamrock Rovers).