Dave Donnelly reports from Tolka Park
Shelbourne’s two-year reign as Leinster Senior Cup champions crashed to a halt on Monday night as they meekly succumbed to Bohemians at Tolka Park.
Two goals from Aaron Barry, one for Danny Grant and an own goal saw Keith Long’s side to a comfortable 4-1 win in front of an impressive crowd of 657.
Dayle Rooney had briefly given Shelbourne hope when his expertly-placed free kick cut the deficit to one but the end result was flattering to the hosts.
Both managers made 11 changes to their respective sides from the weekend’s action with fringe senior players kicking heels with under-19 players.
Successive Leinster Senior Cup wins weren’t enough to keep Owen Heary’s job and his replacement as Shels boss, Ian Morris, signalled the new attitude by omitting top scorer Ciaran Kilduff completely.
Bohs took just eight minutes to take the lead and they did so with their first meaningful attack. Shels failed to clear a corner and the ball dropped for Barry to rifle home from close range.
Six minutes later, Bohs got a facile second as Grant isolated left-back Chris Giles and cut inside before curling a shot past his former Bohs teammate Colin McCabe.
It very nearly got worse for Shels a minute later as Robbie McCourt’s shot from distance crashed back off the bar and Ryan Swan nodded into an empty net, but he was offside.
It took 26 minutes for Shels to register their first real shot on goal, but despite doing well to make space for himself, Daniel McKenna pulled his shot wide.
Set pieces always looked the most likely outlet for Shels, who struggled to create from open play, and it was the sublime left foot of Rooney that yielded their goal just past he half-hour.
The winger lined up a free kick 25 yards out from a central position and left Niall Corbet with no chance with an immaculately-weighted effort into the top corner.
That goal came against the run of play, and normal service resumed just four minutes later as Ryan Graydon stole in to the endline and his cutback was turned into his own net by Charles Mutawee.
Both sides were lucky to keep 11 men on the field either side of half time, James English forcing Michael Barker off with an injury before McCourt poleaxed Sean Quinn with a nasty lunge.
Shels could have reduced the arrears once more when Rooney – far and away Shels’ best player on the night – put a cross on English’s head, but he glanced the ball just wide.
Substitute Derek Prendergast came within a whisker of righting that shortly after his introduction, meeting Rooney’s cross at the back post and volleying across goal, but Quinn couldn’t turn it in.
Bohs probably should have sealed it within 30 seconds as they countered through Sam Byrne, and he unselfishly teed up Graydon, but McCabe tipped the winger’s shot over the bar.
Bohs did get the fourth goal their dominance deserved in injury time when Shels once more failed to deal with a corner and Barry was again the one to profit, heading into an empty net.
Shelbourne: Colin McCabe; Aidan Friel, Flavio Marku (Derek Prendergast 72), Charles Mutawee, Craig Giles; Daniel McKenna, Sean Quinn (Ciaran Burns 84), Aaron Connolly; Dayle Rooney, Alamu Abdulrasaq, James English.
Subs not used: Imrich Tothova (gk), John Ross Wilson, Derek Prendergast, Michael McHugh, Ciaran Burns, Oscar Brennan, Darragh Noone.
Booked: James English (45+1), Sean Quinn (90+20).
Bohemians: Niall Corbet; Andy Lyons, Michael Barker (Alex Kelly 46), Aaron Barry, Paddy Kirk; Danny Grant (Ross Tierney 71), Scott Allardice, Robbie McCourt, Ryan Graydon; Sam Byrne, Ryan Swan (Dawson Devoy 81).
Substitutes: Jamie Cleary (gk), Mitchell Byrne, Brandon Bermingham, Marlon Marishta.
Booked: Scott Allardice (33), Robbie McCourt (50).
Referee: Oliver Moran.
Extratime.ie Player of the Match: Danny Grant (Bohemians).