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Shamrock Rovers win record 25th FAI Cup

Shamrock Rovers have won their first FAI Cup since 1987 after overcoming the holders Dundalk on p...



Shamrock Rovers win record 25t...
Soccer

Shamrock Rovers win record 25th FAI Cup

Shamrock Rovers have won their first FAI Cup since 1987 after overcoming the holders Dundalk on penalties. 

Dundalk had appeared in every cup final since 2015, while Rovers were in their first final since 2010.

Rovers looked to have won the final with just one minute of normal time remaining when Aaron McEneff scored a penalty after being pulled down by Gary Rodgers.

Graham Burke had skilfully stepped away from Brian Gartland in midfield before charging at a retreating Dundalk defence and offloading the ball into the path of a perfectly timed McEneff run.

McEneff took the ball around a sliding Rodgers, however, the Rovers attacker was brought down before he could retrieve the ball and pass it into the net.

McEneff took the resulting penalty and the celebrations were wild as he slotted it into the bottom left corner and Rovers looked just minutes away from ending their 32-year cup drought.

However, Rovers failed to hold onto possession and kill the game while Dundalk sent the charges forward with the clock already exceeding the 3 minutes of additional time.

As Stephen Bradley moaned that the final whistle hadn't yet been blown, Pat Hoban whipped the ball into the box. Michael Duffy took it down and in a moment of brilliance struck the ball past a flat-footed Alan Mannus in the Shamrock Rovers goal.

Neither side found a winner in extra-time as the game finished without another goal.

The penalties were taken in front of the Shamrock Rovers fans and it was them who were again celebrating wildly after Dundalk's Duffy hit the crossbar and Alan Mannus saved Sean Murray's attempt.

The responsibility lay at the feet of 24-year-old Gary O'Neill then to take the winning penalty, which he duly slotted into the bottom corner to bring the FAI Cup to Tallaght for the first time ever.

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