Kilduff strikes late as Coleraine defence runs out of steam
Coleraine 0 Shamrock Rovers 2Ciarán Kilduff snatched an injury-time goal at Coleraine last night to secure progress after Mark Quigley had levelled the tie in the sixth minute.
The Coleraine defence failed to clear a cross and Kilduff poked the ball past goalkeeper Michael Doherty. Earlier, Doherty had denied James Chambers when he touched his shot onto the crossbar.
Rovers made a high-tempo start to the game, controlling the opening half hour. Impressive in the opening stages,they levelled the tie after only six minutes when Gary McCabe’s cross from the right caused Doherty to hesitate and Quigley took advantage to volley home from six yards.
However, Rover ran out of steam as the half-time break approached and Coleraine gradually eased their way into the encounter.
Midfielder Stephen Lowry and Paul Owens combined to produce Coleraine’s first opening after 27 minutes but Lowry could not get the direction on his header inside the box.
Then striker Shane Jennings sent a shot just wide when Owens’ corner was flicked on by Lowry and winger Joel Bradley headed an Owens centre straight at keeper Barry Murphy.
As Coleraine grew in stature Lowry worked an opening for midfield colleague Ruairi Harkin but Murphy got down low to his right to snatch the ball.
Only the combination of a fingertip save by Doherty and the woodwork saved Coleraine from falling further behind in the second half.
James Chambers smashed a shot towards goal from 25 yards out but Doherty stretched to somehow guide the ball onto the crossbar.
From the resulting corner Quigley cracked an effort off target.
When Owens went charging through at the other end Rovers captain Pat Sullivan made no effort to avoid a collision and sent him to ground but was fortunate not to be the final defender and was relieved to see a yellow card.
Rovers finished with a late rally that was rewarded when Kilduff struck from 15 yards as the Coleraine defence was visibly tiring, drilling his shot beyond goalkeeper Doherty.