Duffy strikes at the death to send Dundalk to FAI Cup final

Vinny Perth’s side now within one game of the treble after late winner against Sligo

Sligo Rovers 0 Dundalk 1

Just six days after scoring the goal that secured Dundalk the league title, Michael Duffy claimed another dramatic winner to book his side’s place in the FAI Cup final.

The winger volleyed home the winner in the last minute as Dundalk broke Sligo Rovers hearts at a packed Showgrounds.

It means the Lilywhites will contest the final for the fifth successive season, and keeps them on course for an historic domestic treble.


Boss Vinny Perth said: “We are one game away now from creating a little bit of history. But if you look at the players’ performance there, I thought it was a little bit different from us. I thought we started well and finished the game strong. But we had to win it a bit differently.

“I don’t think Gary (Rogers) had too many saves to make, but at the same time, it was a proper cup tie and a great occasion to be part of.”

In front of a crowd of 4,079, Rovers were looking to reach the final for the first time since 2013 against a team that has contested every final bar one since then.

But they suffered a blow on seven minutes when key attacker Romeo Parkes twisted his knee when battling with Sean Gannon for possession. The attacker tried to keep going but lasted just two more minutes before he had to be stretchered off and replaced by former Dundalk player Ronan Murray.

The visitors had settled into the contest by this stage, with Michael Duffy, Patrick McEleney and Patrick Hoban becoming prominent.

But the home fans were screaming for a penalty midway through the half after when Ronan Coughlan was clipped in the area by Daniel Cleary. Referee Rob Harvey took a long hard look at it, before waving play on.

And Dundalk were then to suffer an injury blow of their own, as McEleney pulled up with hamstring problem and had to be replaced by Robbie Benson.

The home crowd were calling for a penalty once more in the second half when Danny Kane went down inside the area under the challenge from Gannon, but again the referee was unimpressed.

And the winner came at the death after Dundalk subs Georgie Kelly and Sean Murray’s combined from a free-kick to set up Duffy for the game’s only goal.

SLIGO: McGinty, Banks, Callan-McFadden, Mahon, Donelon (Watson 64), Kane, Cawley, Fordyce, Twardek, Parkes (Murray 11), Coughlan.

DUNDALK: Rogers, Gannon, Hoare, Cleary, Massey, Shields, McEleney (Benson 28), D Kelly (Murray 68), Duffy, McGrath, Hoban (G Kelly 87).

Referee: R Harvey.