Shamrock Rovers in seventh heaven after cup landslide
Dublin side claim second Setanta title in Tallaght as Drogheda United swamped
Ronan Finn celebrates scoring Shamrock Rovers’ fifth goal in the Setanta Sports Cup Final against Drogheda United at Tallaght Stadium. Photograph: Lorraine O’Sullivan/Inpho
Shamrock Rovers 7 Drogheda United 1: Shamrock Rovers reclaimed the Setanta Cup in Tallaght this afternoon with a demolition of Drogheda United.
James Chambers, Seán O’Connor and Karl Sheppard paved the way to victory with first-half goals before Ronan Finn got a couple in quick succession. Billy Dennehy then made it six with more than a quarter of an hour remaining before finishing things off with a seventh two minutes from time.
Dennehy’s first had come after what had been a decent spell for United who found the net themselves when Gavin Brennan’s low angled drive from 10 yards was turned home by Gary O’Neill on the line and they might well have had another couple if Ryan Brennan had been a little more clinical.
They had been five down by the time they started to threaten at all, though, and there was never really any question of a successful comeback.
Trevor Croly’s side were coasting by the time they conceded and they still picked things up again to get the late goals. From his point of view the only real disappointment on what was a very good afternoon was the sight of Mark Quigley limping out of the game injured just 17 minutes after coming on for Sheppard.
Drogheda will find it very hard to find any positives really. Though they might have had a goal or two more, they could easily have found themselves further behind too with Finn, for instance, trying to go himself late in the first half when a square ball for Sheppard would almost certainly have led to another goal.
As a contest, the game was all but over even then with Rovers looking far too good for their opponents in just about every department as they swept into a 3-0 lead.
There was a hint of luck about their first 12 minutes in with Gavin Brennan’s attempt to head O’Connor’s cross clear crashing straight back off Chambers’s head and into the goal but after that the Dubliners seemed able to carve their opponents open almost at will.
O’Connor made it 2-0 within a minute or so of the opener with a close range effort and Gabriel Sava then did very well to prevent Jason McGuinness or O’Connor killing things off with a third even earlier.
Shortly before the interval, though, he was left helpless as his defence was caught napping with Finn splitting the centre backs after Dennehy had cut in from the left to feed him and Sheppard stepping up to provide the finish.
The size of the lead scarcely flattered Rovers who were far more effective with the ball at their feet and more industrious too when it came to forcing opponents into errors.
There plenty of them from United whose rare attempts to exert some sort of pressure at the other end of the pitch were generally undone by poor passing. In the end, their heads just seemed to go down and after Finn had grabbed his two, Dennehy’s looked particularly soft late on.
Shamrock Rovers: Murphy; Sullivan, Foran, McGuinness, Ledwith; Chambers, Rice; O’Connor (Kilduff, 71 mins), Finn, Dennehy; Sheppard (Quigley, 59 mins (McCabe, 76 mins).
Drogheda United: Sava; Gannon (McNally, 72 mins), Byrne, Prendergast, Grimes; Daly (O’Connor, 59 mins), Cassidy; Rusk (O’Brien, 59 mins), R Brennan, G Brennan; O’Neill.
Referee: R Rodgers (Dublin).