Sligo Rovers claim first Setanta Sports Cup title

Ian Baraclough’s side see off Dundalk amidst deluge conditions in Tallaght

 

Sligo Rovers 1 Dundalk 0

Sligo Rovers won their sixth trophy in four years this afternoon in Tallaght where they beat Dundalk 1-0 thanks to an early Paul O’Conor goal to lift the Setanta Sports Cup for the first time.

Stephen Kenny’s side chased the game for 75 minutes and went close to grabbing an equaliser on a number of occasions but in increasingly difficult conditions Rovers held out well and repeatedly threatened to grab a second goal themselves on the break.

Dundalk had actually started the game brightly but they were caught after 15 minutes when Aaron Greene skipped away from Dane Massey down the right and sent in a low cross that O’Conor turned home from close range at the near post.

Rovers lost Joseph Ndo to injury 20 minutes later and endured a fair bit of pressure at different times with Pat Hoban twice going close with headers before the break and, late on, Kurtis Byrne having his attempt at a first-time shot very well saved by Gary Rogers.

Late on, they threw everything into the search for an equaliser, leaving themselves increasingly open at the back but the growing amount of surface water and relentlessly heavy downpour made breaking at any sort of speed difficult for Rovers, who might otherwise have doubled their lead in the closing minutes.

It is the first time Ian Baraclough’s side have won the all Ireland competition and central defender Jeff Henderson’s contribution to the victory earned him the man of the match award.

Dundalk: Cherrie; Gannon, Gartland, Boyle, Massey; Towell, Shields (Higgins, 74 mins); Meenan (McMillan, 80 mins), Mountney (Byrne, 67 mins), Horgan; Hoban.

Sligo Rovers: Rogers; Conneely, McMillan, Henderson, Gaynor; Cawley; Russell, Ndo (Ledwidth, (35 mins), O’Conor, Greene; North.

Referee: A Hunter (Fermanagh).

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