Rovers miss out on final appearance

Sligo Rovers’ dreadful run of results at home continued last night as the Bit O’ Red were beaten by an understrength Derry City in the EA Sports Cup semi-final.

Rovers dominated the game and created numerous chances throughout the 90 minutes, but found Derry keeper Ger Doherty in inspired form, as Rory Hale’s goal ultimately proved the difference between the teams.

Derry will play Cobh Ramblers in the final, after the First Division side shocked Dundalk in the other semi-final.

Meanwhile, Finn Harps U17s are through to the Mark Farren Cup final after a dramtic 3-2 extra-time defeat of Bray Wanderers in Wicklow.

The club’s U19s face St Patrick’s Athletic in their semi-final this evening in Ballybofey.



EA Sports Cup Semi-Final


Sligo Rovers 0

Derry City 1

(Rory Hale 25)


Record winners Derry City are through to another EA Sports Cup final after captain Gerard Doherty inspired them to victory at the Showgrounds.

Rory Hale scored the only goal of the game, but Doherty had to make three sublime saves at the opposite end as Derry earned revenge for the league defeat to the same opposition on Friday.

Hale’s strike came against the run of play, as the home side had started well and twice went close to opening the scoring through Lewis Morrison.

The striker fired over the top when Mikey Drennan set him up inside the opening 15 minutes. And he then missed the ball completely after Lee-J Lynch’s pull-back gave him a gilt-edged opportunity eight yards out.

But the goal from Hale was a bit special, as he controlled a pass from his brother, Ronan, at the edge of the box, and curled a left-footed shot past Mitchell Beeney and in to the top corner midway through the half.

Derry were without four players through suspension, and striker Ally Roy was cup-tied having featured for Rovers in the competition earlier in the year.

But they grew in confidence after the goal, and Dean Shiels went close to doubling their lead.

But Rovers thought they had levelled things up before the break, when Drennan’s flick on to Regan Donelon’s free-kick was destined for the net, before Doherty made a fingertip save.

Rovers called on Raffaele Cretaro to try and force a way back in to the tie, and he almost found it with 20 minutes left, but his close range effort was brilliantly palmed away by Doherty.

Cretaro continued to torment the Derry defence, but Doherty continued to frustrate him, and the netminder pulled off another wonder save with three minutes left, after Mikey Drennan had knocked the ball in to his path.


ROVERS: Beeney, Callan-McFadden, Mahon, McClean, Twardek, Cawley, Lynch, McCabe, Donelon (McAleer 85), Drennan, Morrison (Cretaro 60).

DERRY: G Doherty, McDermott (Delap 80), Seaborne, McHattie, Fisk (McBride 89), Ronan Hale, Splaine, McEneff, B Doherty, Shiels, Rory Hale.

REF: G Kelly.