Tuesday 24 January 2017

Maguire magic heaps humiliation on ragball Rovers

Shamrock Rovers 0 Cork City 5

Jamie Moore

Published 10/09/2016 | 02:30

Sean Maguire beats Barry Murphy, goalkeeper of Shamrock Rovers to score his side's fourth goal Photo by David Maher/Sportsfile
Sean Maguire beats Barry Murphy, goalkeeper of Shamrock Rovers to score his side's fourth goal Photo by David Maher/Sportsfile

Shamrock Rovers slumped to their worst ever FAI Cup defeat in a humiliating quarter-final exit at Tallaght Stadium.

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A Sean Maguire hat-trick and goals from Garry Buckley and Karl Sheppard earned Rovers' interim manager Stephen Bradley an unwanted record.

Sean Maguire beats Sean Heaney to score his side's fifth goal Photo by David Maher/Sportsfile
Sean Maguire beats Sean Heaney to score his side's fifth goal Photo by David Maher/Sportsfile

The seats in the Dublin 24 venue began to empty with 40 minutes left as Maguire (pictured) scored his third and City's fifth in the 49th minute.

The travelling fans chanted "You're f***ing s***" towards their Hoop counterparts, and home fans agreed, chanting, "we are f***ing s***". There were also some derogatory chants directed towards FAI chief executive John Delaney.

Rovers were terrible, but John Caulfield and his Cork team deserve a lot of the credit.

Last season's beaten finalists started the match brilliantly, taking the lead in the fourth minute.

Gearoid Morrissey in action against Sean Boyd Photo by David Maher/Sportsfile
Gearoid Morrissey in action against Sean Boyd Photo by David Maher/Sportsfile

Maguire scored in both of the Ireland U-21 matches last week and kept up his excellent form by rounding Barry Murphy to score after Buckley's pass.

Mark McNulty denied Aaron Dobbs an equaliser before Cork doubled their lead with the goal of the game in the 12th minute, as Buckley curled his brilliant shot from the edge of the box just beyond Murphy after Stephen Dooley's ball.

Former Hoop Sheppard made it 3-0 just after the half-hour mark, scoring first time from Maguire's excellent pull-back after another devastating attack.

It took Maguire just 47 seconds of the second half to end the Hoops' faint hopes. Sean Heaney and Rob Cornwall allowed a long ball to bounce between them, and the ex-West Ham striker didn't need a second invitation.

Some fans had barely taken their seats following their half-time tea before Cork scored again. Dooley fed the unstoppable Maguire with a clever ball and he did the rest.

The signalled the early departure of many fans. Maguire could have heaped even more embarrassment on Rovers, but missed two good headed chances before sub Dean Clarke almost got a consolation.

Rovers moved to Tallaght in 2009, and their worst previous defeat here was 4-0 to St Pat's in 2013. They had never lost by this margin in the FAI Cup.

They are at a crossroads now, chasing third place in the league, out of Europe, now out of both cups, and still to appoint a permanent manager. Big decisions need to be made.

Cork's pursuit of league leaders Dundalk continues, and if this performance is anything to go by, they have to be favourites to lift the FAI Cup.

These teams meet again in the league in Turner's Cross next Friday.

Shamrock Rovers - Murphy; Heaney (Brennan 60), Cornwall, Webster; Madden, Cregg, McCabe, McPhail (Bolger 70), Clarke; Boyd, Dobbs (Clarke 56).

Cork City - McNulty; Beattie (McSweeney 61), Bennett, Browne, O'Connor; Bolger (Healy 53), Morrissey; Sheppard, Buckley (Holohan 53), Dooley; Maguire.

Ref - P McLaughlin (Donegal)

Irish Independent

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