Shields lands killer blow as Dundalk book place in final
Dundalk 1 Shamrock Rovers 0 (Dundalk win 3-1 on aggregate)
Chris Shields was the hero for Dundalk at Oriel Park as his 47th- minute volley secured Stephen Kenny's side a place in the Setanta Cup final at the expense of Shamrock Rovers after this semi-final second-leg clash.
Holding a 2-1 lead from the first leg, the Lilywhites put the tie beyond the reach of the Hoops when Shields connected with a Ruaidhri Higgins free-kick to send the home fans into ecstasy.
Dundalk winger Daryl Horgan fired just off target with a powerful effort after 10 minutes before Rovers goalkeeper Craig Hyland was called into action 12 minutes later to tip Richie Towell's goalbound effort over the crossbar
Rovers stepped it up close to half-time and they almost took the lead in the 41st when Ronan Finn's effort skidded off the head of Zayed and looked to be heading into Peter Cherrie's net, but the Scottish goalkeeper threw himself to his right to turn it away for a corner.
The second half was two minutes old when Dundalk gave themselves the cushion of a two-goal aggregate lead. Higgins' deep free-kick found Shields at the back post and the midfielder turned the ball past Hyland with a delightful finish.
That left Rovers needing to win by three clear goals to advance and it was almost mission impossible when John Mountney took aim in the 55th minute, his vicious effort brilliantly saved by Hyland.
Karl Sheppard could have reduced the deficit but he blazed over. Dundalk held on and will meet Sligo Rovers in the final on May 10.
Dundalk – Cherrie; Gannon, Boyle, Rossiter, Massey; Shields, Higgins; Mountney, Towell (O'Donnell 88), Horgan (Meenan 77); McMillan (Hoban 70).
Shamrock Rovers – Hyland; Cornwall, Heaney (Kehoe 76), Kenna, Byrne; Finn (Kilduff 76), Robinson, Bayly, Waters (Brennan 69); Zayed, Sheppard.
REF – R Crangle.