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Cup delight for Hoops against strugglers Derry

SHAMROCK Rovers remain on course for their first trophy under Pat Fenlon as they secured a place in the last four of the EA Sports Cup last night.

It's been a tough few weeks for Derry City and Peter Hutton's side had another bad night at the Brandywell, Rovers going through to the semi-finals with a 1-0 win.

Fenlon fielded an experimental side, with fringe players Tim Clancy, Cian Kavanagh, Rob Cornwall and Gareth McCaffrey all given a start.

But it was one of the senior pros who delivered the crucial goal, as Sean O'Connor stepped up on 35 minutes, the winger scoring with a free kick which was awarded after Barry McNamee fouled Kieran Marty Watters.

And Derry's lengthy injury list grew even longer as key defender Ryan McBride was substituted at half time, the injury situation now a real concern for under-fire Derry boss Hutton.

Their place in the last four now secure, Rovers move on to their next big test, away to Cork City in the league next Friday, a key game for both clubs as they bid to keep pace with league leaders Dundalk.

The Lilywhites had earned a place in the semi-final draw of the EA Sports Cup with a comfortable win over UCC on Monday.