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Fenlon's watching brief for rovers

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Pat Fenlon, former Hiberian F.C and Bohemains manager, looks on from the stands. Photo: David Maher / SPORTSFILE

Pat Fenlon, former Hiberian F.C and Bohemains manager, looks on from the stands. Photo: David Maher / SPORTSFILE

Dean Kelly

Dean Kelly

Pat Fenlon. Photo: David Maher / SPORTSFILE

Pat Fenlon. Photo: David Maher / SPORTSFILE

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Pat Fenlon, former Hiberian F.C and Bohemains manager, looks on from the stands. Photo: David Maher / SPORTSFILE

THE managerial position is already a done deal in the eyes of Shamrock Rovers supporters, Hoops fans loudly belting out the chant of "Pat Fenlon's green and white army" at Dalymount Park last night.

And if Fenlon is unveiled as their new manager later this week as expected, he will have a great chance to bring home a trophy in the early days of his reign, Rovers reaching the final of the EA Sports Cup and a meeting with Dundalk thanks to this 2-0 semi-final win away to Bohemians, which Fenlon watched from the stands.

The league campaign has been traumatic for Rovers recently, a run of three defeats in four games costing Trevor Croly his job but when it comes to cups, well their cup runneth over.

The Hoops won three cup finals last season, are now in the final of the League Cup and remain in contention for the FAI Cup and it's that trophy - and the automatic Europa League place that comes with it - which will be a priority for the new boss.

Barring a major hitch in talks when Fenlon and Rovers officials meet in the next 24 hours, the former Shelbourne and Bohemians boss will be installed as Croly's successor in time for Friday's league game at home to Derry City.

Given their humiliating 4-1 loss away to Limerick in their last game, Rovers possibly had more to prove last night and they started off very well indeed, Gavin Brennan going close to the opening goal on two minutes. And the lead goal for Rovers came after only 11 minutes, Kieran Marty Watters left free and unmarked as the Bohs defence failed to clear and ex-Bray man scored his third goal of the season. The goal was a taste of what was to come, defender David O'Connor was narrowly wide with a header from Sean O'Connor's corner on 17 minutes, while the crossbar kept out a powerful headed effort by Gavin Brennan in the 20th minute.

Sean O'Connor and Brennan had further efforts to score for the away side, though Bohs should have drawn level in first-half injury time, Walsh's clever ball setting up Jason Byrne who beat two defenders but sent his shot wide. Byrne had another opportunity to level the scores a minute after the break but Barry Murphy made a save, and the misses proved costly on 53 minutes when Dean Kelly doubled the lead for Rovers.

Sean O'Connor skipped past Derek Pender and whipped in a cross which confused Roberto Lopes, and Kelly was left with a simple finish as Rovers continued to dominate.

Rovers sub Ciaran Kilduff came close to scoring nine minutes from time, by then no way back for Bohs as Rovers march on to another final.


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