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Hoops claim a last-four place in Cup

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Ian Harte. Picture: David Maher / SPORTSFILE

Ian Harte. Picture: David Maher / SPORTSFILE

Ian Harte. Picture: David Maher / SPORTSFILE

SHAMROCK Rovers avoided any slip-ups in Belfast as they eased past Glentoran and into the last four of the Setanta Sports Cup.

A scoreless draw in the Oval last night means that Glentoran were unable to turn around a 5-1 deficit from the away leg and the Hoops secured the last semi-final berth, Rovers at home to Dundalk in the first leg of their semi-final next Monday.

A crowd of just 300, with an estimated 100 travelling from Dublin, saw Barry Murphy impress in goal for Rovers.

Murphy denied Jim O'Hanlon on 35 minutes and in the second half kept out Mark Clark's effort.

Rovers had their moments as well, Karl Sheppard testing Elliott Morris early on while Dean Kelly almost nicked a goal ten minutes from time but Morris in the Glens' goal was impressive.

HOWE HAILS HARTE'S FORM

IAN HARTE'S form with Bournemouth has been hailed by Cherries manager Eddie Howe.

Harte, 36, has had to be patient this season as he was out of the picture at Bournemouth but following a three-month absence he has established himself in the side over the last nine games.

"There are no first choices in any position here and everyone has to earn the right to play and to be one of the first names on the team-sheet," said boss Howe of Harte.

"What Ian has done has been so impressive because he never moaned when he was out of the team and has let his football do the talking. He is a model professional.

"He helps us manage games and he will make the right decisions and advise his team-mates to make the right decisions as well. I don't think you can put a price on that experience."

FAHEY SET FOR SAINTS RETURN

LIAM BUCKLEY hopes to have Ireland international Keith Fahey fit for action for St Patrick's Athletic in Saturday's live TV game against Limerick.

Fahey suffered a knee injury during Friday's 3-2 win over UCD but boss Buckley is confident of the 31-year-old's ability to recover.

"There is no ligament damage or anything too serious. We will watch him, but we are hoping he will be ok for Saturday," Buckley said.

- AIDAN FITZMAURICE


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