Saturday 21 April 2018

Byrne and Breen secure Lilies' smooth passage

Dundalk 2
Cliftonville 1
(Dundalk win 5-2 on aggregate)

Goals from Jason Byrne and Johnny Breen ensured Dundalk's passage to the Setanta Cup final at Oriel Park last night.

Mark Quigley set up strike partner Byrne in the 11th minute, teeing the veteran hit-man up to drive an effort just wide of the upright.

Cliftonville squandered a golden chance to get back into the tie on the half-hour mark. Stephen Garrett broke free on the left but his pinpoint cross to the back post was headed wide by Conal Burns with the goal at his mercy from eight yards.

The second-half opened in similar fashion as the first. Cliftonville put the cat amongst the pigeons when they hit the front in the 59th minute.

Liam Fleming delivered a hopeful ball towards the near post and Kieran O'Connor showed good awareness to guide his header past Peter Cherrie at the near post.

The Oriel Park faithful were getting jittery at this stage but their nerves were settled in the 67th minute when Byrne headed home via the crossbar. The result was put beyond doubt in time added on when Breen coolly tucked the ball home after being picked out by Byrne.

DUNDALK -- Cherrie; Madden, Hawkins, Hector, N Murphy; Kearns (Breen 76), Ward, McDonnell, Gaynor; Quigley, Byrne.

CLIFTONVILLE -- Duffin; Fleming, Hutton (Kane 84), McVeigh, Seydak (Bannon 80), Burns, McMullen, Lynch (Donnelly 70), Garrett, Scannell, O'Connor.

REF -- A Black (Antrim).

Irish Independent

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