Hughes seals title for Rovers in shootout
Shamrock Rovers 1
Rovers win 5-4 on penalties
Last night's Airtricity U-20 League final in Tallaght provided an opportunity for the considerable number of fans who turned out to stretch their vocal chords ahead of tonight's finale involving the big boys.
Not unlike their senior brethren, this one went right to the wire, with Shamrock Rovers goalkeeper Robert Hughes finally deciding the game by saving a penalty in a shootout.
An 85th-minute Craig Rothery goal sent the game into extra-time, as the hosts finally profited after a number of missed opportunities.
Gary Burke was a class apart in the opening period and the Bohs first-team squad member was showing a neat touch from the outset. Five minutes from the interval he made his most telling contribution as he sent Stephen Traynor free with a sublime defence-splitting pass and the midfielder made hay with a simple finish past Robert Hughes.
Daniel McGuinness and Rothery both saw chances go a-begging but the latter atoned for his when he smashed home the equaliser with the clock ticking down in regular time.
Both sides missed opportunities to settle it in extra-time but Hughes proved the hero when he saved Christopher Forrester's penalty.
Shamrock Rovers -- Hughes, Gannon, Flood, Brannigan (Kinsella 80), Memery; Doyle, Kinnear (Murray 62), Corcoran, Early (Rothery h-t); McGuinness, Murphy.
Bohemians -- Sexton, O'Reilly, Lopez, Feely, Corcoran (Mayer 86); Buckley (Chambers 75), Keeley, Traynor, Dixon (Forrester 62); Burke, Lodolia.
Ref -- R Daly (Dublin)