Sport Soccer

Saturday 18 November 2017

Late Kavanagh brace icing on cake for Hoops second string

(Shamrock Rovers win 7-2 on agg)

Ruaidhri O’Connor

SUCH a comprehensive dismissal of Lisburn Distillery looks good, but given Shamrock Rovers did it with their second string it was all the more impressive as they cruised into the Setanta Cup semi-finals.

When Michael O'Neill's rivals cast an eye over the teams he fielded over both legs, they will do so with a great degree of jealousy.

O'Neill could afford to make 10 changes from the side who beat St Patrick's Athletic and give the sole survivor Dan Murray a rest for the final half-hour ahead of the crunch visit to Derry City on Friday.

The three-goal lead they carried into the match meant they looked a little complacent at first and found themselves behind early on as Pat Flynn misjudged Phil Simpson's ball and Gary Liggett made no mistake from the edge of the box.


That woke the hosts up a little and Kelly struck the visitors' crossbar with a free kick, before they were frustrated as Dan Murray roved forward and crossed for Karl Sheppard, whose shot was blocked by Paul Muir on the line and Stephen O'Donnell's follow-up was turned away by Simpson.

Kilduff eased the home crowd's worries before the break, neatly taking O'Donnell's pass around Billy Brennan and finishing cooly after good work by teenager Mick Doyle.

The hosts didn't take long to put an end to any doubt over the tie as Stephen Rice tucked home Sheppard's ball after the break.

That took the sting out of the game and although Liggett levelled on the night by nodding home Gary Brown's cross, Paddy Kavanagh finished the job for the Hoops late on with two well-taken finishes to ensure safe passage.

SHAMROCK ROVERS -- Thompson; Doyle, Flynn, Murray (Sullivan 63), McCormack; Sheppard, O'Donnell, Rice, Kavanagh; Kilduff, Kelly (Finn 73).

LISBURN DISTILLERY -- Brennan; Devlin, Simpson, Muir, McShane (Traynor 61); Forsythe, Davidson, Cushley (Patton 66); Browne (Hughes 79), Liggett.

REF -- N Doyle (Dublin).

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