Sunday 25 February 2018

Keane secures Sligo's last-eight spot

A FIRST-HALF penalty from Alan Keane sent Sligo Rovers into the quarter-finals in Ballybofey last night.

Last year's beaten finalists were rarely threatened in a tame derby played before the biggest crowd of the season at Finn Park.

The only goal of the game came on 11 minutes when Keane coolly sent Gavin Cullen the wrong way from the penalty spot after Matthew Blinkhorn was fouled by Harps skipper Packie Mailey.

Sligo boss Paul Cook was without the injured Conor O'Grady and Joseph Ndo, but the visitors opened brightly and Richie Ryan saw a daisy-cutter fizz just wide of the target.

After the penalty, the remainder of the first half was a timid affair.

It wasn't until the hour mark that Harps first threatened,when Kevin McHugh saw a cracking effort from 25 yards dip a fraction too late. McHugh was denied a penalty 20 minutes from time when he went down under Ryan's challenge.

Moments later, Cullen did well to turn a glancing header from Blinkhorn round the post.

FINN HARPS -- Cullen; Doherty, Crossan, Mailey, Whoriskey (Breen '77 (Walsh '91)); McMenamin, Forker, Shields, Bonner, Brolly; McHugh.

SLIGO ROVERS -- Kelly; Keane, Peers, Lauchlan, Davoren; McCabe (Ventre '61), Russell, Ryan, Dillon (Doyle '61); Boco, Blinkhorn (Amond '77).

REF -- D Tomney (Dublin).

Irish Independent

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