Robbie Benson spot-on in stroll for Dundalk
Galway United 0 Dundalk 3
Robbie Benson converted a dubious second-half penalty to kill off Galway at Terryland Park as Dundalk secured their place in the EA Sports Cup final for the first time since 2014.
Dundalk had all of the early chances and Jamie McGrath put them ahead after 10 minutes, blasting a low shot past Galway’s new goalkeeper, Charlie Burns, after Colm Horgan had done well to clear the ball off the line twice.
Burns made a brilliant save two minutes later before Paul Sinnott made the crucial intervention to deny John Mountney and Sean Hoare had a headed goal disallowed in the 16th minute.
Galway should have drawn level in the 26th minute when both Stephen Folan and Kevin Devaney failed to add the finishing touch as the ball ricocheted around the penalty area following a Marc Ludden throw-in.
Their next chance came via the exploits of midfielder Rory Hale. The new signing from Aston Villa burst forward down the right and the clearance from his cross fell to David Cawley, who fired his shot wide.
Galway, who had won three of their last four games, were now playing with more confidence but Dundak always looked more likely to score and Thomas Stewart and Hoare both went close before the visitors increased their lead in the 57th minute, albeit in disputed circumstances.
Referee Ray Matthews awarded a penalty after controversially adjudging that Ludden had fouled John Mountney and Benson made no mistake from the spot.
Galway’s misery was complete when Devaney put the ball into his own net in the 77th minute.
Galway Utd– Burns; Horgan, Sinnott, Folan, Ludden; Shanahan, Holohan, Cawley, Hale (Byrne 69), Devaney (Manning 89); Cunningham (McCormack 69).
Dundalk – Rogers; Gannon, Hoare, Vemmelund, Grimes; Benson (Clifford 81), O’Donnell; Mountney (McEleney 63), Duffy, McGrath; Stewart (McMillan 72)
Ref – R Matthews (Westmeath).