Monday 19 February 2018

Rovers hold firm to stroll into semi-finals

Glentoran 0 Shamrock Rovers 0 (Rovers win 5-1 on aggregate)

17 March 2014; Dean Kelly, Shamrock Rovers, in action against Stephen McAlorum, Glentoran
17 March 2014; Dean Kelly, Shamrock Rovers, in action against Stephen McAlorum, Glentoran
Robert Bayly, Shamrock Rovers, in action against Callum Birney, Glentoran
Gary McCabe, Shamrock Rovers, in action against Jim O'Hanlon, Glentoran

Shamrock Rovers ensured it would be an all southern affair in the semi-finals of the Setanta Cup as they ran out aggregate winners with a goalless draw at the Oval in Belfast.

Glentoran were facing an uphill challenge coming into the game as they were comprehensively beaten in the first leg.

The Belfast side started the brighter but Elliot Morris was the busier of the two goalkeepers in an even first half as he twice made saves from Eamon Zayed and Simon Madden to keep the score at 0-0 going into the break.

It was Rovers goalkeeper Barry Murphy's turn to save his side after the resumption as he parried Mark Clarke's shot on 56 minutes after the midfielder was picked out by an excellent Stephen McAlorum through ball. Curtis Allen next found Murphy again equal to his 71st-minute curling effort.

Dean Kelly had one further chance for Trevor Croly's men but was denied by Morris as the game petered out in the last ten minutes.

The northern side went some way to restoring the reputation of the Irish league but could not stop Shamrock Rovers who will now face Dundalk in the semi-final on Monday night next in Tallaght stadium.

Glentoran – Morris, Bradley, Birney (Nelson 66), Garrett, Addis, O'Hanlon (Hughes 62), McAlorum, Clarke, McCaffrey (McKee 41), Stewart, Allen

Shamrock Rovers – Murphy, Madden, Kenna, Cornwall, Byrne (Kehoe 84), Robinson, McCabe (O'Connor 62), Kelly, Bayley, Sheppard, Zayed

Irish Independent

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