Dundalk against Shamrock Rovers was a repeat of last year’s Extra.ie FAI Cup Final but there was to be no repeat of the result. Dundalk won 4-2 after extra time in the Aviva after losing on penalties in last year’s decider. In the process, the Lillywhites handed the Hoops their first defeat of the season. The champions had been hoping to be the first side since 1925 to go through the domestic season unbeaten.
After a first half where the sides cancelled each other out, the game sprung to life in the second period after Aaron Greene gave Shamrock the lead. Dundalk then came right back into the game with two goals inside three minutes, both from David McMillan. Ricardo Lopes then scored a leveller for Shamrock as the game finished 2-2. That meant for the eighth time in 11 years, the FAI Cup final was going to extra time.
After a scoreless first period, Dundalk claimed the win with goals from Sean Hoare and another from McMillan who got his hat-trick. It was Dundalk’s second Cup win in three years in what was their sixth final in a row. For Shamrock, they will have to make do with the league title and await their chance to claim their first double since 1987. The season is over now for all clubs bar Dundalk.
They have one more Europa League game against Arsenal this coming Thursday night again in the Aviva. There will be plenty of eyes on that game with a number of their squad out of contract soon after, and with no shortage of suitors. There has been plenty of movement already on the player front especially in the First Division.
Shelbourne have been very active following their relegation. They signed striker Michael O’Connor who return to the league after a short spell with Scottish side Ross County. J.J. Lunney and Glen McAuley both sign after playing with Bohs last season. Michael Barker has also joined from the Dalymount Park side while John Ross Wilson has come in from Bray Wanderers.
Ally Gilchrist signed from Derry and Shels have also appointed former Waterford manager Alan Reynolds as the assistant to Ian Morris. Galway United have re-signed striker Ruairi Keating who returns after spells in England with Torquay United and Gateshead. One player leaving Eamon Deasy Park is goal-keeper Micheal Schlingermann. He has signed for Athlone Town with whom he had a spell before.
In the Premier Division, Sligo Rovers announced that right-back Lewis Banks and midfielder Ryan De Vries had signed new contracts for the 2021 season. One player leaving the Showgrounds is midfielder Will Seymore as the American wasn’t offered a deal for the coming year.