Rovers end long wait for FAI Cup glory

By Stephen Leonard

SHAMROCK Rovers have bridged a 32-year gap since they last raised the FAI Cup after they beat Dundalk 4-2 on penalties in this evening's thrilling decider at the Aviva Stadium.

Stephen Bradley's side had looked poised to win the match in regulation time after Aaron McEneff broke the deadlock with a 90th minute spotkick that had been won by Tallaght man Aaron Greene.

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Rovers lifting fthe cup (pic: David Kilberd)

Yet the SSE Airtricity League champions salvaged a late late reprieve when Michael Duffy rocked the net with a sublime half volley to make it 1-1 at the death.

Rovers, who had been on top for much of this tie, were rocked, but regained their poise in extra time which failed to determine winner.

And they carried that same composure into the resulting shootout with Rovers goalkeeper Alan Mannus pulling off a fine stop from Daniel Cleary after Duffy 's attempt had smacked the crossbar.

Jack Byrne, Joey O'Brien and Greg Bolger all converted for the Tallaght side before Gary O'Neill struck the winner, ending the long cup wait for the delirious Rovers faithful.

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