McEneff double sees Rovers through to cup final

By Daire Walsh

Shamrock Rovers’ quest for back-to-back FAI Cup titles remains alive after an Aaron McEneff brace guided them towards a convincing 2-0 semi-final victory over Sligo Rovers at Tallaght Stadium this afternoon.

Having recently reclaimed the Airtricity League Premier Division crown for the first time in nine years, Stephen Bradley’s men are aiming to secure a domestic double in 2020.


 Aaron McEneff celebrates finding the back of the net for Shamrock Rovers (Paddy Barrett)

They can now look forward to a showpiece affair at the Aviva Stadium next Sunday against the winners of this evening’s encounter between Dundalk and Athlone Town.

Eager to set out their stall on home soil, the Hoops broke the deadlock with just under four minutes gone on the clock.

Fresh from his recent call-up to the Republic of Ireland senior squad, McEneff fired home from close-range after Liam Scales had headed a Jack Byrne corner on the right-flank towards the target.

Stationed beside captain Ronan Finn in central midfield, the Derry native subsequently doubled the advantage in the closing moments of the opening period.



Sean Kavanagh in attack for the Hoops (Image: Paddy Barrett) 

Trying his luck from long-distance, the former Tottenham Hotspur prospect fired beyond the reach of Sligo netminder Ed McGinty to give the hosts a 2-0 interval cushion.

Rovers continued to create openings on the resumption with Sean Kavanagh forcing a fine stop out of McGinty. Graham Burke and Jack Byrne - who were also in Stephen Kenny's Ireland squad for the recent Nations League clash with Bulgaria - were also narrowly off-target, but McEneff’s first half contributions were enough to get Bradley’s troops past the Sligo challenge.

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