Rovers undone by Derry in FAI Cup
Rory Gaffney's goal was not enough to see Shamrock Rovers past Derry City yesterday

Rovers undone by Derry in FAI Cup

SHAMROCK Rovers exited the FAI Cup at the quarter-final stage following a 3-1 extra-time defeat at the hands of Derry City in the Ryan McBride Brandywell Stadium yesterday evening.

Just three days on from suffering a comprehensive reversal to Gent in Group F of the UEFA Europa Conference League, the Hoops were hoping to keep their domestic double hopes alive.

Stephen Bradley’s men overcame the dismissal of Lee Grace to remain on level terms by the close of 90 minutes, before the Candystripes ultimately pushed forward in the additional periods and progressed to face Treaty United in the last-four of the competition.

After stand-in goalkeeper Leon Pohls had turned away an early Cameron Dummigan effort, Jamie McGonigle headed the hosts in front from a Mark Connolly cross on 19 minutes.

The travelling Rovers faithful breathed a sigh of relief when Dummigan smashed the crossbar just shy of the first-quarter mark, but disaster struck for the visitors when Grace picked up a straight red card for upending Patrick McEleney inside the box.

The woodwork came to the rescue of Rovers once again, however, from Will Patching’s subsequent penalty and the Tallaght side remained in contention at the start of the second half as a result.

Indeed, Derry’s slender advantage disappeared in the 66th-minute as Rovers pounced for a well-worked equaliser.

At the end of a powerful run, Neil Farrugia picked out the raiding Andy Lyons. The elusive wing-back had his shot on goal turned away by Brian Maher, but Rory Gaffney was on hand to smash home the rebound.

This ensured 30 extra minutes would be required to determine who progressed from this game, though a brace of familiar faces ultimately put paid to Rovers’ chances.

An FAI Cup and Premier Division winner with the Hoops in 2019 and 2020 respectively, Danny Lafferty headed his hometown club of Derry back in front on 96 minutes.

Brandon Kavanagh joined the Candystripes from Rovers in advance of the 2022 season and he made sure of victory for his new side with a superb solo finish 10 minutes from time.

Following this disappointing result, Rovers will look to maintain a safe distance between themselves and Derry in the League of Ireland top-flight when they face Damien Duff’s Shelbourne at Tolka Park on Thursday.

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