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HOOPS WIN BATTLE OF THE ROVERS

FAI ENDA MCGUILL UNDER 19 CUP
SEMI FINAL

SHAMROCK ROVERS….. 3    SLIGO ROVERS……  1

SHAMROCK ROVERS put on a stylish semi final show at the Roadstone Academy to comfortably overcome Sligo Rovers and book their place in the FAI Enda McGuill Under 19 Cup final.   

Stephen Rice’s side can now look forward to a tasty Dublin Derby in next month’s decider when they attempt to wrestle the trophy from holders Bohemians with the venue for the final yet to be decided. 

Goals from Thomas Oluwa and Eric Abulu in the first half and Martins Olakanye’s third early after the break gave the home side a commanding lead and although Sligo did pull one back with 15 minutes remaining the Hoops were never in any real danger of been overhauled.

The pace and strength of this talented Shamrock Rovers side who are the clear leaders of the Southern Division proved to be too much for Sligo who although they battled hard they were unable to contain the likes of Oluwa up top and winger Olakanye.

Oluwa had his side ahead on 20 minutes with a fine individual goal powering through the Sligo defence to fire past a helpless James Robinson.

The Hoops striker went close to a second shortly after with a neat turn and shot inside the box that shaved the post on it’s way out.

The home side continued to dominate and full back Abulu stretched the lead seven minutes later when he finished off a run up the left flank with a powerful drive that Robinson could only watch as it hit the back of the net.

A third looked likely before the break after Daragh Nugent connected with Olakanye’s cross but his effort was blocked on the line by Ryan Smith.

Any chance Sligo had of getting back into the tie after the break was quickly dashed a couple on minutes in when Olakanye steered home the third goal when Nugent threaded a neat pass into his path and the winger’s clinical finish beat Robinson.

Sligo boss Brian Dorian used all five substitutes on the hour and although overwhelmed at times to their credit his side stuck to their task.

Kian Clarke in the home goal had rarely been called in to action until the 75 minute when he struggled to properly gather a well placed free kick from James McGrath and the ball just managed to slip cross the line for Sligo’s consolation goal.

SHAMROCK ROVERS: Kian Clarke; Alex Dunne, Adam O’Connor, Andrew Spain, Eric Abulu; Evan Smithers (Toby Owens 58), Jordan Tallon (Darren Prendergast 70); Martins Olakanye (Danila Bogdanov 65), Daragh Nugent, Luke Kelly (Jordan Carroll 83); Thomas Oluwa (Josh Bumale 75).

SLIGO ROVERS: James Robinson; Scott Lynch, Ryan Smith, Dion O’Reilly, Liam White; Cian McAllister (Dylan Martin 60); Mark Byrne (Dan O’Toole 60), Aaron Perry (Odhran McGuinness 60), James McGrath, Jack O’Connor (Darragh Forde 60); Darragh Collins (Louis Garvin 60).

Referee: Mark Moynihan. Assistants: Wayne McDonnell, Alan Carey.

 RESULTS

FAI ENDA MCGUILL UNDER 19 CUP 
Semi Final

Shamrock Rovers 3 (Thomas Oluwa, Eric Abulu, Martins Olakanye) Sligo Rovers 1 (James McGrath)

FAI MARK FARREN UNDER 17 CUP
Semi Final

Kerry League 3 (Cian Brosnan, Nathan Gleeson, Colin Walsh pen) Cork City 2 (Sean McGrath, David Cremin)

By JOHN HUDSON

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