Darryl Geraghty reports from Dalymount Park
Shamrock Rovers booked their spot in the Extra.ie FAI Cup final with a comfortable win over 10-man Bohemians, thanks to goals in either half from Graham Burke and Aaron Greene.
Having broken their long hoodoo against The Gypsies with their one-nil home victory, it was the Hoops who took the lead with just five minutes played, and what a finish it was too. Jack Byrne’s tame outswinging corner was met by Graham Burke, who, coming away from goal, powered a bullet header past James Talbot at the near post.
To their credit, the home side responded well. Ryan Graydon looked Bohs most dangerous player on the right wing, and had a glorious chance to equalise. Following a clever one-two with Danny Mandroiu, Graydon cut inside Sean Kavanagh but could only strike low, with his weaker left foot, straight at Alan Mannus.
The enthralling encounter became a little more open as both teams went toe to toe. Aaron McEneff had a good chance from inside the area, before Jack Byrne forced Talbot into a low stop. Bohs had a couple decent opportunities from set pieces through Andre Wright but failed to create anything clear cut as the Phibsboro faithful grew frustrated.
This frustration continued into the second half as the game become a war of attrition, Roberto Lopes and Gary O’Neill joined Ronan Finn in the book. Keith Buckley had a go from distance but the Rovers rear gueard remained relatively unthreatened.
The visitors really should have doubled the lead when goal-scorer Burke ws played in by Jack Byrne. The front man did everything right, dinking the ball over Talbot, but was somehow denied by a miracolous goal line clearance by Paddy Kirk – which has to be seen to be believed.
Things went from bad to worse for the home side as star man Danny Mandroiu saw red for an over-the-ball lunge on Sean Kavanagh with just 14 minutes remaining.
Rovers sensed blood, and following a swift move down the right wing, put the game beyond doubt. A neat move down the right saw Ronan Finn whip in a dangerous low cross to Aaron Greene, who finished into the roof of the net and looked to put the game beyond doubt.
Stephen Bradley’s men now look forward to a day out at the Aviva and await the winners of Sligo Rovers, and treble chasing Dundalk.
Bohemian FC: James Talbot, Derek Pender (c), Rob Cornwall, Scott Allardice (Conor Levingston 63’), Danny Mandroiu, Danny Grant, Andre Wright, Keith Buckley (Ross Tierney 73’), Ryan Graydon (Keith Ward 75’), James Finnerty, Paddy Kirk
Subs: Keith Ward, Conor Levingston, Michael Barker, Ryan Swan, Ross Tierney, Luke Wade-Slater, Michael Kelly
Shamrock Rovers: Alan Mannus, Roberto Lopes (c), Lee Grace, Ronan Finn (Daniel Lafferty 85’), Aaron McEneff, Sean Kavanagh, Gary O’Neill, Graham Burke(Greg Bolger 88’), Aaron Greene (Graham Cummins90’), Joey O’Brien, Jack Byrne
Subs: Greg Bolger, Dylan Watts, Daniel Lafferty, Neil Farrugia, Graham Cummins, Leon Pohls, Brandon Kavanagh
Referee: Rob Hennessy