Sligo and Drogheda head to Ford Cup final

Danny Ventre of Sligo celebrates scoring the first goal of the game. Pic: INPHO/Donall Farmer

Sligo Rovers will meet Drogheda United in the final of the FAI Ford Cup after respective victories over Shamrock Rovers and Dundalk in two incident packed semi-finals.

Goals from Danny Ventre, Alan Keane and Anthony Elding gave Sligo a fully deserved 3-0 win over Shamrock Rovers at the Showgrounds to make it through to a fourth final in five years.

A more composed Sligo took the lead on 24 minutes. A flowing move started by man-of-the-match Joseph Ndo saw Kieran Djilali feed Aaron Greene on the left and his low cross was turned home by skipper Ventre at the second attempt.

Shamrock Rovers had right-back Conor McCormack sent off on 73 minutes for a trip on Raffaele Cretaro with Keane scoring emphatically from the resulting penalty. Substitute Elding then drilled home the third goal on 89 minutes after being set up by Greene.

In the first semi-final of the day, Drogheda booked their ticket to the Aviva Stadium on Sunday, November 3rd, in qualifying for a third cup final of the season with a 1-0 win over neighbours Dundalk who finished with nine men in a controversial game at Hunky Dorys Park.

The Louth derby turned in Drogheda's favour during a contentious five minute spell mid-way through the first half as Dundalk had two players sent off by Cork referee Anthony Buttimer and found themselves behind from a penalty.

Winger Darren Meenan was first to see a straight red on 26 minutes for a late, sliding challenge on Drogheda midfielder Paul O'Conor.

It then got worse for Dundalk five minutes later as they had midfielder Chris Shields harshly sent off for giving away a penalty for a challenge from behind on Declan O'Brien. Though Shields got a touch on the ball he was also shown a straight red before Gavin Brennan sent Peter Cherrie the wrong from the spot for what proved the game's only goal.

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