DFC | Kenny delighted with his side’s performance in Galway as Dundalk FC set up final date with Shamrock Rovers

EA Sports Cup Semi-Final | Galway United 0–3 Dundalk FC

Dundalk manager Stephen Kenny hailed his side’s display in the EA Sports Cup semi final against Galway United at Eamonn Deacy Park on Bank Holiday Monday.

The Lilywhites will meet Shamrock Rovers in the final on September 16th after a convincing 3–0 win and Kenny was understandably thrilled with the his team’s dominant showing.

“We’re delighted to get to the final. It was an excellent performance overall,” he told Dundalk Sport afterwards.

“We kept the ball brilliantly in the first half and thought we could have been further in front at half time.”

The Lilywhites dominated from start to finish and it was no surprise when Jamie McGrath casually slotted home a 10th minute opener after Michael Duffy and Tommy Stewart had both been denied by Galway goalkeeper Charlie Burns.

“We got the goals at the right time. Jamie’s was an excellent finish after the two were cleared off the line to stop Michael and Tommy,” said Kenny.

The only surprise was that Dundalk went in at the break just one-goal ahead, referee Ray Matthews harshly ruling out a Sean Hoare effort after the centre-back rose to power a header to the net.

“Sean’s disallowed goal was contentious,” remarked Kenny. “I think he has been absolutely outstanding over the past two games and was probably the best player on the park today overall.”

If Hoare’s header was contentious, then the same could be said about the penalty that led to Dundalk’s second goal in the 56th minute.

Marc Ludden made a challenge on John Mountney, right in front of the Dundalk supporters. Referee Matthews signalled for a corner but the assistant ruled otherwise, flagging for a foul on Mountney and Robbie Benson converted the spot-kick.

“It was on the far side of the ground and it was the linesman who gave it rather than the referee so it went for us a bit. I’d have to see it again,” was Kenny’s reaction.

The excellent Sean Gannon was the architect of goal number three, his raid on the right ending with the unfortunate Kevin Devaney turning the ball into his own net.

“There’s three competitions and they’re all important. It’s a cup final, it’s live on TV and it’ll be a full house,” said Kenny.

“The earlier rounds of the competition can be sparse but when you get to the final it’s a full house, regardless of where it is, and it’ll be a great game.”

Dundalk beat Rovers in the 2014 final at Oriel Park, a win that secured Kenny his first piece of silverware at the club.

“We relished winning it three years ago,” said Kenny. “It was the first trophy we won and we’re delighted to get to the final to try and win it again.

“We made some changes to the team and there was some risk attached to that but they all did brilliantly and that was very pleasing.

“That was Shane Grimes’ first game since last October and it was great to see him play a competitive game.

“It’s testament to his professionalism that he played 90 minutes and played very well.”

GALWAY UNITED: Charlie Burns; Colm Horgan, Stephen Folan, Paul Sinnott, Marc Ludden; Gary Shanahan, Rory Hale (Eoin McCormack 68), David Cawley, Kevin Devaney (Ronan Manning 88); Gavan Holohan; Padraic Cunningham (Alex Byrne 69). Subs not used: Conor Winn (GK), Conor Melody, Aaron Conway, Declan Sharkey.

DUNDALK FC: Gabriel Sava; Sean Gannon, Sean Hoare, Niclas Vemmelund, Shane Grimes; Robbie Benson (Conor Clifford 81), Stephen O’Donnell; John Mountney (Patrick McEleney 64), Jamie McGrath, Michael Duffy; Thomas Stewart (David McMillan 71). Subs not used: Gary Rogers (GK), Brian Gartland, Chris Shields, Steven Kinsella.

REFEREE: Ray Matthews. ATTENDANCE: 1,017.

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