Substitute Karl Sheppard hit a late double as Shamrock Rovers came from behind to see off league leaders Dundalk 2-1 in last night’s FAI Ford Cup quarter-final replay at Oriel Park.
The home side’s treble dream looked very much on when leading scorer Patrick Hoban fired them in front five minutes before half-time.
However, Sheppard’s goals in the 81st and 87th minutes rocked Oriel Park.
Just as in the first game, which finished 0-0 in Tallaght last Friday, Dundalk were left to rue a series of misses when they were on top with Barry Murphy excelling for Pat Fenlon’s side in goal.
Hoban deservedly headed them in front in the 40th minute when he headed home from Darren Meenan’s delivery.
Murphy was superb though to twice deny Hoban on the restart before doing likewise from Andy Boyle.
Having weathered the storm, Rovers began to pile on the pressure and it finally told as they grabbed an equaliser nine minutes from time when Sheppard raced onto Sean O’Connor’s pass to slot past Peter Cherrie.
The real drama was yet to come, however, as three minutes from time Sheppard broke clear on the right to fire his side into the last four.
Dundalk: Cherrie; Gannon, Rossiter (Higgins 88), Boyle, Massey; Meenan (McMillan 88), Shields, Towell, Horgan; Byrne (Mountney 68), Hoban. Subs not used: Ward, Griffin, Kaguako, Sava.
Shamrock Rovers: Murphy; Madden, Kenna, McGuinness, Byrne; Brennan (Waters 53), Robinson (McPhail 62), Cregg, Finn, O’Connor; Kelly (Sheppard 77). Subs not used: Cornwall, Bayly, McCabe, Hyland.
Referee: D McKeon (Dublin).