Sligo Rovers lifted the 2014 Setanta Sports Cup trophy after a hard-fought victory over Dundalk at a rainsoaked Tallaght Stadium.
The vital goal came through a 13th minute back heeled finish from Paul O’Conor, after a cross from Aaron Greene found the unmarked midfielder who did the honours to ensure a cup final triumph forr his side.
The first half was a game riddled with opportunities for the Lilywhites. Daryl Horgan rattled the side netting with a tame effort when he had time to provide a much better finish. O’Conor’s goal was almost cancelled out by Patrick Hoban, his header from a Chris Shields cross dipping wide of Gary Rogers’ post. Dane Massey had time and space inside the area but his effort was wild and never looked likely to trouble the Rovers goaltkeper.
Hoban was getting into enticing positions and when he broke free of Evan McMillan’s grasp, Massey supplied the cross but his effort rippled the side netting as his side went in behind.
The second half, like the first, saw Dundalk enjoy the majority of the chances. Richie Towell went close to finding the elusive equaliser when his effort looped just over Rogers’ crossbar with the keeper looking beaten. Kurtis Byrne also went close just over 15 minutes from time as he pulled a fine effort wide of Rogers’ post.
Sligo were resilient though defensively, with Evan McMillan and Jeff Henderson particularly impressive. As the second-half wore on, the rain became increasily worse. That did not deter former Sligo striker David McMillan as he attempted an audacious lob over the top of Gary Rogers after a long ball forward from full back Sean Gannon.
It was close to finding the net but Rogers got a vital touch to deny the Lilywhites an equaliser. That was all Dundalk could muster as a breakthrough continued to elude them.
The final whistle was met by the hordes of Sligo staff and players invading the pitch, with Stephen Kenny cutting a desolate figure on the sideline as Sligo Rovers lifted the 2014 Setanta Sports Cup trophy.