Sligo Rovers’ defence of their FAI Ford Cup title is over after Dundalk inflicted a resounding 3-0 defeat on the Bit o' Red at Oriel Park.
The Bit o' Red were without seven players for the starting XI and failed to fill the substitute bench due to the injury crisis.
Joseph Ndo returned at right-back with Danny North on the wing in a makeshift XI.
Dundalk striker David McMillan played an integral part in his side’s seventh win on the bounce, scoring the opening goal and creating the other two as Stephen Kenny's men booked their place in the last 16 of a competition they haven’t won since 2002.
Things may have been different had they opened the scoring just short of the quarter-hour mark. Eric Odhiambo swept the ball out to the right for Danny North and raced into the area to collect the return. The Rovers striker bore down on Peter Cherrie, but his effort lacked direction, drifting wide of the target. It proved to be a rare excursion into the Dundalk penalty area.
It was mostly one-way traffic for the remainder of the half.
David McMillan, given a rare start due to Patrick Hoban's knee operation, forced Gary Rogers into a good save in the 16th minute and Dane Massey then saw a free header tipped away by the Sligo Rovers goalkeeper.
Dundalk's momentum grew by the minute and the pressure eventually told just past the half-hour mark.
Brian Gartland's pass from the back found Richie Towell on the left. His delivery into McMillan's feet was top class but the striker's finish was even better. Losing his brother, Sligo centre-back Evan, he created space and shot into the top corner from 12 yards.
The second goal was always going to be crucial in determining the outcome and it arrived less than two minutes after the restart.
Again, it was the result of another incisive bit of football. Towell picked McMillan out on the inside right and his lay-off was swept home emphatically by Daryl Horgan.
Rovers needed an instant pick-me-up and almost got it three minutes later. Danny Ledwith's free-kick was met by the head of North but Cherrie got down to tip the ball wide.
It proved to be a rare bit of action for the Dundalk goalkeeper, and the home side secured their passage to the last 16 when centre-back Brian Gartland made it 3-0 with a thumbing finish after Rogers had denied McMillan a second.