Recent history: #ClashoftheRovers
There's been some dramatic meeting between the two Rovers in recent years with lots at stake. Ahead of Sunday's crucial league clash, here is a look at five of the most incident-packed.
November 14 2010, Sligo Rovers 0-0 Shamrock Rovers (Sligo Rovers win 2-0 on penalties).
The sides met in the FAI Cup final for the first time in 32 years. It was the first cup final to be played at the newly built Aviva Stadium with the Bit o’ Red looking to make up for having lost in the previous year’s final and the Hoops looking to end a 23-year stretch without victory. The Tallaght club went into the final as slight favourites having won the league title that year but there was very little between the sides in the game.
As the 90 minutes concluded neither side had managed a goal and it went to extra-time. While both teams again had chances to get a precious winner, the game ended scoreless and penalties would be required to decide the fate of the FAI Cup. The first penalty was scored by former Hoop Eoin Doyle for Paul Cook’s side. However from there both sides would struggle to find the net. Shams had penalties saved by Ciaran Kelly from Gary Twigg, Pat Flynn and Chris Turner. However Rovers couldn’t capitalise with Alan Keane having his saved also and Conor O’Grady shooting wide. Next up was Gary McCabe and he emphatically found the net to put Rovers on the brink. Once again superb goalkeeping from Ciaran Kelly for Paddy Kavanagh’s penalty won the shootout 2-0 and ended a 16-year wait to bring the cup back over the Shannon for Sligo Rovers.
June 24 2011, Sligo Rovers 2-0 Shamrock Rovers
October 6 2013, Sligo Rovers 3-0 Shamrock Rovers
With the league title all but out of reach for Rovers and Shamrock even further adrift in mid-table the FAI Cup was the main focus of the season for both clubs as they faced off in the semi-finals at the Showgrounds. An edgy start seen opportunities for both sides none of which were taken but when the deadlock was broken by Danny Ventre hitting home from inside the box the game turned around with the lead seeing Rovers open up and play some of their best football of the season. Danny North almost made it two soon after but for a good save from Richard Brush.
No further goals would be scored in the half so the visitors emerged still in with a fighting chance.
The game remained in the balance until 15 minutes from the end with Raf Cretaro being brought down in the box by Conor McCormack leading to a penalty and the dismissal of the shams defender. With Alan Keane slotting home the penalty the Bit o’Red had a comfortable lead and coasted through to the final for a fourth time in five years.