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

Shamrock Rovers had been dominating the meetings between the teams so far in the year winning twice in the league and also winning both legs of the Setanta Cup semi-final to make it four wins from four. But the Bit o‘ Red turned it round with a dominant display in front of their home crowd. Having made the better start , the home side secured the lead through Gavin Peers with a bullet header from a pinpoint Joseph Ndo corner. The visitors tried but could not find a way through the solid Rovers defence of Peers and McGuinness. As the game reached its conclusion a defence splitting pass from John Dillon put the Bit o’Red top scorer Eoin Doyle in on goal and he calmly rounded Alan Mannus before finding the back of the net to put the gloss on the victory.
May 12 2012, Sligo Rovers 3-0 Shamrock Rovers
Rovers went into the game having made one of the best starts in club history and sat proudly at the top of the table. Shams on the other hand had been struggling under the management of Stephen Kenny who had taken over from Michael O’Neill at the start of the season. They wouldn’t manage to turn things around in this game as the home crowd cheered their team on to a comfortable win on a glorious sunny afternoon. Early on Rovers took the upper hand with Mark Quigley going closest with an audacious 40 yard effort. But within the half hour top scorer Danny North continued his rich vein of form with a clinical finish from the edge of the area. And just seven minutes later the lead was doubled in superb fashion as David Cawley unleashed a superb shot into the top corner of the net to get his first Bit o’Red goal. The away side never looked like finding a way back and in the last 15 minutes North struck again catching the keeper out with a powerful effort at the near post. The game ended with a 3-0 win as Rovers continued their march towards that season’s league title.
October 26 2012, Sligo Rovers 0-2 Shamrock Rovers
Having won the league title two weeks previously with a dramatic victory over St. Pat’s the main focus of the night was for the Bit o’Red was lifting the league trophy for the first time in 35 years. The last time it happened was also against Shamrock in the final game of the 1977 season. Rovers had lost last time out against Drogheda United for only the second time of the season but had an unbeaten home record.
The home side never really got going on the night however and on 10 minutes Gary Twigg put the ball home from a corner and gave Shams the lead. Rovers had few chances to get back in the game with Joseph Ndo going closest. With 57 minutes gone again Gary Twigg got on the scoresheet again which put the game beyond Rovers. The rest of the game was played out in anticipation of the league trophy being lifted. One of the biggest crowds seen at the Showgrounds in a long time spilled out onto the pitch to witness captain Danny Ventre get his hands on the trophy on a memorable night for all Rovers fans.
The victory was capped by sub Elding slotting the ball past the keeper in the final minute of the game. The win set up another trophy for Rovers with the final being won 3-2 against Drogheda United the following month.

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.  


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