Leinster Senior Cup Preview: Bray Wanderers -v- Shamrock Rovers


The Seagulls take on Shamrock Rovers in the quarter-final of the Leinster Senior Cup on Monday evening (7.45pm kick off). It is the first competitive match between the sides since Bray knocked the Hoops out of the League Cup in April 2019 on penalties after a scoreless draw in the Carlisle Grounds.

This is a competition that the Seagulls have never won but Bray come into the game buoyed by their unbeaten start to the season.

The Seagulls have picked up two wins and two draws, with the most recent result being a scoreless stalemate against Longford Town last Friday which followed a 1-1 draw away Finn Harps previous time out.

Prior to that Ian Ryan’s side beat both Kerry (at home) and Treaty United (away) in their first two First Division games.

Bray were the better side in the clash with Longford last Friday night but they couldn’t find a crucial goal and the result leaves them third in the table – four points behind First Division table toppers Galway United.


The Hoops, who are still seeking their first league victory of the season, turn their attention to the Leinster Senior Cup – a competition where they have won their only competitive game of the year so far.

Rovers beat UCD in early February in the last round winning 4-1 in Belfield with Markus Poom, Johnny Kenny, Rory Gaffney and Sean Carey scoring for Stephen Bradley’s side.

The Rovers starting line-up is expected not to feature those who got extensive game time against Shelbourne on Friday, with Justin Ferizaj expected to be in the starting XI.

Goalkeeper Leon Pohls made his competitive debut for the Hoops the last time Rovers played Bray (in April 2019) and will most likely feature on Monday coming into the Rovers goal in place of Alan Mannus – who equalled the club record of 120 clean sheets in all competitions last Friday night.

Pohls played in the previous round against UCD. The German made seven appearances for Rovers last season including three starts in the FAI Cup.

In the league he made one sub appearance and started two league games – in Oriel Park (when Mannus was ill) and the final league game of the season (home to UCD) after Rovers had wrapped up the title. He also started the Europa Conference League group game away to Djurgardens.

On Friday, the Hoops played out a scoreless draw against Shelbourne in Tolka Park. Rovers couldn’t break down a resolute Red side who lined out with five at the back. The stats from the game saw the Hoops have 62% possession, with seven of their 15 shots on target compared with Shels being wayward with all seven of their shots. Wyscout noted the xG as 0.91 to 0.15 in Rovers’ favour.

The Leinster Senior Cup, which Rovers have won on 19 times (2013 being the last occasion), will prove a welcome distraction for the Hoops who have made their worst start to a league campaign since 2005 a season when an eight point deduction sealed their relegation.

Should they fail to beat St Patrick’s Athletic on Friday it will be their worst opening to a league campaign for 28 years.

Referee: Paul Norton

The last time the sides met in league action was August 2018 when Rovers won 3-0 in Tallaght Stadium thanks to goals from Ronan Finn, Dylan Watts and Brandon Miele.

The Seagulls last victory over the Hoops came earlier that season five years ago. Ronan Coughlan scored the only goal of the game to give Bray what was their first win from the 11 games played in the league to date that season – they would go on to win only four more matches in that campaign and finished bottom of the table that year.

Bray Wanderers have reached the final of this competition on three occasions – most recently in 2010 when they lost the final in the Carlisle Grounds 4-0 to Shelbourne. They were defeated in back-to-back finals prior to that. Bohemians beat them 1-0 in the 1998/89 final and St. Patrick’s Athletic lifted the trophy in the 1989/90 season with a 2-0 victory of Bray.

2-1 away win


Bray Wanderers

Injured: Darren Craven, David Webster.

Doubtful: Ger Shortt.

Suspended: None.

Shamrock Rovers  

Injured: Ronan Finn

Doubtful: Dylan Watts

Suspended: None.