Published Monday, 11 March 2013
David Armstrong scored for the Blues but it wasn't enough. (© Pacemaker)
Derry City suffered an agonising exit, going out to a late winner at Drogheda just when it looked as if the tie would go the distance.
Ryan Brennan broke City hearts four minutes into added time and dashed the hopes of the Candystripes who had battled most of the second half with just ten men.
The visitors were denied an early goal when Drogheda goalkeeper Sava made a stunning save to keep out abn effort from Shane McEleney.
Drogheda responded by slowly getting into their stride and looked certain to score when Cassidy got past goalkeeper Gerard Doherty but Kevin Deery made a great clearance off the line.
With half time approaching the home team were awarded a penalty but O'Neill failed to beat Doherty with his weak spot kick. City's hopes of progressing were not helped when Ryan McBride was shown red for a high challenge on O'Neill who was stretchered off just minutes into the second half.
The vital away goal City badly needed finally arrived when Michael Rafter cashed in on some poor defending to make it 1-0 to the Candystripes.
That joy was short lived however as Prendergast made it 1-1 just minutes later.
The sides seemed to be on their way to extra-time and the dreaded penalty shoot-out until that late winner.
Linfield's defensive frailties were in evidence again as they lost 3-1 to Shamrock Rovers at Windsor Park bowing out of the competition 7-2 on aggregate.
It had all started so well as Linfield made a bright start with Jamie Mulgrew and Peter Thompson going close before David Armstrong fired them ahead on 26 minutes.
It came from a Quinn corner, flicked on by Philip Lowry and Armstrong could not miss.
However, any chance of putting more pressure on the visitors were dashed when a poor back pass from Niall was intercepted by Thomas Stewart and he rounded Armstrong to level the scores on the night.
Linfield should have hit the front again just after the restart when Michael Carvill's initial shot was blocked, the ball fell invitingly for Thompson but he shot straight at the keeper.
The Blues were left to rue that miss as Stewart grabbed his second of the night, Glendinning making the initial save but he was unable to prevent the former Linfield striker from knocking home the rebound.
With ten minutes left Rovers bagged goal number three when Glendinning somehow allowed a shot from substitute Dennehy go under his body and into the net.
Sligo Rovers were once again a class above Glentoran at The Oval, going through 3-0 on the night and 8-0 on aggregate.
There was a let-off for the Glens on four minutes when Lynch put Cretaro clear, he did the hard job of beating keeper Hogg but missed a gaping goal.
But Sligo did not have to wait much longer before finding the opener and it was a superb strike as Lynch found the top corner of the net from 30 yards out.
Things got even worse for the Glens on 26 minutes when Djilali picked out Cretaro and he easily fired past Hogg.
The Glens did not give up the fight and in the second half both Jamie Callacher and Martin Murray brought finger tip saves out of Rogers.
Sligo had not finished and made it 3-0 on 85 minutes when Martin hit a powerful shot from the edge of the box into the corner of the net.
Following the ties the draw was made for the semi-finals with Sligo Rovers facing Drogheda United and Shamrock Rovers taking on Cork City.
Results in full:
Linfield 1-3 Shamrock Rovers (Agg: 2-7)
Linfield: Armstrong 27
Shamrock Rovers: Stewart 32, 69, Dennehy 80.
Drogheda Utd 2-1 Derry City (Agg: 3-2)
Drogheda Utd: Prendergast 68, Brennan 90+4.
Glentoran 0-3 Sligo Rovers (Agg: 0-8)
Sligo Rovers: Lynch 7, Cretaro 25, Martin 85.