Waterford FC bowed out of the Irish Daily Mail FAI Cup after a 3-0 defeat at home to Shelbourne on Friday night at the RSC.
Patrick McClean went close for the Blues on 13 minutes when the defender took a pass from Derek Daly 25-yards from goal but his left-footed effort flashed inches wide of Dean Delany’s left-hand post before Sean Heaney headed an O’Halloran delivery from the right over the bar two minutes later.
David McDaid laid the ball into the path of Shane O’Connor out on the right side soon afterwards but he whistled a left-footed shot wide of the far post.
A foul on O’Halloran out on the left-side by Shelbourne midfielder Niall Lanigan on 40 minutes gave Paul Keegan the opportunity to send in a dangerous free kick that the visiting keeper Dean Delany brilliantly tipped over the bar for a ninth Blues flag kick of the half.
Shelbourne shocked the home faithful when they struck the front just 26 seconds into the second half when a long ball over the top caught out Waterford defender Kenny Browne and Chris Lyons took full advantage to slip to ball under the body of the advancing Ian McLoughlin.
It was Browne that produced a stunning last-man tackle to deny the visitors from scoring a second goal with 56 minutes on the clock when Derek Prendergast sent Jamie Doyle clear on the left-side of the penalty area but the defender put in the interception.
The Blues should have levelled the tie on the hour mark when Paul Keegan put in a superb left-wing corner kick to the near post for Sean Heaney but the defender headed agonisingly wide of the target with Shelbourne keeper Delany beaten.
Referee Anthony Buttimer reduced the visitors to ten men on 66 minutes when midfielder Niall Lanigan, who was booked in the first half for a tackle on Derek Daly, was issued with his second yellow card for simulation when he went down under a challenge from Sean Heaney.
The match official, seven minutes later, judged that Aidan Collins pushed over Mark O’Sullivan in the area and after David McDaid was made to wait to take the spot kick, his effort was saved by keeper Dean Delany.
The Blues were made to pay for the penalty miss on 78 minutes when Mark Hughes whipped in a corner kick from the left that found the head of Jamie Doyle and powered a free header past keeper Ian McLoughlin from deep inside the area.
Shelbourne grabbed a third goal in the final minute of the tie when Sean Heaney’s attempted header back to Ian McLoughlin was intercepted by James English and he had the simplest of tasks in walking the ball to the back of the net.
Waterford FC: Ian McLoughlin, Patrick McClean (Mark O’Sullivan `67), Kenny Browne, Paddy Barrett, Sean Heaney, Paul Keegan, Dean O’Halloran (Aaron Drinan `53), Derek Daly, Anthony McAlavey (John Martin `72), Shane O’Connor, David McDaid.
Shelbourne: Dean Delany, James Brown, Reece McEnteer (Sean Byrne `29), Aidan Collins, Derek Prendergast, Alan Byrne, Mark Hughes, Adam Evans, Niall Lanigan, Jamie Doyle, Chris Lyons (James English `67)
Referee: Anthony Buttimer (Cork)