Conor Kenna - saw red for Rovers
The Hoops salvaged a deserved point with an added-on time equaliser from Ronan Finn. Ciaran Kilduff had given Rovers a first half lead but a moment of madness ten minutes after the restart saw Ref. Paul McLoughlin award a controversial penalty which was converted by Richie Towel. Conor Kenna then saw red and the home side hit the front with a goal from Meenan. However Rovers never gave up and Ronan Finn sent the travelling fans into raptures with his late late strike.
Both sides opened brightly with the best chance of the early exchanges falling to ex-Hoop Stephen O'Donnell who ran on to a knock down to shoot over the bar under pressure from Jason McGuinness.
[GOAL 0:1 - 13th min.] Rovers positive start paid dividends when Ronan Finn took possession of the ball in midfield and his low pass set Ciaran Kilduff on a run into the box on the right-hand side and he coolly slotted the ball past the advancing 'keeper and into the far corner of the net.
The home side hit back and on the break Towell burst forward and his cross found O'Donnell in the area but he mis-hit his shot and although Horgan returned the ball Towell finished off the move by blasting over the bar. Hoban then turned inside from the left but Barry Murphy comfortably saved his low shot. On 23 minutes the impressive Sean Heaney got forward to shot on goal but Peter Cherrie saved.
On the half-hour a Dundalk free-kick from just inside the Rovers half sailed over the Hoops defence but Boyle timed his run to get a touch on the ball but Barry Murphy was alert to get down and push away his shot. Five minutes later a high ball into the Rovers area by Sean Gannon saw Murphy fail to gather the ball and McGuinness was on hand to block Towell's effort.
Simon Madden raided down the right on 39 minutes and his cross had Cherrie stretching to palm away the ball only as far as Gary McCabe but his cross back into the danger area was too high for the Hoops forwards. McPhail then fed Zayed who layed the ball off to Kilduff but his volley went over the bar.
Three minutes into the second-half saw Ronan Finn try his luck from 30 yards and he wasn't too far off target.
[GOAL 1:1 - 56th min.] It started to go wrong for Rovers when following a Hoban corner Ref. McLaughlin pointed to the spot for an alledged handball against Shane Robinson. Rovers protested vigourously but Richie Towell stepped up to equalise. Conor Kenna was then shown a straight red card after an altercation with Daryl Horgan.
The gam was wide open now and Rovers upped their game and a Finn cross saw Kilduff rise highest to head on goal but the ball went just wide of Cherrie's righ-hand post.
[GOAL 2:1 - 62nd min.] It got worse for Rovers when Dundalk exploited the space created with the extra man and Mountney set up Darren Meenan to sweep the ball into the net from a central position just inside the box.
Rob Cornwall settled into Kenna's position and the Hoops steadied the ship before beginning to look for an equaliser. On 70 minutes a Heaney shot cannoned off a defender in the box and there was a loud shout for handball but the Ref. waved play on. On 78 minutes a Robinson ball into a crowded box needed a fine claim by Cherrie to clear the danger. Two minutes later a corner by sub Ciaran Waters saw Cherrie only punch clear as far as Jason McGuinness but the Hoops defender couldn't bring the ball under control to shoot.
With Rovers pushed forward the home side cleared from a Cornwall long throw-in and Darren Meenan was sent clear from the half-way line and he bore down on the Hoops goal. Bary Murphy advanced and Meenan had the option of teeing up McMillan but decided to shoot and thankfully his effort went wide of the left-hand post. On 90 minutes the Hoops 'keeper provided the heroics to save a goalbound header following a corner. The Hoops never stopped believing though and Robert Bayly found space on the right-hand side of the area but he tried to set up Kilduff in fornt of goal but a defender got to the ball first.
[GOAL 2:2 - 90+2 min.] Rovers weren't to be denied and Kilduff played Ronan Finn into the area on the right and the Hoops number 21 took a touch to make space for himself and powered a low shot across the helpless Cherrie and into the far corner of the net much to the delight of the Hoops fans gathered down that end.
Ronan Finn celebrates his late equaliser...Photo:B.Best