EA Sports Cup: Not quite a Hale family affair for Derry City who reach final

Rory Hale was released by Aston Villa in 2017 after four years at the club and spent last season at Galway United before joining Derry City
Rory Hale was released by Aston Villa in 2017 after four years at the club and spent last season at Galway United before joining Derry City

Derry City match-winner Rory Hale is happy for his parents to keep missing games so long as he continues scoring.

The 21-year-old found the net in the 1-0 win over Sligo Rovers on Monday to put Derry into the EA Sports Cup final.

His younger brother Ronan, on loan from Birmingham City, provided the assist.

"My ma and da couldn't come today and that's two games now they've missed and I've scored, so they may stay away, they can listen to it on the radio," joked Hale.

The Hale brothers' grandfather, Danny Hale, is a Derry City legend having scored over 100 goals in three seasons at the club between 1968 and 1971.

Belfast-born midfielder Rory Hale previously spent four years at Aston Villa before joining earlier this year from Galway United.

Monday's semi-final win has given Derry a chance to win the club's first trophy since 2012.

Ronan Hale, 19, and older brother Rory are Republic of Ireland U21 internationals
Ronan Hale, 19, and older brother Rory are Republic of Ireland U21 internationals

"This what I came to Derry for, I said it on the first day I came here to win trophies. Hopefully this can be the first one," said Hale.

"We were buzzing for the game after we were beaten (by Sligo) on Friday, because there was a lot of talk we were too soft and we don't have any heart.

"I think we've shown now that we'll prove everybody wrong.

"We are a young team and we've been doubted all season but we are in a cup final now, we want a run in the FAI Cup and we're still chasing a place in Europe so it's not too bad."

Derry will play First Division side Cobh Ramblers in the final after they shocked holders Dundalk in Monday's other semi-final.

"Dundalk have spanked us twice and they (Cobh) have gone and beaten them, so they will fear nothing, likewise neither will we."

There will be a toss for the final venue with Derry hoping that they avoid the long trip to St Colman's Park for the decider.

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