Sligo Rovers avoided a cup upset as they came from two down to beat eight man Limerick following an incredible game at the Showgrounds.

The game saw four players dismissed as the Bit O'Red overturned a two goal deficit to progress to the quarter final for the first time since 2015.

A whirlwind opening saw the hosts behind by two.

The Blues hit the lead just seven minutes in when Karl O’Sullivan took the ball past the last Sligo man before executing a superb finish across the front of goalkeeper Ed McGinty.

With just one win in their last five, Tommy Barrett’s charges further stunned the Showgrounds faithful 90 seconds later.

O'Sullivan taking the ball inside his own half before dodging a series of tackles. The striker then allowed McGinty make the decision before placing the ball past the Scot.

Sligo went close through both John Mahon and Daryl Fordyce, but did find a way back into this tie on 24 minutes. David Cawley’s ball over the top of the Limerick defence picking out Romeo Parkes who slotted the ball beyond Jack Brady for his ninth of the season.

The home side then levelled the game courtesy of Ronan Coughlan. The Limerick native watched as Fordyce’s initial flick came off Brady before pouncing to tie the game.

Coughlan missed a 36th minute spot-kick after Kris Twardek was fouled inside the box.

The crazy nature of this game continued when Dante Leverock was sent off for a head-butt on Kieran Hanlon in front of the Limerick posts after Hanlon reacted to a foul by the Bermudan. While the visitors had Shaun Kelly dismissed for a second yellow.

Regan Donelon had Liam Buckley’s charges in the lead for the first time before the break with a well hit set piece from 25 yards. While Parkes had his brace just moments into the second period as the relentless pace continued.

Brady got behind Mahon’s free header from a Donelon corner on 52, while the same man got down to deny Parkes his hat-trick shortly after as Rovers looked in control.

The home side made their domination pay on the hour when Cawley finished off Parkes’ delicate chip over the top.

The Shannonsiders were then reduced to eight in quick succession when both Clyde O’Connell and former Sligo midfielder Jason Hughes were dismissed for straight reds.

O’Connell hacking Twardek to the floor, while Hughes seemed to tangle with a steward on the Jinks’ Avenue side of the grounds.

Rovers’ sixth then arrived on 77 when Twardek smashed the ball off the underside of Brady’s crossbar from close range.

Sligo Rovers: Ed McGinty; Lewis Banks, John Mahon, Dante Leverock, Regan Donelon (Sam Warde 64); John Russell (Scott Lynch 71), Daryl Fordyce (Kyle Callan-McFadden 40), David Cawley; Kris Twardek, Romeo Parkes, Ronan Coughlan.

Limerick: Jack Brady; Shaun Kelly, Robbie Williams, Tomas O'Connor, Shane Tracy (Edmund O’Dwyer 79); Karl O’Sullivan, Darren Murphy (Aaron Fitzgerald 79), Jason Hughes, Cylde O’Connell, Lee Devitt; Kieran Hanlon (Adam Foley 60).