Dundalk's duels with Shamrock Rovers this season have been especially memorable for Michael Duffy.

The Lilywhites wrapped in the Premier Division title in style when they beat nearest rivals Rovers last month with Duffy hitting what turned out to be the winner, a screamer from outside the box, in a 3-2 victory.

And when the sides met at the end of June a 1-0 win for the visitors to Tallaght Stadium sent them eight points clear of the chasers.

That’s a game Duffy claims was key to their success.

"Rovers have been very tough opponents this year," the 25-year-old midfielder, who is in his third season with the Co Louth outfit, told RTÉ Sport.

"They are a good footballing side and I’d say the games have been good to watch. A big turning point in the season was down in Tallaght when we beat them 1-0.

"Rovers were definitely the better team on the night, we managed to dig in. That was huge for us.

"The game here, to win the league, was a brilliant night in Oriel."

The sides meet again this afternoon in the Extra.ie FAI Cup final at the Aviva Stadium.

Duffy will find himself up against Jack Byrne, who he cites as inspiration when it comes to taking another step up in his career.

Hoops playmaker Byrne,23, made his international debut for the Republic of Ireland in friendly against Bulgaria in September.

"It’s definitely what I would love to do. Just to see what Jack done, the night he came on, he didn’t look out of place. Hopefully he opened it up for our league.

"I’m hoping [that call] will come someday.

"It’s tough with Mick McCarthy now, he has the big deciders now but next year could be a huge year for me hopefully if I play well with [ex-Dundalk manager] Stephen Kenny getting the [Ireland] job.

"I’ll just try to play as best as I can for Dundalk and see how it goes."

Follow both FAI Cup finals via our live blog on RTÉ.ie/sport and the News Now app, or watch exclusive live coverage on RTÉ2 or on the RTÉ Player from 11.45am. Live national radio commentary of Dundalk v Shamrock Rovers on RTÉ Radio 1's Sunday Sport.