ST JOHNSTONE have made it back to Hampden as they continue their defence of the Premier Sports Cup.  

Callum Davidson’s side saw off a dangerous Dundee side at the Kilmac Stadium thanks to a familiar cup hero.  

Shaun Rooney set the Saints on their way as the away team stepped up to the plate in the second half.  

This then allowed Saints to pick Jame McPake’s side off on the counter attack as the Dark Blues tried desperately to stay in the cup.  

But their near 20-year stay away from Hampden was extended last night as Ali Crawford scored the winner to secure St Johnstone’s passage. 

The match started off in lively fashion. Dundee fashioned the earliest chance, with Zander Clark having to pull off a point blank save to deny the home side the opener.  

It was Saints who were enjoying the majority of the ball though. And after some early free kicks, David Wotherspoon received the ball around 25-yards from goal. His shot dipped at the last second and Adam Legzdins had to tip over.  

The home side then claimed the next chance of the game – with Clark pulling off yet another superb stop, this time from skipper Jordan McGhee.  

On loan Celtic forward Leigh Griffiths swung the ball in from wide right to perfectly meet the head of the onrushing McGhee, but his header was straight at Clark who was able to deflect the ball for a corner. If this had been directed better the Dark Blues would’ve had the lead on 13-minutes.  

Seconds later in the end-to-end encounter, Kane brilliantly nodded the ball down to strike partner Glenn Middleton, but his shot on his weaker right peg sailed way wide. 

And despite St Johnstone’s calm and composed nature on the ball, it was the home side who carved open yet another good chance on the half-hour mark.  

Left back Jordan Marshall zipped the ball in to Griffiths’ feet. First time, he played the ball around the corner for Max Anderson to run on to on the right wing. His cross then perfectly met Cammy Kerr at the back post, and he forced Clark into a low save down to his left from a powerful header.  

There was one minute added on to an enthralling first half, with Saints defender James Brown was forced off through injury. Michael O’Halloran was subbed on as Rooney dropped into the back three. 

Into the second period and Dundee should’ve had the lead. Crawford was booked for bringing down Anderson around 30-yards out from goal.  

And from a central position nobody was going to deny Griffiths the chance of a strike at goal. This was well saved by Clark, but he had to then react quickly AGAIN as McMullan struck his rebound straight at the Scotland internationalist as he produced yet another fine save to deny McPake’s side. 

Dundee continued to pile on some pressure with a few corners, but Saints dealt with them well.  

A great tackle from Kerr then denied Chris Kane a clean run through on goal after being set free by Middleton, as the home faithful applauded the last-ditch interception. 

The Dees supporters in the 4,707 crowd then had to hold their breath as Legzdins spilled a straight forward catch and nearly allowed in Kane for a tap in. 

His strike partner was then changed by Davidson, with Middleton making way for the weekend’s goalscorer Stevie May. 

But it was last season’s cup hero Rooney who got the opener on 69-minutes. 

A constant threat from set pieces, a low corner in from Craig was kneed down by McCart as Rooney shifted to get a half-yard of space before wrong-footing the keeper after pegging Ashcroft with his low snap shot. 

The home outfit tried their best to get back into the game, with Griffiths – who booted a flare into the away end amid wild celebrations behind the goal - blazing a first time volley way over the bar.  

In the end Saints showed greater quality in the final third and deserved their win on the basis of their second half showing.  

Booth – who was impressive all night – did well to get to the byline before having all the time in the world to cut the ball back for Crawford on the edge of the box.

He finished first time into the bottom corner, as the Saints go marching on to the semis.