It’s FAI Cup second round weekend and here Paddy Walsh looks ahead to what we can anticipate with three Donegal clubs involved.
UCD v Phoenix FC - According to the trusty Oxford dictionary a phoenix is a bird, ‘the only one of its kind, fabled to burn itself and rise from its ashes’. Something this particular Phoenix will have to do after this outing at the Belfield Bowl where the students have the know-how to do all the necessary burning.
Shamrock Rovers v. Limerick FC - Second in the Premier League against second in the First Division but Stephen Kenny will be the man under most pressure. Defeat at Tallaght here and the Rovers fans will be looking longingly at the Northern Ireland management set-up and wishing for the return of one Michael O’Neill. The Hoops to up their game if only to keep the smirk of Pat Scully’s face.
Dundalk v St Pat’s CY - The second time in a matter of days that the Louth side will come up against St. Pat’s. Only this is a different St. Pat’s. But the outcome, victory for Dundalk, should still be the same.
Blarney United v Malahide United - The Blarney boys will talk a good talk but with a castle in their back garden, Malahide should rule supreme.
Bohemians v Drumkeen United - There’s some who say Drumkeen is the place you go through to get to Letterkenny or Ballybofey (they say the same about Stranorlar where Ballybofey is concerned but let’s not go there - not literally, of course). Anyway back to Drumkeen which is where Bohs will be going for the replay.
SD Galway v Mervue United - Connacht won’t have seen anything like this since - well, since last Sunday when the Galway footballers ran riot against Roscommon in the G.A.A. Championship. Different ball game this one. For starters they’ll be doing well to get a couple of hundred through the gates at Terryland Park for this derby clash. Mervue to enjoy the short trip home.
Derry City v Finn Harps - Another local derby. Harps will go to the Brandywell without any recognised strikers due to injuries and suspensions but as one unkind Candystriper insisted this week that’ll be no different from other visits. But somewhere along the line - it’s turning out to be a very long line - Harps must overcome that reluctance to put one over the old enemy. Could they send ripples around the footballing world the like of which haven’t been experienced since Ronnie Radford and Ricky George helped Hereford United knock Newcastle United out of the FA Cup? Answers, hopefully but not likely, on the match programme for Harps encounter in the third round.
Bray Wanderers v Shelbourne - Ah, the Carlisle Grounds. And the way the Dart takes you just about straight to the venue. And the smell of the sea air. In Katie Taylor’s home town, Wanderers to deliver the knockout.
Cork City v Athlone Town - Hopeful Cork fans will look at Athlone’s current placing in the First Division - fourth from bottom. Pessimistic Corkonians will, however, reflect on the fact that the Town are also fifth in the First Division. But that’s what an eight team league does for you. City to send the side fourth from bottom and the team fifth from top packing.
Sligo Rovers v Monaghan United - Will that league defeat at UCD on Monday night shake Cup holders Sligo confidence? Will Monaghan bring less than 10 supporters along? No and yes.
Drogheda United v Mayfield United - A year or two ago, Mayfield might have fancied their chances but things looked to have changed down Drogheda way. Mind you, any side forced to trot out at a ground called Hunky Dory Park has to believe they’ve something superior about them.
Crumlin United v St Patrick’s Athletic - Liam Buckley won’t be a happy camper having seen his side lose to ten man Dundalk at home earlier this week. And while Pat’s are still in sight of the two front runners in the Premier Division, he may be thinking of the Cup as a viable trophy alternative. Crumlin not to spoil those thoughts.
Douglas Hall v Wexford Youths - The team with a name that sounds like a Hollywood actor from the forties against the team established by a man who continues to wear a pink shirt into Dail Eireann. As far as can be ascertained, the Youths have no ties with Douglas Hall - a bit like Mick Wallace’s wardrobe. Wexford to give the Cork side a dressing down.
Everton AFC v Waterford United - And do they call their ground Goodison Park as well? Not quite. Waterford’s opponents play out of Everton Park. The visitors to be able to put in their record books that they once beat Everton in senior competition.
Cherry Orchard v Longford Town - A familiar name in the FAI Cup up against a club who have actually won it on a couple of occasions. The inevitable to happen here - namely the line, Longford to raid the Orchard.
Kildrum Tigers v Avondale United - Avondale United provide a directional guide on the club website on how to get their home ground at Carrigaline. All the Tigers need to know is that it’s somewhere in deepest Cork which should be enough to persuade them to get the job done at the first time of asking. If it happens to be the second time of asking, however, there’s some decent restaurants and pubs down that neck of the wood.