Friel loss a blow to Cockhill ahead of FAI Intermediate trip to Rovers

Friel loss a blow to Cockhill ahead of FAI Intermediate trip to Rovers
By Diarmaid Doherty Sport@donegaldemocrat.com @dgldemocrat

Just four months on from their memorable trip to the Aviva Stadium for the FAI Intermediate Cup final, Letterkenny Rovers host USL champions Cockhill in the first round of this year's competition on Sunday.

The game at Leckview, which kicks off at 2pm, is sure to attract a big crowd.

It's the draw neither side wanted and amazingly, it's the third time in three years that the sides have met at this stage of the competition.

Last year, Rovers won away to Cockhill and so began a cup journey that went all the way to the final.

Cockhill player-manager, Gavin Cullen, must plan without star striker Garbhan Friel who is facing several weeks on the sidelines after chipping a bone in his ankle last Sunday in the league victory over Fanad.

“Garbhan's loss is very unfortunate,” Cullen said.

“But we have enough good players in the squad and there are options up front.

“It's going to be a big game. It's not the draw either of us wanted, but that's the cup and you just have to get on with it.”

Cockhill do have a good record against Rovers, despite that cup defeat last year.

They've already beaten Letterkenny 3-1 this season in the League Cup.

Letterkenny are a much changed outfit from last year -especially in defence. Ryan Lonergan is likely to miss out because of injury but new signings Ryan Gildea, Conor Tourish and Chris Flanagan will all be expected to feature.

Sunday's tie must be finished, so there will be extra time and penalties if needed.