Finn Harps on FAI Cup final day
THE MOMENT: Glory day for Finn Harps as they take FAI Cup home
Jim Sheridan has described it as probably the proudest day of his footballing life.
Sunday, April 21st, 1974. It’s a day that has gone down in history in Donegal.
Finn Harps had only entered senior football in 1969, but in their fourth season in the League of Ireland, they reached the final of the League Cup only to lose out to Waterford United 2-1.
They also enjoyed a run all the way to the final in the FAI Cup and met St. Patrick’s Athletic in the decider at Dalymount Park.
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In front of 14,000 fans, Charlie Ferry gave Patsy McGowan’s Harps the lead after only three minutes. Pat’s were level within 15 minutes through Byrne, and the Dubliners would go on to have the better of things for much of the final.
But two goals from Brendan Bradley in the closing eleven minutes sealed a memorable win for Harps and it was captain Jim Sheridan who had the honour of lifting the cup.
“There are moments during the final which are still fresh in my mind,” Sheridan said.
“I remember looking across the pitch and seeing thousands of Harps supporters decked out in blue and white. I remember a security man and his alsatian dog being overrun by supporters at the final whistle.”
Thousands of supporters turned out to welcome the team back to Donegal on the Monday. The team arrived back via Ballyshannon and there were special welcoming events in Donegal town and Ballybofey before more celebrations in Lifford’s Inter-County Hotel.
The Finn Harps team that won the cup in 1974 was: Murray, McGranaghan, Sheridan, Tony O’Doherty, Hutton, McGrory, McDowell, Smith, McGee, Bradley, Ferry. Sub: Donal O’Doherty for Smith.
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