FAI Senior Cup: LSL’s best step up against the LOI big boys

by Jonny Stapleton
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Bluebell United’s chances of causing a cup upset were boosted as the Red Cow was passed fit for FAI Cup purpose.

The FAI Intermediate Cup finalists were drawn at home against First Division side Galway United in the first round of the FAI Cup but there were suggestions the Leinster Senior League side may have to forfeit home advantage due to dressing room and pitch concerns.

However, the pitch and the facilities have since passed an FAI inspection. As a result, Galway will have to make the trip to the Red Cow, and ‘Bell will have home advantage for the massive tie and their first competitive game of the new season on Sunday, July 31.

Fellow Senior Sunday outfit Malahide United are also in FAI Cup action against Galway on that Sunday and will fancy their chances of progression despite having to travel west. The talented Intermediate side take on junior outfit Salthill Devon in round one.

There is only one tie on the Saturday and it’s an all-Dublin all amateur affair. Senior Sunday 1 Champions Lucan United take on Killester Donnycarney side that were in the top flight title race up until the penultimate day of the season.

Friday provides the most giant-killing opportunities with three Dublin amateur sides in action. Bangor Celtic could cause a huge upset if they managed to get the better of the reigning league champions Shamrock Rovers under Tallaght Stadium lights.

The lowest ranked Dublin side, Oliver Bond Celtic, play against League of Ireland opposition in the biggest of Irish cup contests before they’ve even played an intermediate-level clash. 

The Inner City Dublin side and their army of followers will travel to Derry City to take on one of the country’s form sides at the Brandywell on the Saturday.

Many suggest the best chance of an upset comes in the Treaty United FC v Usher Celtic tie. Usher are not an LSL top flight outfit but have some quality operators in their ranks including the LOI capable Jordan Buckley and Calvin Douglas and could catch the Divison 1 side on the hop if they get a bit of luck.

Reigning Champions St Pat’s welcome Waterford on the Sunday while Shels make the trip to Bray Wanderers, Bohemians are away to Finn Harps on the same Friday night UCD welcome Donegal side Cockhill Celtic to the Bowl.

Jack O’Connor of Maynooth and Carl Bateman of Oliver Bond Celtic, at the FAI Cup first round draw at FAI Headquarters in Abbotstown

Photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile

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