Bus looking to drive on for senior showdown

by Dave Donnelly

Dublin Bus will host Firhouse Clover in a west Dublin derby on Sunday with a place in the FAI Cup proper at stake.

The Bus have struggled for consistency in Sunday Senior 1 this season and currently sit just a point clear of the relegation places, but had a great run to the semi-finals of the FAI Intermediate Cup.

Had they won that game, their opponents in the final would have been Clover, who now face Maynooth University Town at the Aviva on May 12.

Dublin Bus beat Firhouse in the semi-finals of the Metropolitan Cup last season before going onto take the cup back to Clondalkin.

And Bus manager Darren Matthews will look for a repeat of that when the sides meet up on Coldcut Road on Sunday morning.

“I suppose with us beating them last year, they’ll probably look to avenge that,” Matthews told the Dublin Gazette.

“It was a very good game last year. I’ve watched them a couple of times this year, and they’ve got to the final of the Intermediate Cup.

“I think it’ll be a very good game. If we have everybody fit and available I fancy us to give them a good game.

“We’d be looking at it to win anyway, just to get into the next round. We’ll be up for it, that’s for sure.”

Matthews has struggled to field a consistent side this season owing to a combination of injuries and players unavailable for other reasons.

Having broken ground in the Metro Cup last year, they put a strong focus on the Intermediate Cup and came within a whisker of making the final.

“We thought we’d give it everything we have this year in the Intermediate Cup, and we did. Just at the last hurdle, we didn’t show up on the night.

“It’s been a difficult season this year for a lot of reasons, but we just have to stick at it. Not everything is going to go the way you want it all of the time.”

The Bus were last in the FAI Cup proper in 2010, when they were beaten 2-0 by Shelbourne after moving their home fixture to Tolka Park.

Clover were in the competition as recently as three years ago, when they were comfortably beaten 4-1 by Bohemians at Dalymount Park.

For both clubs it represents the progress they’ve made both on and off the field in recent seasons and Matthews feels it’s something the club can aim for consistently.

“It’s a great achievement for any club. It shows there’s been progress made in the time I’ve been there, last season and this season.

“Ultimately, what we all try to achieve is progress, or at least we should do.

“It would be a great achievement and the club is very much looking forward to it. It’s great publicity.

“We probably took two steps back this year, but if we get to the next round of the Senior Cup it’s something to look forward for the club next season.”

In another all-Dublin tie, Sunday Senior 1B promotion-chasers Kilnamanagh host Skerries Town at Ned Kelly Park.

Related Articles