FAI Junior Cup: Late Late Drama in Dublin v Limerick clashes

by Gazette Reporter
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Jonny Stapleton

The Late Late Toy Show wasn’t the only late late show of note over the weekend. There was serious spotlight-worthy last-gasp drama in two Dublin vs Limerick FAI Junior Cup clashes.   

 Joey McDonnell had the Tolka Rovers support singing like the high pitched young performers on the eagerly anticipated annual RTÉ event, while Chris Clarke showed massive composure – and the kind of coordination Ryan Tubridy isn’t known for – to ensure Christmas came early to Brickfields. Both heroes fittingly leaving it late to make the ultimate impact.

McDonnell’s brace proved vital as Tolka Rovers’ Saturday side progressed into the fourth round of the most entered cup competition in Europe.

Rovers had one foot through the third round exit door when Limerick District League side Prospect Priory took the lead with 10 minutes remaining of the Frank Cooke Park hosted cup tie. However, McDonnell forced extra-time with an injury-time leveler before going on to win it for Rovers in extra-time.

Clarke ensured last season’s semi-finalists didn’t need extra time to get past Limerick top flight opposition. The Oliver Bond player sent Brickfields wild when he won the game with a cool 89th-minute finish. 

Willo McAdams opened the scoring for the OBC via a brilliant freekick as late as 75 minutes. The 2017 finalists leveled with four minutes to go but just when extra-time looked inevitable Clarke scored a winner.

Ballymun United also took a step alongside the road to the Aviva thanks to strikes in either half from Mark Simpson and Keith McMahon.

Aungier Celtic reached the same stage of the 100th installment of the historic competition – but had to do it the hard way. Celtic overturned a goal deficit despite having a man deficit to progress past CCFL side Monksland United and onto the next stage. 

Former FAI Intermediate Cup winner and junior International Jake Donnelly scored the winner, Crocker Byrne with the other.    

Open draw regulars Crumlin United won an interesting LSL Saturday versus Sunday clash at Pearse Park.  The open draw regulars and Saturday top flight champions eventually seeing off open draw debutants Seaford Rock via penalities.

Goals from Tommy Caffery, a nice volley, and a clever headed  Dave Lewis finish meant the sides were level when 90 minutes arrived. Parity remained after extra-time allowing Crumlin custodian Evan Meehan to claim hero status by saving two spot kicks in a shootout. Another fancied Saturday side, Malahide United, couldn’t find a way past Mervue United and exited at the stage of 64 on Saturday.  The Galway side outscored the Gannon Park side by two goals to one.

Booth Road’s clash with Muirhevnamor was abandoned with the Boot up 2-1 after a serious injury to an away side. 

Fellow Clondalkin side St Francis lost by a single goal to Grattan and exited the tournament as a result, while Coachford put three past Coolock Village to lessen the number of Dublin clubs in the competition.

Tolka Rovers – who recently became the first in Ireland to be sponsored by a cryptocurrency 
company, Hoge Finance (above) – saw off Limerick outfit Prospect Priory in the FAI Junior Cup

Click on link to read more in this weeks Digital Edition

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