FAI CUP: Skerries see off Portlaoise to move on

by Jonny Stapleton
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By Jonny Stapleton

Not quite the glamour tie manager Alan Sweeney wanted but possibly the next best thing.

Speaking after his side progressed to the last 16 of the FAI Cup last weekend, and ahead of Tuesday night’s second-round draw when they were pulled out to face SSE Airtricity League Premier Division giants Finn Harps, the Skerries coach made no secret of his desire to draw one of the big guns.

Holders Derry City and their fellow League of Ireland Premier Division side Bohemians took his fancy in particular.

However, the LSL Senior 1 side’s name came out against Finn Harps rather than one of Irish football’s giants and the Town now face a trip to Donegal on the last weekend of August.

Not the most romantic ties but an exciting date nonetheless. Indeed, it could prove to be a massive consolation prize. Finn Harps, who were pushed extremely close by Kilbarrack United in Round 1, seemingly provide Skerries with the best chance of a League of Ireland scalp and a famous win in the prestigious competition.  

Not that, that was in Sweeney’s thinking after they defeated Portlaoise in Laios on Sunday.

“Obviously, you want one of the big clubs now in the Last 16 – ideally Bohemians or Derry City, that would be lovely,” he said.

Reflecting on the game in which Bob McKenna scored a cup brace he said: “Very happy with the performance, nice and solid all day, workmanlike when we needed to be.

“Very happy to be through to the Last 16. But on the general performance on the day, Bob was outstanding, the back four were very good.

“I think in general we had a very good all-round team performance. Roll on the Last 16.”

The only other Dublin amateur side remaining in the tournament, St Patrick CY’s reward for a dramatic first-round win over Lucan United is a home tie against LOI opposition.

The LSL Senior 1 side will welcome Wexford to Irishtown on August 30.

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