fai intermediate cup: town knock out last year’s finalists

by Jonny Stapleton
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Skerries Town rang time on Bluebell United’s FAI Intermediate Cup campaign in the second round last weekend.

The Senior 1 Sunday surprised last season’s finalists, knocking out last year’s last Dublin club standing before the open draw stage.

Town were full value for the win, which could have been wider but for a missed penalty, and have instantly become a side to look out for moving forward in the competition as a result.  

The LSL second-tier outfit opened the scoring on 25 minutes when Alan Leonard reacted first to a shot that came back off the post and riffled into the top corner.

Skerries took that lead into the turn and only maintained it after the break thanks to a sensational save from Liam Woodcock, the net minder getting down low to his right to keep out a blank range back post effort.  

With 20 minutes remaining the Park Lane outfit doubled their advantage and put one foot firmly into Round 3.

Another good move down the right-hand side ended up with the ball at James Kimage’s feet 18 yards out, he let fly and his effort made it’s way through a crowded penalty area and into the bottom corner.

A penalty miss five minutes later meant the last 15 minutes were tense, but they weathered the late storm to claim a massive cup win.

“Over the course of the 90 minutes, I feel we thoroughly deserved it,” manager Alan Sweeney told theDublin Gazette.

“We worked really hard, it was a very good all-round performance. We’ve set ourselves a standard that we have to try and reproduced every week to be perfectly honest. 

“There is no point doing it in just the cup games, we need to do it in the league games as well. Overall I’m absolutely delighted to be in the hat for the next round.”

Four-time winners and reigning Senior Sunday champions Crumlin United also suffered a surprise and early exit, as they were knocked out in dramatic fashion by Portlaoise.

The top-flight side took the lead on three occasions across 120 minutes but were pegged back by the LSL Senior 1B outfit each time before the Laois side got over the finishing line first via the dreaded penalty shootout.

Greg Henry gave United the lead as early as the third minute and they managed to hold that advantage up and until minute 51 when their country visitors leveled.

Jamie Henderson then put James Lee’s men back in progression pole, only for a Portlaoise side, who are struggling in the LSL third tier this season, to restore parity late on and force extra time.

It looked like Glen Fulham had finally seen the four-time winners through with an extra-time strike. However, the Laois side leveled for a third time and the game eventually went to penalties.

Spot kicks proved equally as entertaining with Portlaoise eventually winning 9-8.

A donated set of Skerries Town FC kit that was sent to Kigali, Rwanda, was on full display after the team won a trophy in the past week in Africa

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