FAI Cup First Round
By Dave Donnelly
Kilnamanagh manager Keith Foy insists reputation counts for nothing as the LSL Senior Sunday side travel to St Kevin’s Boys in the first round proper of the FAI Senior Cup.
The Tallaght side sit two divisions above their opponents but they’re well aware a resurgent Kevin’s are capable of playing at a higher level.
Foy is, himself, dealing with the step up a grade himself as Kilnamanagh adapt to their first senior in the top flight of intermediate football.
They finished second to fellow Tallaght side Sacred Heart Firhouse Clover in 2019/20 to seal promotion at the end of a turbulent Covid-affected season. An injury-depleted Kilnamanagh side had a baptism of fire as they were defeated 3-1 by FAI Intermediate Cup champions St Mochta’s in their opening game.
A narrow 2-1 win over fellow promoted side Home Farm in their second game was the kickstart Foy sought as they make the adjustment to the top level.
And the prospect of a run in the FAI Senior Cup would be the icing on the cake, particularly if they could land one of the big guns like local giants Shamrock Rovers.
First, however, they face an away trip to Kevin’s, who have gained strength from their link-up with Bohemians and have thrived since making the move over from the AUL.
The Whitehall side reached the quarter finals of the FAI Intermediate Cup last season, beating higher-ranked opposition along the way, and will prove formidable opposition.
“When you draw another team that’s in the Leinster Senior League, you have a chance then to come out on top in the tie,” Foy told the Dublin Gazette. “I know St Kevin’s Boys are a really good side and I wouldn’t take them for granted, so hopefully we can perform on the day and get to the next round.”
A 5-0 win over Home Farm in the qualifying round set Kilnamanagh on their way to the FAI Senior Cup proper. New signings Dean Clarke, who has extensive League of Ireland experience with Rovers and St Patrick’s Athletic, and former Bluebell United winger Sean Byrne on target.
Foy has also recruited Alan Curry from Tallaght rivals Newtown Rangers, while Ciaran O’Sullivan has arrived from Leixlip United.
Two more ex-Rovers men, Gary McCabe and Conor Kenna, remain on board for the coming season, McCabe having competed in the Europa League group stages with the Hoops.
“It was a good win. The lads played really well. We worked hard and got the 5-0 win. The result was pretty harsh on Home Farm on the day, but we were over the moon with the win.
“I’ve kept more or less the same squad and added a few lads as well. We’re happy with the acquisitions we got in the off-season and to keep the lads. I got Alan Curry from Newtown Rangers, Ciaran O’Sullivan from Leixlip United, Dean Clarke last club St Pat’s, Sean Byrne from Bluebell.
“Gary [McCabe] and Conor [Kenna] are still playing and we’ll get another year or two out of them, hopefully.”
Friday, July 23
- Athlone Town v Waterford
- 7.45pm, Athlone Stadium
- St Pat’s Ath v Bray Wnderers
- 7.45pm, Richmond Park
- UCD v Shelbourne
- 7.45pm, UCD Bowl
- Wexford v Cabinteely
- 7.45pm, Ferrycarrig Park
- Maynooth UT v Malahide Utd
- 8pm, NUI Astro Maynooth
- St Kevin’s Boys v Kilnamanagh
- 8pm, St Aidan’s School Astro
- Sham Rovers v Galway Utd 8pm, Tallaght Stadium
saturday, July 24
- Drogheda Utd v Derry City
- 3pm, Head in the Game Park
- Fairview Rngrs v Finn Harps
- 4pm, Fairview Rangers
- Longford Town v Bangor
- 7.30pm, Bishopsgate
sunday, July 25
- Killester Don v Usher Celtic
- 11am, Hadden Park
- Crumlin United v St Mochta’s
- 2pm, VEC Captains Road
- Liffey Wndrs v Cobh Ramb
- 2pm, UCD Bowl
- Treaty United v Dundalk
- 2pm, The Markets Field
- College Corinths v Bohs
- 3pm, Turners Cross
- Sligo Rovers v Cork City
- 5pm, The Showgrounds
Action from Kilnamanagh’s 2-1 win over Home Farm last week.
Picture: Kilnamanagh AFC Facebook