By Dave Donnelly
The draw for the first round of the FAI Senior Cup threw up no traditional glamour ties but the standout tie sees Leinster Senior League kingpins Crumlin United host St Mochta’s.
Of the LSL clubs, only Bangor Celtic drew top League of Ireland opposition in Longford Town, which will see Davy O’Sullivan return to the club where he became a legend in years past.
The others will see the ties next weekend as a chance to kickstart would could be a fairytale run in the country’s showpiece cup competition.
And in Crumlin, the dominant club in intermediate football this century, and reigning FAI Intermediate Cup champions Mochta’s, there’s little doubt what the tie of the round is.
It’s all change in Crumlin this year as longtime coach Martin Loughran has stepped down to be replaced by his stalwart captain James Lee.
That adds a little bit of uncertainty to the tie, but Mochta’s boss Brian McCarthy (right) is in no doubt that his opponents will see it as just as big an opportunity as the Clonsilla side.
People will always look out for League of Ireland teams, but on the flip side it gives ourselves and Crumlin a chance of getting to the next round,” McCarthy told the Dublin Gazette.
“You can look at it that we didn’t pick up a League of Ireland side, and I’m sure Crumlin look at it that way as well, so whoever wins could get a big draw in the last 16.
“For any Leinster Senior League or amateur side drawing each other, it’s a chance to get to the next round and then maybe pit your wits against one of the top teams.”
The game will also see the return to Armagh Road of Liam and Redser Brady – brothers of Ireland international Robbie – after they made the switch to the Saints in the off-season.
They’ve been two of the outstanding players in the intermediate game in recent years and their signing is a coup for McCarthy – and they’ll be sure to get a warm reception on their return.
“I think any player who goes from one club to another – there’s are players of mine who’ve signed for other clubs and come back – it’s hard coming back because players are up for it.
“They’re good players so I don’t think they’ll worry too much about it, but they were good players for Crumlin United as well in a really good team, so I’m just delighted to have them on board.
Mochta’s face Wayside Celtic on Friday having started the season with back-to-back wins over Kilnamanagh in the league and Donegal’s Cockhill Celtic in the last round of the FAI Cup.
“We’ve played two and won two – we’ve played one in the league and then the FAI Cup, a tough game against Cockhill. It’s just trying to get up to speed after so long out.
“The players’ attitudes have been great as always, but we’re just glad to be back playing football, which is the main thing.”
FAI Senior Cup First Round Draw
- Fairview Rgrs v Finn Harps
- Wexford v Cabinteely
- Drogheda Utd v Derry C
- Liffey Wanderers v Cobh R
- UCD v Shelbourne
- Crumlin Utd v St Mochta’s
- Killester Don v Usher Celtic
- St Kevins’ v Kilnamanagh
- Sligo Rovers v Cork City
- College Corinthians v Bohs
- Athlone Town v Waterford
- Treaty United v Dundalk
- Shamrock R v Galway Utd
- Maynooth v Malahide Utd
- St Pat’s Ath v Bray Wdrs
- Bangor v Longford Town
- Ties played weekend July 25
Picture: Martin Doherty