Sheriff’s cup final detour ends in defeat

by Dave Donnelly
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FAI Junior Cup final
St Michael’s 1
Sheriff YC 0

Sheriff YC narrowly missed out on a remarkable fifth trophy of the season as they were edged out by St Michael’s of Tipperary 1-0 in the FAI Junior Cup final at Eamonn Deacy Park in Galway.

The tie was originally scheduled to take place in a double-header with Crumlin United’s FAI Intermediate Cup final with Avondale United at the Aviva Stadium in May.

However, an appeal from beaten semi-finalists Aisling Annacotty caused the FAI to postpone the match and it took three months for the game to be rescheduled.

In that time, Sheriff have moved from the AUL to the Leinster Senior League, but not before adding four trophies to their cabinet, and kicked off a new league season.

They won their opening league game against Transylvania 5-0 despite only being able to field ten players before knocking League of Ireland Drogheda United out of the Leinster Senior Cup.

The Junior Cup final proved one step too far, as a Sheriff side decimated by injuries, absences and cup-tied players travelled to Galway with only 12 players available.

Willie Armshaw scored the only goal of the game with eight minutes remaining, a spectacular volley from inside the box to beat Lee Murphy.

Murphy – junior football’s penalty specialist – had earlier denied Joey Mulcahy from the spot after Lee Murphy was judged to have fouled Jimmy Carr.

And all this after they only arrived at the ground half an hour before kick-off as their three-hour bus journey was made even longer by a navigation mix-up.

“The bus driver must have had a bet on Michael’s because he was struggling to find the ground,” Sheriff boss Mark Quigley joked to the Dublin Gazette.

“We had two or three really good chances in the first couple of minutes and, if we took them, I think it’s game over really. I’m more disappointed with not taking them.

“I think we were the better side overall. But it’s just unfortunate; we were down to the bare bones. We were down eight players and, probably, eight players who had a chance of starting.

“They were a quality side. It’s just a pity it wasn’t played three months ago when it was supposed to be played.”

Quigley has brought in a number of reinforcements, including former St Patrick’s Athletic teammate Anto Murphy, defenders Nathan Bell and Hayden McCauley, Alan McCabe and Tony Kane.

The target now is, as is the tradition at Sheriff, to not only gain promotion to intermediate level, but to win the title and every cup that’s on offer in junior football.

“We’re aiming to win the league – when you’re with Sheriff, that’s what you do. You aim to win trophies, you aim to win the league, and it’ll be no different this year.

“We’ll aim to win the league and as many cups as we’re in. We’ve a strong squad and the lads are excited for the season ahead.”

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