Mochta’s and Malahide to lock horns yet again

by Dave Donnelly

Brian McCarthy hopes it’s second time lucky as he looks to take his St Mochta’s side into the FAI Intermediate Cup final for the first time.

McCarthy was in charge of the Clonsilla side when they reached the semi-finals in 2014/15 and lost 2-0 to a Tolka Rovers side at the peak of their powers.

He hopes to go one step further in two weeks’ time when the Saints make the short trip north to face Malahide United at Gannon Park.

Malahide, like Mochta’s, have never reached the final of amateur football’s biggest cup competition and are currently riding high at the top of the Sunday Senior Division.

Mochta’s can overtake them with games in hand, while Killester Donycarney and Bangor GG are also contenders in one of the most open title races in years.

Killester face a trip to Cork to face the winner of Ringmahon Rangers and College Corinthians, but the familiarity between the two Dublin clubs adds a little extra spice to their encounter.

“As much as Malahide would know us, we’d know them a lot,” McCarthy told Dublin Gazette.

“They’re a good side with very good players. Ger [Coughlan] is doing a very good job up there. Sometimes you’d rather play a team you know than a team you don’t know. It’s going to be a tough game – there’s no doubt about that. I just think whatever team, on the night, wants it that bit more will win, and hopefully that’s us.”

McCarthy led Mochta’s all the way up the intermediate pyramid before guiding them to their first-ever top-tier title in 2016/17.

The one accolade the current Leinster Senior League representative manager is lacking from his impressive CV is an Intermediate Cup – and his players are just as hungry to get their hands on it.

“It’s huge – it’s the second-biggest cup competition next to the FAI Senior Cup.

“From that perspective, to win it would be a huge achievement.

“I know the players are desperate to win it, and I’d love to win it as a manager.

“You want to win everything you’re in at the start of the season, to win as much as you can.”

The prospect the two teams will be duking it out for the league title come April and May adds another layer of intrigue to add to the tie.

With just three league defeats between them all season, there is unlikely to be an awful lot to separate the sides – both on the pitch and in terms of the league table.

“The two of us are going well and we’ll be there and thereabouts at the end of the season. There’s always lots of twists.

“The year we won [the league], in the fourth-last match of the season I thought we’d blown it. Then we won three in a row and won it.

“It will be a good cup tie on a good pitch and a good crowd, being a local game.

“We’ll look forward to it and see what happens.”

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