Ports’ eye-catching cup run continues

by Gazette Reporter

PORTMARNOCK AFC were the junior club on everyone’s lips at the turn of the millennium when the North Dublin side won the FAI Junior Cup, the Leinster Junior Cup, and reached and FAI Senior Cup quarter-final.
It’s been a fairly quiet but, at the same time, busy 15 years or so for the club’s senior side and they’re back making the headlines once more having reached the last 16 of this season’s FAI Intermediate Cup.
Managed by Willie O’Leary, the club’s first team won the LSL Senior Division 1B title last year and have started this campaign well in 1A, winning five of their opening 10 games.
In the Inter Cup, they received a bye in the first round before knocking out last year’s finalists Tolka Rovers in the second round 3-2.
Last Sunday, they repeated that scoreline in the third round, coming from 2-0 down to beat Clondalkin side St Francis to secure their place in the last 16.
“It’s reminding people in the club of the glory days of Portmarnock at the start of the millennium when they were winning the FAI Junior Cup and the Leinster Junior Cup.
“Also, when they reached the quarter-finals of the FAI Senior Cup in 2001 and were knocked out by the eventual finalists Longford,” said O’Leary when asked the club’s run so far.
Tuesday’s draw for the fourth round saw Portmarnock drawn away from home against either Wayside Celtic or Cork’s Carrigaline United.
“We’ll take it as it is, it’ll be a great experience, it’ll increase the profile of the club. We’ll look to do our best but we’ll also try to remain level-headed and not getting to distracted on our targets in the league,” said the Portmarnock manager.
“The funny thing is we’re on a bit of a magical mystery tour at the moment because, if we’re being honest, we didn’t discuss the FAI Intermediate Cup too much in pre-season and didn’t expect to go too far. That’s not to say we don’t realise our ability but our main focus has been the league and we want to try earn back-to-back promotions.
“The draw could have been worse; no disrespect to Wayside of Carrigaline, they’ve both got pedigree but we could have been drawn against Crumlin or Avondale and everyone knows how strong they are.”

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