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‘’Should we change the Cup format?”

 

It’s FAI Cup week. Again. Round 2 has come around really fast, just time between it and Round 1 to fit in a single series of League games. It will be the same between Round 2 and the quarter-finals, if your team is lucky enough to still be involved.

It’s hardly worth changing Cup hats for League hats only to swap them back then back again and again. Perhaps the Cup could be just played straight through over a single month? There could be a secondary competition for teams knocked out in the early rounds, just to keep them match fit. This works in other countries, where the Cup is even played straight through before or after the regulation season.

Just an idea. Us football fans are allowed throw our ideas into the mix. Such decisions though are for the powers that be. They have to look at the practicalities and take other concerns into account. What might seem like a good idea to us in our group think might not be a runner in the real world.

In terms of the ties Round 2 threw up, there were some interesting ones. CIE Ranch, one of 2 non-league teams left, got a kinder draw than Maynooth University. Ranch got a home tie against UCD, one they might just fancy their chances of winning. UCD have other things on their mind – they are anxious to close out promotion from the First Division. As potential upsets go, it is a runner. It’ll be goodbye to Maynooth though, as they say on University Challenge – Cork away doesn’t need any further elaboration.

Galway will also be hopeful of an upset. The First Division outfit entertain Bohemians. They should be wary of Keith Long’s men though, they totally outclassed another First Division side [Wexford] in the last round. Drogheda United looks a better bet for a First Division side putting out a Premier one – they are at home to Waterford, having disposed of Shamrock Rovers at United Park in the last round.

I’d expect Dundalk to safely negotiate their way past Finn Harps. A trip to Oriel would have been Bray’s fate if we’d beaten Harps in Round 1, perhaps it was better we went out after a decent tussle with Harps rather than getting a mauling in Dundalk.

Elsewhere Cabinteely will have nothing to lose on their trip to Limerick and this could be another potential upset. Shelbourne away to Longford could go either way, with the sides already well familiar with each other from battling it out for the play-off places in the First Division. At least this tie, which along with the CIE Ranch versus UCD tie are the only ones not to involve Premier Division sides, ensures there will be some genuine underdogs in the quarter-finals.  Derry and St Patrick’s Athletic – the only all-Premier tie – completes the Round 2 roster.

Good luck to your side if they are still involved.

Brian Quigley

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