I’ve had the Radiohead song ‘’No Surprises’’ [from the ‘’OK Computer’’ album] going around and around in my head all weekend. It came to mind when I saw the results from Round 2 of the Irish Daily Mail FAI Cup. No prizes for guessing why I thought of ‘’No Surprises’’. Yep, because there were none.
Usually a round of Cup games throws up something unusual, some anomalies or outliers, an upset or two. This set of 8 games didn’t give anything in the way of out of the ordinary, though; everything went to form. The only near-but-not-quite shock was non-league CIE Ranch taking UCD to extra-time, where they conceded 4 goals to lose 6-2 after bravely holding the First Division side to 2-2 after 90 minutes.
Cork breezed past the other non-league survivors Maynooth University 4-0, as you’d expect them too. Dundalk beat Finn Harps 2-0 at Oriel Park, a comfortable enough result for the home side and one their First Division opponents should be happy enough with too – losing only 2-0 to Dundalk at Oriel is no disgrace.
Galway had home advantage over Bohemians but Bohemians are a Premier Division side and this trumped Galway’s home advantage, the DalymountPark outfit running out 2-0 winners. They’ve done well on the road in the Cup this year, scoring 9 without reply in their 2 outings, albeit against 2 First Division sides.
Could it be Bohemians’ year? A decade has passed since they last won the Cup, beating Derry 4-2 on penalties [after a 2-2 draw at the end of extra-time] at the RDS in the 2008 decider. There’s only themselves and UCD left representing Dublin nowfor 2018, after the exit of St Patrick’s Athletic to Derry and Cabinteely to Limerick on Friday.
Drogheda hosting Waterford was a possibility for an upset but it didn’t come to pass. It just wasn’t a weekend for Cup upsets. The result was close at 0-1 to the Blues, and while that’s a result that Tim Clancy’s men can be proud of, it is Waterford that are in the hat for the next instalment of this year’s Cup.
The final game, played on Saturday, was between two play-off chasing First Division sides. Again things went as expected, with home advantage enough for Longford to edge out Shelbourne.
What will the draw bring? The 2 Dublin sides coming out together, which would guarantee a Dublin semi-finalist? Or perhaps UCD paired with Longford, which would guarantee a First Division semi-finalist? Or perhaps Dundalk and Cork matched up, which would ultimately mean at least one different finalist this term? We will know soon enough.