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The weekend of ‘Armchair Theatre’

 

Sunday was a great day for the armchair sport fan [I put my hand up; guilty as charged]. The climax of the Ryder Cup unfolded during the afternoon and dovetailed nicely into the live screening on RTE of the sold-out FAI Cup semi-final clash at DalymountPark between Bohemians and Cork City.

I was up for Europe in the golf and they came good. Strictly speaking I was a neutral for the soccer but I wanted Bohemians to win. Cork have won enough in recent years and so have Dundalk. Somebody else needs a turn.

Just to have a different finalist in the Cup for the first time in 4 years would be nice. Dundalk versus Cork part IV would be just a bit monotonous for the rest of us. I thought we were on for a Bohemians win when Dinny Corcoran scored on 67 minutes but Sadlier’slate penalty meant a replay in Turners Cross next Monday.

Bohemians could yet win in Cork but you have to feel that their best shot was to win at home. Momentum was with them, with 9 wins out of 9 in all competitions going into the game. Cork were shook from surrendering their League title. Now Bohemians’ winning run has been halted and City will have a chance to regroup and focus on at least retaining the Cup.

It would be nice to see the Cup come back to aDublin club though. The last one to win it was St Patrick’s Athletic in 2014. It would be nice to see any major honour come back to Dublin. The League hasn’t been won by a Dublin club since 2013 when St Patrick’s Athletic won it, and the League Cup [sorry, the EA Sports Cup] hasn’t been in Dublin since 2016 when, you guessed it, St Patrick’s Athletic won it [for the second successive year].

At least promotion from the First Division has been won by a Dublin club, UCD securing a return to the top flight after an impressive season. Another Dublin club could be joining them, if Shelbourne can navigate their way through the play-offs which kick-off this week with the Tolka Park outfit up against Drogheda United for the right to take on Finn Harps [the winners of that then earn the right to take on Limerick].

Shelbourne have already got their hands on the Leinster Senior Cup [for the second year in a row and 21st time overall] thanks to an exciting penalty shootout win over Pats last week. Actually, I thought the Bohs versus Cork FAI Cup semi-final would go to penalties rather than a replay, but I was wrong. Bray once had to play Cork 3 times at semi-final stage of the Cup [in 1989, when the semi-final was over 2 legs with a replay to follow because the sides were level on aggregate and away goals after the 2 legs] and in 1999 we had to play 3 games to win the final [against Finn Harps].

Good luck to Bohs and Cork in the replay, and to the teams taking part in the play-offs that start this week.

Brian Quigley

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