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Wednesday 16 October 2019

Duff the hero as league rivals cross Swords again

Graham Duff was the hero for Swords as his second-half goal sent the north Dublin side into the third round of the FAI Intermediate Cup on Friday night.

Swords Celtic 2 Leixlip United 1

A close game was always on the cards, with the same two sides having played out a 1-1 draw a week previously in the league.

Niall Hudson has tweaked his team's formation to make them harder to beat in recent weeks and they looked rock-solid in the opening quarter of an hour as the Kildare men failed to create anything of note.

Swords took the lead in the 25th minute when Liam Hudson showed great pace down the right wing before he was crudely hacked down by the Leixlip left-back. From the free kick Niall Tormey sent in an excellent cross which was put past his own goalkeeper by an unfortunate Leixlip defender.

That lead didn't last for too long, however, as uncharacteristic sloppy defending from the home side let in the away forward for the equaliser. A long throw into the Swords Celtic box wasn't dealt with by the home defence and after a scramble in the box the ball was turned in to make it 1-1.

The opening quarter of the second half saw both sides cancelling each other out to an extent, with the respective defences on top, and the game looked to be heading for a repeat of the league encounter's 1-1 scoreline.

However, with 20 minutes to go, two substitutes combined to set up central defender Duff for the winner. Barry Caulfield's deep cross from a corner was pulled back by Shane Carter into the path of Duff who made no mistake as he rifled the ball home to send Swords into the third round of the FAI Intermediate Cup.

Swords Celtic: Gavin Moore, Darren Thornbury, Gavin Logan, Graham Duff, David Cox, Niall Tormey, Liam Hudson, Andrew Timmins, Evan Kelly (Jordan Nolan), Robbie Farrell (Barry Caulfield), Keith McCracken (Shane Carter).

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