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Slow start but late surge for FAI Cup final tickets

BOTH clubs are hoping to get a late surge of support for Sunday's FAI Cup final at Lansdowne Road, with less than 10% of tickets for the Derry City-St Patrick's Athletic decider sold so far.

It has been a difficult season for the Brandywell club and, as of this morning, City had sold just 2,000 tickets for Sunday's final, the second meeting of St Pats and Derry in the final in two years.

Sales are also slow around Inchicore, with an estimated 2,000 bought by Pats fans to date, though club officials do expect interest - and sales - to rise in the coming days, as the fact that Pats were away from home, in Sligo, for the last league game of the season last Friday denied the Richmond Park faithful their usual way of buying Cup final tickets on the last night of the league season.

"We are expecting a rush as the build up goes on later in the week," said a Saints source. And Derry CEO Sean Barrett expects to see a large batch of City fans in Dublin on Sunday.

"We have sold to date a disappointing 2,500 tickets but Derry is a typical last minute dotcom place as everything happens at the last minute here," says Barrett.

"I recall that two years ago that we had sold a wee bit more than that but come the Friday before the game there was mayhem.

"So hopefully it will be the same this week. There are 80 buses booked but the tickets have not been sold to fill those buses yet.

"That's going to happen this week hopefully. Two years ago we brought 7,500. We are trying to get it to 10,000."

Meanwhile, Longford Town received a boost ahead of their Premier Division campaign next season as four stars of their promotion-winning side have agreed new deals - David O'Sullivan. Paul Hunt, Jamie Mulhall and Gary Shaw.