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Smithfield ambition earns Ellis reward

It says a lot about a team when they have played more cup games at this stage of the season then league ties.

It says a lot about their competitive edge in the knockout environment when it all comes down to what happens on the day.

Smithfield have time and again displayed a certain relish for the cut and thrust of cup action. A refusal to wilt under the pressure of knowing that one mistake could mean the end of a cup run.

And James Milligan's men put together a sustained run in the Leinster Junior Cup before they bowed to Palmerstown United.

If manager Milligan was looking for a quick and positive response after that setback he could not have asked for a better display than his troops gave in this Gerry Ellis Cup outing on Saturday.

They won by four but it could have been a whole lot more and it says a lot that one of the Finglas Athletic heroes was their goalkeeper Larry Morris who is, according to sources, having a fine season.

It was 2-0 at the break with Liam Harding scoring first from a Fergus Hannigan pass. Chris Turley added a second after a quick throw in from John Harvey.

Chris Turley tagged on a third after along clearance from Jason McCann and Smithfield's fourth was described as their best and came from sweeping move that was finished off by Liam Harding.

Some measure of Smithfield's second-half dominance could be seen in the way both Turley and Harding had efforts rebound off the woodwork.

The Smithfield centre-half pairing of Ryan O'Donoghue and Fergus Hannigan were picked up for their efforts while the contributions from Turley and Harding were also immense.

"Our cup runs continue and we would love to get to a cup final and see what we can do from there," added Milligan after the action was over. Now his side must also turn their thoughts to working their way through a big backlog of league games. Milligan, who normally plays in goals came in to fill the full-back slot on Saturday.

Finglas Athletic were short a couple of players for this encounter and it showed as the created few chances. Player/manager David Doyle had an effort that whizzed wide. He was a disappointed man afterwards.

"I'm terrible disappointed with performance of the team in the second-half because I know we can be a lot better than we showed, we're better than that," he said.

Now Finglas must turn their attention to the Haroldville Cup, their last hope of garnering some silverware this season. Smithfield have other ambitions with the Ellis Cup now firmly in their sights.

Finglas Athletic: Larry Morris; David Joyce, Darren Doyle, Dario Brazil, Mick Kelly, Ciaran Hopkins, Niall Haverty, Fiachra Kelly, Kenneth Kelly, Robbie Killian, Keith Doyle. Subs: David Doyle, Gary Woods, Karl Doyle.

Smithfield: Jason McCann; Antonio Derosas; Jason Rahill, Fergus Hannigan, Ryan O'Donoghue, David O'Donoghue, John Harvey, David Hanson, Stephen Watters, Chris Turley, Liam Harding. Sub: James Milligan.