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Orchard to pip Verona in 'cat and mouse' tie

The FAI Senior Cup kicks off this weekend as the non-league qualifiers battle for a place alongside the big names of League of Ireland football.

A win at this stage will see the intermediate and junior qualifiers into a dream draw with the likes of Sligo Rovers, St Patrick's Athletic and record winners of this competition, Shamrock Rovers.

Tomorrow, Cherry Orchard and Verona will hook up for the first of two thunderous cup clashes at Elm Dale.

Next weekend, these pair will face each other in the semi final of the FAI Intermediate Cup, but first up is the Senior equivalent.

It will be intriguing to see how the managers of both sides approach this one.

While both will want to win, the Intermediate Cup is the one they want to get their hands on.

The fact that the Orchard and Verona are one win away from a final could force the hand of the respective bosses.

A win tomorrow will help the confidence within the squad, but will Paul Doyle of the Orchard or Verona's Paul Cassidy want to show their complete hand? Either way, this is going to be a cagey affair.

It may take the air of a dress rehearsal, but neither side will want to fluff their lines.

FAI Senior Cup 1st Round


Hall will look to dismiss the Dublin side at the first time of asking, but Killester have proved that they are well capable of performing at this level. A trip to Cork is not ideal for United at this stage of the season, they are in pursuit of a league and cup double, and Hall should take advantage. Verdict: Douglas Hall


The Orchard will look to lay a marker for next week, while Verona will trade this one for a win in the Inter Cup. This game could be the starter with the main course held back for next week. The Orchard to prevail in a game of cat and mouse as the bosses give nothing away.

Verdict: Cherry Orchard



While not a Ringsend derby in the traditional sense, both sides shared the same pitch, this clash of the two Dublin 4-based clubs will have a bearing at the top and bottom of the league. Merrion need the points in order to keep their necks out of the relegation waters, while the Saints could do with the win to keep the pressure on the top three. This is a home game in all but name for the Saints and if they are in the mood they should grab the win.

Verdict: St Pat's CY