Saturday 18 November 2017

FAI Ford Cup Previews

Bohemians v Douglas Hall, Dalymount, 7.45

PAT Fenlon reiterated that this season's priority is survival at Dalymount Park, but Bohemians fans have their eye on the cup. Cork outfit Douglas Hall lost the Munster Senior League play-off on Wednesday night, but a trip to Dublin should focus their minds.

Verdict: Bohemians

Cherry Orchard v UCD,

Belfield Bowl, 7.45

This is a banana skin for the Students, whose form has been patchy all season. They face a Cherry Orchard side built for cup action. They beat Cobh Ramblers in the previous round and Orchard have reached the final of the Intermediate Cup.

Verdict: Draw

Crumlin Utd v St Patrick's Ath, Richmond Park, 7.45

Like Cherry Orchard, Crumlin have ceded their home advantage, but face a stern task against the Saints, who are in flying form and keen to end a 51-year wait for the cup. Conor Kenna misses out again for Pete Mahon's men.

Verdict: St Patrick's Athletic

Drogheda United v Mervue United, Hunky Dorys Park, 7.45

Another potential shock. Drogheda have been poor all season, while Mervue have improved this campaign and are mid-table in the First Division. They'll fancy a draw and United wouldn't relish a trip west.

Verdict: Draw

Midleton v Cork City,

Knockgriffin Park, 7.45

A local derby. City make the short trip to Midleton sitting second in the First Division and in good form. Davin O'Neill is out as he is getting married, but Tommy Dunne will be naming a strong side who should have enough to progress.

Verdict: Cork City

Salthill Devon v Sheriff YC,

Drom, 7.45

Paul 'Ski' McGee has made a difference since taking over at Salthill, but they are still bottom of the First Division and susceptible to a shock. AUL side Sheriff have a good pedigree and won their league this season.

Verdict: Sheriff YC

Sligo Rovers v Pike Rovers, Showgrounds, 7.45

Limerick's Pike Rovers have had a fine season, but a win over the holders would appear to be beyond them. Target man Pat Moloney is out after breaking his hand in the FAI Junior Cup win, while Sligo will be without Joseph Ndo. They should cope.

Verdict: Sligo Rovers

Waterford United v New Ross

Celtic, RSC, 7.45

Waterford's preparation for this clash is hardly ideal as they dismissed Stephen Henderson as manager last week, but they have won three of their last four matches and caretaker manager Paul O'Brien should be able to guide his side through.

Verdict: Waterford United

Longford Town v Finn Harps, Flancare Park, 8.0

It's almost a decade since Longford's glory years in the competition, but they haven't started it in a better position in years. Tony Cousins' men are in the mix in the first Division, while Harps are still struggling despite the appointment of Felix Healy and Peter Hutton.

Verdict: Longford Town

Monaghan Utd v Everton,

Gortakeegan, 8.0

Roddy Collins' Mons are in flying form in the second tier and should have more than enough for Togher outfit Everton. The man who lifted the trophy with Bohemians a decade ago will fancy a run in the competition this season.

Verdict: Monaghan United

Shamrock Rovers v Athlone

Town, Tallaght, 8.0

Athlone already face an uphill task against last year's finalists and don't need the host of injuries that are dogging team selection this week. Michael O'Neill will rotate his squad, but will have more than enough to deal with the midlanders.

Verdict: Shamrock Rovers

Wexford Youths v Derry City,

Ferrycarrig Park, 8.0

The last time Stephen Kenny brought a team to Ferrycarrig Park, they decimated their hosts 6-1 in the League Cup final. Top scorers in the Premier Division, Derry hit Galway for six last weekend and could run up a score in the southeast.

Verdict: Derry City

Ruaidhri O'Connor

Irish Independent

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