Meleady looks to Kilbarrack sharpness in bid for revenge
HOLDERS Sheriff YC head into tomorrow's FAI Junior Cup final at Lansdowne Road (kick-off 1.30) highly fancied to defeat AUL Premier 'A' rivals Kilbarrack United for the second successive year in the showpiece decider.
The bonus of this year's clash being contested at the home of Irish football has both camps excited, ensuring a decent following for the Dublin rivals at the venue ahead of Ireland's game against Georgia.
Kilbarrack have cause for optimism as they look to gain revenge. Suspended John Lester will be absent from their opponents' midfield, having being sent off in the 1-0 semi-final victory over Carew Park, while United also emerged victors by a single goal when the teams last met in the AUL on May 1.
Skipper John Meleady, scorer of both goals in the 2-1 semi-final triumph over Pike Rovers, claims the outcome of the decider may hinge on the sharpness of the finalists' attackers.
"Both sides know each other really well," said Meleady. "We have played each other so much over the past few years, the games are always very tight.
"The difference is going to be the team who can take their chances and who gets that little bit of luck. It's a Junior Cup final and it's a massive bonus that the Aviva Stadium is hosting the game."
Sheriff's tilt at back-to-back Junior Cups, meanwhile, will once again be strongly influenced by Murphys.
Five of the family, including captain Lee, are in line to be involved.
First up on Saturday is the wedding in Trim of former St Patrick's Athletic and Sligo midfielder Anto, now a key member of the coaching staff.
"Of course, we'll all be there at the wedding and we'll have a good time," explained groomsman Lee.
"But we all know this is a once-in-a-lifetime experience to play at the Aviva Stadium and to possibly win a cup there, so we'll all be making sure we're in good shape."