Sheriff face shoot-out with Wanderers in all-Dublin junior cup final
The final of this season's FAI Junior Cup, in association with Aviva and Umbro, will be an all-Dublin affair between holders Sheriff United and Liffey Wanderers.
Liffey booked their place in the May 17 showpiece by beating North End United 2-1 at Ferrycarrig Park yesterday, while Sheriff saw off Clonmel Celtic 1-0 on Saturday.
A brace from man-of-the-match Aidan Roche put Liffey in control against North End and, though Shane Dempsey's last-minute free-kick supplied some hope for the Wexford side, it came too late for a comeback to be mounted.
North End's boisterous supporters were silenced inside the opening 60 seconds as Liffey forged ahead.
Gary Young's long thrown-ins have proven a key weapon in their cup run and, from his first hurtle, Roche was quickest to react and stabbed the ball beyond Lee Walker in the United goal.
Jason Murphy, Adam Beary and Keith Kearney all went close to equalising before Liffey struck again on 53 minutes.
Just as they thought a scare had been averted when Anthony O'Connor's penalty was saved by Lee Walker, North End were helpless as Roche rose majestically at the near post to score from the resulting corner.
North End's Shane Dempsey stepped up to rifle a free-kick through the wall and past Philip O'Connor on 90 minutes but it proved a mere consolation.
Meanwhile, John Lester's goal from the penalty spot proved sufficient for Sheriff to beat Clonmel Celtic in Saturday's semi-final in Tipperary Town.
The midfielder converted the 12th-minute spot-kick after FAI Junior Player of the Year Darren Dunne was tripped inside the penalty area by Brian Waters.
Clonmel's best chance of an equaliser fell to Aaron Moroney on 63 minutes but, although the substitute lifted the ball over the advancing McGrane from an acute angle, his effort lacked both the power and accuracy to find the empty net.
Sheriff will be aiming for their third title in the space of four years when they take on their Dublin rivals in the decider.