Sport Soccer

Thursday 23 November 2017

Tonight's FAI Cup previews

Dundalk v Bohemians
(Oriel Park, 7.45)

DUNDALK's long-term future may be unclear as the ownership of the club has come up for discussion this week, but their short-term ambition is clearly focused.

Tonight, according to striker Mark Quigley, is the Lilywhites' season. Sixth in the league, neither chasing Europe or worried about the drop, the Louth club have one interest left and it's the FAI Cup.

"It's our season I think," the former Gypsy said. "We are probably going to finish where we are in the table, maybe one place higher. Friday is our season."

Quigley and Co will be hoping for improved fortunes in front of a big home crowd after losing 3-1 at Dalymount on Monday. Bohs welcome back Aidan Price, while teenager goalkeeper Craig Sexton keeps his place ahead of Barry Murphy.

Dundalk are still without a host of players, with long-term absentees Eoghan Osborne, Stephen Maher, Stephen McDonnell, Paul Murphy and Chris Kerr out, while Colin Hawkins and Ross Gaynor are doubts.

Verdict: Away win

Cork City v St Pat's Ath

(Turner's Cross, 7.45, RTE2) * Live, RTE 2

THE resurgence of Cork City continues this evening and an FAI Cup semi-final place to go with their League Cup final spot would nicely complement their promotion drive.

In their second season after being saved by their fans, the Rebels are back national television and within two games of an Aviva Stadium cup final. The big time beckons again.

First up, though, are St Patrick's Athletic, bidding to win the cup for the first time in 50 years. They know all about Cork, having lost already in Turner's Cross in the EA Sports Cup quarter-final in June.

Pete Mahon's men are fully aware of the weight of history on their shoulders and, although they remain in with a chance for the league title, the cup is a more realistic target.

Mahon is without David McMillan, Shane Guthrie and Sean O'Connor.

Cork are without Stephen Mulcahy, Neal Horgan, Gearóid Morrissey, while Daryl Horgan is cup-tied. With a big crowd behind them, though, they might just have enough to see them through.

Verdict: Home win

Irish Independent

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