Saturday, July 29, 2006


An already eventful season will surely take another twist or two when the League Cup Semi finals take place. One thing is guaranteed however; the citizens of Dublin will be represented in the final. And there's a tasty prize on offer. A place at Irish football's top table, the relative eurofest that is the Setanta Cup

On Monday August 7th the warriors of Shelbourne FC and Bohemian FC, two of the capital’s oldest clubs clash at Tolka Park in a celebrated Dublin Derby. It's sure to be a rare tussle as the Boez attempt to placate their uneasy supporters with the promise of a League Cup Final appearance. They've had a turvy-topsy sort of season, failing to ignite in the league but have enjoyed a kittensoft ride to the semi finals; accounting for Athlone Town, Monaghan United and Cobh Ramblers thus far, while impressively, not conceding. Irish U21 star Stephen Ward has been their goalscorer in chief with his tally coming courtesy of a hat trick against the Midlanders.

Shelbourne on the other hand have been aflame recently, and not in the crash and burn fashion which many green-eyed observers had wished for. Their Euro dismissal at the feet and heads of Odense and it's attendant dramas seem to have galvanised the squad. There are certainly questions to be ignored off field, but they’ve ticked all the boxes on it. Their Euro involvement precluded them from the opening round of this competition, and they have expunged the challenge of Dublin City in their 2nd round tie, before accounting comfortably for Finn Harps in the last eight. They also have the confidence of a comfortable 2-0 victory over the Gypsies in their only league meeting to date this season. To be fair to the Castleknock side, they have improved and gained in confidence since then but it's a lanky order for Gareth Farrelly's men.

It's hard to see beyond Shels here, but Bohs are sure to set them a tougher test than they did in their last meeting.

In the other tie, Limerick host high flying Derry City at Hogan Park on August 8th. Limerick appear to have been driving a circus clown's car recently…not only have the wheels come off but doors, bonnet and steering wheel; as their form has hit a wall, big red nose first. Unfortunately they’re not facing Shamrock Rovers, as the Hoops appear to be the only side that Lims can be confident of defeating currently; and it was at their expense that Limerick progressed to this round. They accounted for the Kerry League representative side in their opening tie. On the other foot, the Eurocrats of Derry City can do no wrong. They’re the defending champs and have accounted for Longford Town and an understrength Drogheda outfit at their citydel, securing clean sheets on both occasions. Following their defeat of IFK Gothenburg in Sweden, the trip to Hogan Park should be less than daunting for Stephen Kenny's crusaders.

Derry to reach the final !

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