FAI Intermediate Cup
St Patrick’s CY-2
St Patrick’s CY became the first team to progress to the second round of the 2017/18 FAI Intermediate Cup.
The Ringside side took the first step along the Road to the Aviva with an impressive away win at the home of fellow Senior Sunday side Drumcondra on Wednesday night.
Some last gasp defending from the hosts in the first half meant it was a little more tense that it should have been, but two second half strikes saw the team, who have made an solid start to the season, deservedly win the first game of this season’s FAI Intermediate instalments.
CY started with a good tempo and mixed it up well, switching between playing through Graham Cassidy and using the aerial prowess of Kevin Dunne.
The home side did look to have a bit about them going forward to start out, but the visitors, whose only defeat so far this term has come away to Senior Sunday table toppers Killester, created the better chances in the opening 20 minutes.
Jordan Cromwell did have a tame effort from range for Drums, but Glen Donnelly had an effort over for CY, while some keeper sweeping stopped Thomas Dunne from having a shot on goal after a clever Kevin Dunne pass and some brilliantly trickery from Daniel Kelly resulted in a cross that was begging for touch.
As the half wore on Cromwell began to look more isolated up top and the home team couldn’t really muster an attack. Patrick’s CY were showing 4-4-2 is far from dead and at times it was enjoyable to watch them put a modern stamp on what is viewed as an old school formation.
CY were on top for the remainder of the half, but some brilliant last ditch defending and the word work prevented them from going in ahead at the turn.
Drums will praise the body on the line defending, but their management team will argue that preventing fires rather than putting them out is better for everyone’s heart rate.
First Liam Hudson brilliantly cleared a Kevin Dunne effort off the line before just second later Paul Andrews was diverting goal bound efforts from both CY centre halves away from goal.
Boddy O’Reilly then brilliantly prevented Kevin Dunne from cushioning home after brilliant work from Thomas Dunne down the left.
Drums did find a bit of a foothold in the game and had a period were they showed what they can do on the ball, but again they struggled to get numbers into the final third and CY did all the could to try and get the opening game in the final five minutes of the half.
Kevin Dunne, who is like Andy Carroll with a much better touch, flashed across goal when he was allowed collect a Paul Healy, who was on for Cassidy, long throw on his chest and turn in the box around the 40 minute mark.
The big man was then hit the area were the crossbar and post meet. Kelly showed quicker feet than Michael Flattley when working his way across the box, feed into the striker, but as he demanded the return Dunne was turning to fire against the woodwork.
Andrews, who was one of Drums better performances at left back and centre half in the second period, then almost succeeded were CY had failed and came closest to putting the ball in the Drumcondra net. However a brilliant Shane Finnegan reaction save, saved his blushes as the keeper clawed away his sliced clearance.
The away side started the second like they had ended the first, threatening to score.
With two minutes of the restart Kelly found himself baring down on goal after neat play from the two Dunne front men. However, Finnegan stood tall and prevented him opening the scoring from what wasn’t the easiest of angles.
Andrews did have a chance from a corner soon after, but lifted over the bar and after a bit of a lull in proceedings CY took control again.
Thomas Dunne’s attempt at the spectacular failed after he was put in behind by his strike partner, before he clipped the post with a brilliant free kick.
At that stage the away fans began to get a bit tetchy feeling fearing the hosts might have a spell and register a snatch and grab win.
However just after the hour the visitors eventually broke the deadlock. Aaron Montgomery won the ball just inside the opposition half allowing Kelly to drive at the defence. There was no need for a trick this time and when he drew the cover he rolled Thomas Dunne in on the left hand side of the area. The experienced striker took one touch and invited someone to finish with a low cross. Glen Donnelly duly obliged and tapped home from all of three yards.
The home side attempted a response and to their credit they were full of running and effort, but after a brief up and at them spell CY began to chip away at their souls.
The Ringsend natives, who had to watch near neighbours Liffey Wanderers lift the Intermediate Cup last term, showed good game management to kill the hosts fight.
With minutes to go they managed to seal it via Thomas Dunne. Another Healy long throw some how made it all the way to the back post untouched and the club’s talisman was on hand to slide home, wrapping up the result in the process.