The FAI Intermediate Cup second round draw was somewhat underwhelming. All top flight clashes are at a premium and it looks like all the majority of the big names will be confident of progressing to what looks like it could be an extremely exciting open draw.
No doubt by the end of the weekend starting October 20 there will be a host of talking points and exciting news to break but at first glance the draw isn’t as spectacular as one would hope.
Regardless we here at the JSP have managed to pick out some intriguing contests. Check out our ones to watch below.
Liffey Wanderers v Cherry Orchard
It might be Senior Sunday versus Senior 1, but it’s hard to call a favourite in this one.
Wanderers may be playing a league below the Orchard, but go into this difficult round three clash as FAI Intermediate Champions.
The Inner City side have top flight aspirations and feel they have a squad capable of competing at the highest Intermediate level- something their Cup win proved last year.
For the Orchard it could be viewed as a bit of a no win situation. The side that exited at the last 16 stage against Everton last season a team that play a division below but an outfit a lot would argue would hold their own at the top table.
It’s not an ideal round 2 draw, but the Ballyfermot side will be desperate for a good run in the competition this season.
Wanderers come into the clash with a team that has grown together over the last five years or so and have Lee Roche in great goal scoring form and Aidan Roche back from a small sabbatical. They have also started the season well losing only once since being promoted to the Intermediate second tier.
On the other hand Declan Hevey’s Cherry Orchard are somewhat under transition. Some of their ‘star names’ departed over the last six months, but they have recruited well and recent results suggest they are starting to gel.
Interestingly enough these two are teams that have enjoyed rare success in winning the FAI Junior and Intermediate Cups within three seasons.
St Patricks CY v St Mochtas
The only all top flight clash outside of the Ulster section of the draw. It has to be one to look out for.
One of either St Patricks CY or Mochtas will not reach the open draw.
Considering Mochtas are the reigning league champions and boast a squad full of players who have experienced Aviva final day they will go in as favourites, but St Patricks CY have impressed in patches this year.
The Ringsend club look a lot more assured this season and have targeted a solid start and with wins over the likes of Bluebell United, a new look Firhouse as well as a result against Crumlin have shown they are capable of competing against fancied sides.
Not to mention the Saints, who lost only four in 26 last term, have lost three times already in the league this season and have shown some vulnerabilities on occasion.
However, a big win over Crumlin last weekend shows that they can produce when it matters most and you get the feeling the FAI Intermediate matters to the Porterstown club this season.
This game will also play host to some brilliant wide talent and former Crumlin team mates Alan McGreal, now of Mochtas, and Daniel Kelly, who is home at CY, could prove vital.
Ballincollig vs Avondale United
The neutral may reap the benefit in round 3 as a host of big names have a better chance of being in the hat, but this seasons round 3 draw hasn’t produced too many mouthwatering clashes.
The Munster section of the draw was particularly poor in terms of super showdowns, although in that regard their is a lot of third round scalp potential.
Ballincollig may not be favoured to surprise top flight side Avondale, but they are one of the lower divisions sides that reached the open draw stage last season.
They didn’t travel quite as far as Everton along the Road to the Aviva, but they gave Bluebell United a game in the fourth round of last seasons instalment not long after they had knocked Ringmahon out.
If they can reach that level of performance again later this month they may just be able to pull off a result.
In terms of interest outside of Cork Avondale are always the first Munster side Ulster and Leinster followers look out for come draw time.
Cobh Wanderers made the final last year and Ringmahon Rangers are currently top of the MSL Premier side, but Avondale’s dominance of the contest early in the decade means they are always one to watch for the LSL and USL sides.
Outside of those three their are not to many ties with unique and exciting narratives worthy highlighting on their own.
UCC, who take on an ambitious Castleview side, have added extremely well over the last week or so and are a confident young side to watch out for. Cockhill Celtic take on Swilly Rovers and will be feared to a degree if they reach the open draw.
Tolka Rovers versus Killester looks like it could be tasty while Lucan United vs Ballymun is another that could be of interest.