Monday, 15 November 2010


The very first FAI Cup Final at the Aviva Stadium was a battle of the Rovers; Sligo and Shamrock.

A far from eventful game went all the way to 'peno's' (otherwise known as a penalty shoot-out) with Sligo Rovers goalkeeper Ciarán Kelly becoming a hero for the night saving a remarkable FOUR penatlies in total to deny league champions Shamrock Rovers a much anticipated 'Double'.

Not the greatest advertisement for the local game but the 36,101 in attendance is truly astonishing.  A phenomenal turn-out from the locals - many of whom didn't support either Sligo or Shamrock Rovers!

But for me, a special mention must go out to the Northern contingent from 'the Hoops'. Alan Mannus and Tommy Stewart in-particular can count themselves very unlucky not to have been selected for Nigel Worthington's Northern Ireland squad.  Certainly, both are due a call-up considering the amount of the expected withdrawals from the squad from next Wednesday's visit of African outfit Morocco.

And as it pains me to say it, I too will be absent from Windsor Park for the up-and-coming friendly international.

"Thigh strain..."


PS: Have to point out... there were an awful lot of neutrals in attendance today (a good thing for the local leagues IMO).  However the two lads in-front of me (not exactly 'soccer buffs' as the GAA gear might suggest) headed home after 90 mins of FAI Cup Final itself. Clearly thought the game was going to a replay...

Oh dear...

Foreign games eh?