Once again the weather disrupted the fixture list in the EA Sports Cup with a number of games postponed. It was rain that wreaked havoc this time around. There is one outstanding fixture from the First Round as the game between St. Mochta’s and Drogheda United was postponed for the third time. There were five second fixtures that fell by the wayside as well and they have all been re-arranged. Thankfully for the sake of this wrap-up there were three games that did go ahead and all saw sides from the Premier Division take on teams from the First Division and all were local derbies. The EA Sports Cup is effectively regionalised until the semi-final stage so as to cut down on travel costs for sides. It’s not given high priority by teams unless they make the semi-finals or final as the prize money is €10,000 and there is no European place at stake.
I have a soft spot for it as it was the first trophy won by Sligo Rovers when I was working for the club. We beat Monaghan United 1-0 in 2010 and the final was played in the Showgrounds so there was great excitement. It meant a lot to supporters until we won the FAI Cup the same year and it was forgotten about then. I can remember the night we won the FAI Cup and there was no sign of the EA Sports Cup, I eventually found it being used as a beer cooler by one of our former players! I used to mind it after that so it was a regular fixture in my house.
Anyways back to the games on the Bank Holiday Monday and Rovers were away to Connacht rivals Galway United in Eamon Deacy Park. It was a close game but Rovers won 1-0 thanks to a second half goal from Adam Morgan. It was his 5th of the season and also Rovers first clean sheet of the year. They will now play Derry City after the Candystripes beat their North West rivals Finn Harps 2-1 in Finn Park. Ciaran Coll had given Harps the lead but goals from first Aaron McEneff and then Rory Patterson gave Derry the win. Bohemian FC made it a clean sweep for Premier Division sides but they were pushed all the way by First Division leaders U.C.D. The students actually led 2-0 at one stage thanks to goals from Yousef Mahdy and Gary O’Neill but goals from first Eoghan Stokes and then J.J. Lunney saw Bohs take game into extra-time. There was still no separating the sides and the game went to penalties with Bohs winning 5-3.