Monday, November 15, 2010

Sligo Rovers Win the FAI Cup

We won, after extra time and penalties. A long match indeed but worth it in the end. After a scrappy start Sligo Rovers played the better football, had the better chances but didn't score. As the match wore on you thought it was going to be one of those days when a team plays well but gets beaten by one mistake or one very good move.

Our seats were behind the south goal, (the DART end?), defended by Sligo in the first half so we saw lots of action in the second half and were delighted when the ref chose our end for the shoot out. To score no goal in a penalty shoot-out seems unusual, to have them all saved as against missing them rarer still. To miss one penalty, Mr O'Neill, may be regarded as a misfortune; to miss four looks like carelessness. To be fair Sligo missed two of theirs as well. My picture above is, I think, of Pat Flynn of Shams about to take and miss their second penalty.

A great crowd there, great noise from the two sets of supporters of what used to be traditional rivals. A great advertisement for the local game which needs as much good publicity as possible. It's a shame so many Irish people call themselves soccer followers and mean that they follow only English clubs.

The stadium is impressive, our seats were good though we could only see half the pitch through the netting on the goals. We parked at Blackrock DART station and took the DART figuring correctly that most DART-using fans would be travelling in the opposite direction. It would be different if it was a rugby match. We got away very quickly afterwards.

Sligo Rovers have now won the FAI Cup three times, 1983, 1994 and 2010.

Well done the Rovers, and the FAI! RTE Report here. Irish Times here.

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