Westport look to avoid Sheriff’s trap

Soccer: FAI Junior Cup

Captains Day: Westport United's Joe Lawless will be hoping to lead his team to victory on Sunday. Photo: Michael Donnelly

Captains Day: Westport United's Joe Lawless will be hoping to lead his team to victory on Sunday. Photo: Michael Donnelly

Westport United will be looking to avoid exiting the FAI Junior Cup at the seventh round stage for the second year in a row on Sunday, when they make the trip to Dublin. Standing in their way is a familiar foe in the shape of Sheriff YC the side that knocked them out of the competition at this stage last year. The Dublin outfit booked their place in this round of the competition with a comfortable 6-2 win over Tramore last Sunday on their home patch in Fairview. The Dublin outfit were in control of the contest from start to finish, and could have scored more than the half-dozen they did if they had their shooting boots on. Darren Dunne chipped in with a hat-trick, with John Rock scoring a brace to round off the scoring starting with a penalty and finishing with a neat finish from inside the area to make it number six.

The other goal came from a man Westport United will know all about from last year, Keith Dunne. The Sheriff YC man struck the fifth goal of their win last weekend and this time last year he bagged all four goals in the Dublin side’s 4-1 win over Westport United. After beating Westport United Sheriff, who had won the competition for the two years previous, were knocked out by eventual winner St Michael’s FC from Tipperary at the semi-final stage.

Westport United booked their place in the seventh round a fortnight ago with a 2-0 win over Kilkenny outfit Freebooters in the Sportspark, thanks to goals from Phil Keegan and Darren Browne. Sunday’s clash will take place on the astroturf home pitch of Sheriff YC and playing regularly on the surface is sure to be a big advantage to the home team. But this Westport United team are a side that look to be on a mission, and after making a clean sweep of all the trophies in Mayo last season, they are still involved in the Connacht Cup, and the FAI Junior Cup is the big prize they really crave. Westport United won their sixth round tie without the services of ace midfielder David Cameron, and he remains a major doubt for Sunday’s clash.

The Westport United side that lined out for their sixth round win over Freebooters featured eight of the side who started their clash with Sheriff YC last season. With Colm Keane, Patrick Moran, and Darren Browne coming into the side for Colm Keane, the injured Dave Cameron, and JP O’Gorman.

If David Cameron does not make it back for the game, the United line up will be expected to be along the lines of the 11 who started against Freebooters. The United back-four of Shaun Tagg, Martin Geraghty, Joe Lawless, and Colin Cameron will have to be on their toes to keep out the dangerous attackers from Sheriff YC, while their midfield trio of Danny Scahill, Darren Browne, and Patrick Moran will hope to dictate the play and get up in support of their front three of Pat Fitzgerald, Phil Keegan, and David Hoban.

The Coveys will have a big following support as usual on Sunday who will no doubt back them to the hilt against the north Dublin outfit.

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