Avondale bid to end Crumlin reign

AVONDALE UNITED face the daunting task of trying to derail Crumlin United’s bid for three-in-a-row FAI Umbro Intermediate Cup titles in tomorrow’s semi-final at Pearse Park, Crumlin (1pm).

In a repeat of last season’s final, where Crumlin ran out 3-1 winners, John Cotter’s Avondale travel to Dublin as underdogs against the Leinster Senior League kingpins.

Former Cork City midfielder Cotter is enjoying his first season in management and has done a remarkable job since taking over shortly before the start of the season.

Avondale were in turmoil when Cotter took over as they only had a couple of players signed for the season but the player-manager says he is loving it so far.

“We were struggling a bit when I took over but luckily I still had a couple of weeks to sign a few players,” said Cotter. “I knew everyone at the club having played with them for years and the backroom staff have been brilliant and helped me all season.

“We didn’t have a proper pre-season so we struggled at the start but we have kicked on since November. I was able to add to the squad in January and Eoin Lougheed and Declan Cahill have been great additions to the team.”

Cotter has only one injury worry, where Michael Mulconroy is struggling with a hamstring injury.

Avondale are no strangers to playing away from home this season — having been drawn away in all rounds of the competition so far and Cotter, who won the competition with Avondale in 2006 and 2007, is confident going into the game.

The other semi-final also takes place tomorrow where Cherry Orchard take on Sacred Heart in a Dublin derby at Elmdale Crescent (11am).

FAI Ford Cup draw: Saturday April 16: Cobh Ramblers v Cherry Orchard 3pm, Cobh; Tralee Dynamos v Youghal United, Cahermoneen 2pm.

Sunday April 17 (2.30pm unless stated): Avondale United v Pike Rovers, Belgrove v Midleton, College Corinthians v Sheriff YC, Everton v Fanad United 2pm, Glebe North v Douglas Hall, Greystones v Bangor Celtic, Sacred Heart v FC Carlow 2pm, St Michael’s v Crumlin United 3pm.

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