First Division play-offs: John Caulfield’s Galway to face Longford in final

The side which prevails in Friday’s final will face off against the team positioned second from bottom in the Premier Division
First Division play-offs: John Caulfield’s Galway to face Longford in final

Jack Watson of Bray Wanderers is tackled by Shane Doherty of Galway United duirng the SSE Airtricity League First Division match last week.

John Caulfield’s Galway United will face Longford Town in Friday’s First Division promotion play-off final after another day of domestic drama.

The Tribesmen only took the place of Cabinteely in the semi-final after a successful arbitration outcome on Thursday shuttled them into fifth spot of the table.

Having won at the Carlisle Grounds with a late goal a week ago, Galway repeated the trick, winning 1-0.

Wilson Waweru was on hand to pounce with a close-range with eight minutes remaining after Bray goalkeeper Brian Maher could only parry Shane Doherty’s shot into the striker’s path.

It marked the final heartbreak for Bray, who held control of top spot, the sole automatic promotion spot, heading into their final two fixtures.

Once again, they created enough opportunities to have nicked it, especially Sean McEvoy’s low effort in the second half which struck the post.

Former Cork City boss Caulfield rejigged his frontline for the latter stages and it paid off with another substitute, like Carlton Ubaezuonu’s seven days, proving to be the hero.

In the other semi-final, Longford twice came from behind to overcome UCD 3-2 at the Belfield Bowl.

Colm Whelan’s opener on the stroke of half-time was eventually cancelled out by Joe Gorman’s late equaliser.

Yoyo Mahdy thought he’d won it for the Students in extra-time but late strikes by Gorman and Dean Byrne completed Longford’s comeback.

The side which prevails in Friday’s final will face off against the team positioned second from bottom in the Premier Division – currently Finn Harps – for a place in the 2021 top-flight.

The fallout from the midweek arbitration continued after Cabinteely manager Pat Devlin called for resignations in the FAI over the debacle that saw the original sanctions imposed on Wexford overturned on appeal.

"There are always people out there who want to influence things, who want to interfere,” claimed the veteran about the episode.

“They don't really get their hands dirty, but they're in the background manipulating and doing things. That's what brings us to where we are now.

"The FAI’s DCU (Disciplinary Control Unit) made the decision, not Cabinteely or not Wexford.

“And, after that, the DCU passed the ball down the line to everybody else other than themselves. That's shocking. The FAI, the league, the Director of the League (Mark Scanlon) and the DCU should have handled this matter 12 weeks ago.

"And they leave it to the very last day of the season, not giving us enough time to reply. The people responsible should step down; shame on them.”

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