CORK’S stranglehold on the FAI Intermediate Cup ended yesterday when the last remaining Munster Senior League club in the competition, Rockmount, bowed out in the last four.
In a repeat of the 2004 final, holders Rockmount took on Bluebell at the Red Cow and it was the Leinster Senior League outfit who prevailed.
Despite an outstanding display from attacking full back Ken Hoey, Rockmount never seriously tested Bluebell goalkeeper Mark Clohessy.
Thirteen minutes in, Hoey was denied a goal by Bluebell centre-half Andrew Cleary and late on in the first half Rockmount’s Alan King drove a free kick straight at Clohessy. Hoey again went close at the start of a stoppage-ridden second half which saw Bluebell’s Paul Kenny sent-off for a tackle on Ruairi Beechinor.
Rockmount, who have dominated the competition since their first ever final appearance in 1999, pressed in the second half but Bluebell captain John Cleary stood firm. It was Cleary, the son of former Dundalk great John, who netted the only goal of the game when he powered home a corner from Glen Keddy.
In the closing stages King spurned a chance for the Leesiders, but it was Bluebell who progressed to their first FAI final in five years.
Bluebell’s opponents on May 10 will be local rivals Crumlin United after they saw off Malahide United in the second semi-final at Gannon Park.
The LSL Senior Division champions progressed to their first ever FAI Intermediate final thanks to a Thomas Fahey strike 15 minutes from full time.
It was a rare lapse in concentration from Malahide’s former Republic of Ireland Amateur goalkeeper Austin Hannon which led to the goal.
Late in the game Austin Skelly almost forced extra-time with a header, and then Crumlin goalkeeper Gareth Sutton denied Malahide’s Alan Doyle after a Gareth Logan assist.
Next month’s final will be the first all-Dublin affair for seven years, not since Ashtown Villa saw off Cherry Orchard in the 2002 showpiece have two LSL clubs made the showpiece.
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