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Blockbuster tie at Richmond Park in FAI Cup quarter-finals tonight

Updated: Friday, 13 Sep 2013 17:47 | Comments

Derek Foran is suspended for the visiting Hoops
Derek Foran is suspended for the visiting Hoops

The Ford FAI Cup quarter-finals take centre stage this weekend with three games down for decision tonight including the clash of Dublin rivals St Patrick's Athletic and Shamrock Rovers.

Airtricity League leaders Pat's face Rovers hoping for a similar result to the last meeting of the sides when the Saints came away with a 4-0 win. 

Across the city, Shelbourne, who have been semi-finalists for the past two years, face high-flying Dundalk at Tolka Park.

The remaining tie sees the last remaining First Division side, Finn Harps, host Drogheda United at Finn Park, Ballybofey (8pm).

St. Patrick's Athletic v Shamrock Rovers, Richmond Park, 7.45pm

It’s a long time since either team lifted the FAI Ford Cup and one will be left waiting for at least another year after this tie is decided.

The sides have met three times already in the league this season with Rovers winning 3-0 in Tallaght in March and St Pat’s winning 4-0 in Tallaght last month with Conan Byrne scoring all the visitors goals. The only meeting at Richmond Park ended scoreless.

The Dublin rivals last met in the cup back in 2010 when their semi-final went to a replay after a 2-2 draw and Rovers won that 1-0.

St Pat’s are without Stephen Maher (broken leg) while Anto Flood will make his 50th appearance for the club if he plays.

Rovers have Derek Foran and Mark Quigley suspended while Karl Sheppard (abdomen) could return along with Eamon Zayed who has returned from international duty with Libya.

Finn Harps v Drogheda United, Finn Park, 8pm

For the first time in ten years, Finn Harps have reached the quarter-finals of the FAI Ford Cup and face Premier Division Drogheda United for a place in the last four.

Harps boss Peter Hutton’s father won an FAI Cup winners medal with Harps back in 1974 and Donegal fans are hoping that’s a good omen.

Friday’s game will be the fifth meeting of the two sides in the Cup and Drogheda hold the upper hand with three wins to Harps one.

Harps striker Sean McCarron is suspended while there are doubts over Damien McNulty (foot), Tommy McMonagle (foot), Johny Bonner (knee) and Kevin McHugh (illness). However, on the plus side Michael Funston is available again.

Drogheda have been rocked by the news that striker Gary O’Neill has been diagnosed with testicular cancer and he’s out for the rest of the season.

Long-term absentee Graham Rusk returned to training this week but Cathal Brady (dead leg) is doubtful.

Shelbourne v Dundalk, Tolka Park, 8pm

Both these sides were losing semi-finalists last season and Shelbourne are looking to reach the last four for the third successive season.

This is the fifth meeting the sides this season and Dundalk have won the previous four though each game was extremely close belying the gap between the sides in the league.

The sides have met 16 times in the cup, with Shelbourne winning ten of the ties, but Dundalk won the last meeting back in 2008.

Shelbourne will again be without the services of Paul Crowley, Brian Shortall, Mark Leech and Jack Memery through injury while Lee Murphy and Jamie McGlynn are cup tied.

Dundalk will be without the long-term injury victim Keith Ward as well as the suspended Stephen O’Donnell and Dane Massey but Kurtis Byrne returns after serving his ban and Brian Gartland has recovered from illness.

If replays are required in any of Friday’s three ties they will take place on Monday evening.

The draw for the semi-finals of the FAI Ford Cup will take place during RTÉ Two's MNS programme on Monday evening from 7pm.

On Sunday afternoon holders Derry City will meet Sligo Rovers at The Showgrounds in the remaining tie at 5pm.

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