FAI Ford Cup semi-final preview: St Pats vs Finn Harps

James Chambers celebrating during first spell with Pat's

St Patrick’s Athletic go into Sunday’s FAI Ford Cup Semi-Final with Finn Harps at Richmond Park, knowing they must win to keep their season alive.

Although the League champions have shown some good form of late, on the whole results have been patchy, leaving them with no chance of retaining their crown.

All eyes are now on the quest for the ‘Holy Grail’ for the Saints; the Inchicore side have endured a hoodoo when it comes to the competition, having not won it since 1961 against the now extinct Drumcondra, in Dalymount Park.

Since that faithful day, Pat’s have lost an astonishing seven finals, with a high proportion of their fans yet to witness the team in red lifting the coveted trophy.

The Cup was brought up on a couple of occasions by Saints supporters during a Q and A session held with players and fans at the start of the season, with many preferring a cup victory to the league title, such is the desperation to end misery.

Pat’s head into Sunday’s game in good health with no injuries of note, although midfielders Greg Bolger and Aaron Greene will miss the game through suspension and ineligibility respectively.

The home side will be clear favourites to progress to the blue ribbon event, coming up against lower division opposition.

However Saints boss, Liam Buckley is adamant his side will not show any complacency: “I was manager of Sporting Fingal when we won the cup, and as a First Division team, no one expected us to go all the way so we know very well not to underestimate Finn Harps.”

Finn Harps are also looking to use the cup to add a bit of lustre to their season as the Donegal side currently sit fifth in the first division.

The Harps suffered a 3-0 defeat away to Wexford Youths in their last game to continue a bad run which has seen them win just two games since the start of August.

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