With nearly 700 teams taking part, the FAI Umbro Junior Cup is the largest competition of its kind anywhere in Europe and reaches into nearly every local community in Ireland. The 2009 final was a triumph for Ballymun United who overcame St. Peter’s of Athlone with two late goals at Tolka Park. It was Ballymun’s first win in the competition since 2001.
Carrick United dumped out of FAI Umbro Junior Cup by St. Peters
FAI Umbro Junior Challenge Cup holders, Carrick United exited this year’s Umbro FAI Junior Cup at the hands of Athlone dark horses St Peter’s on a dramatic Sunday of 7th round action that also saw the Dublin charge for the trophy gather momentum.
Patrick Croughwell’s tie-clinching penalty handed the Combined Counties League side St Peters their second straight win over a previous winner of the competition - they overcame Westport in the last round - and booked their place in a first junior cup quarter final since returning from intermediate soccer in 2004.
Mark Sherlock’s second-half strike had cancelled out Carrick’s opener, before two penalty-shootout saves from goalkeeper Keith Hynes put his side within one game of repeating their single Senior Cup appearance and more importantly, firmly in contention for this year’s trophy.
"We are delighted to be through to the quarter finals and especially with a victory over the current holders," said St Peters club secretary Paul Philips.
"Having had similar success in the FAI Intermediate Cup in the recent past and reaching the FAI Senior Cup, we had hoped at the beginning of the season to go this far at least, even if others are surprised by our progress."
2001 winners Ballymun United emphatically crushed Leinster Senior League side Crumlin United 6-0 at the AUL Complex in Dublin to cruise into the last eight and rejoin the elite club of the nation’s best they have been absent from for some years.
A brace each for substitute Darren Doyle and junior international striker Barry Kavanagh was added to by sensational long-range strikes from Ritchie O’Brien and Liam Byrne, to the delight of former junior cup-winning player and current manager Casey McQuillan.
"There is a great feeling around the club this season and it means a lot for us to get back to the latter stages of this competition," said the Ballymun manager.
"It is a great achievement to beat a club like Crumlin, with such a good pedigree and who are bringing good young players through all the time, by such a margin."
At the same venue, fellow Athletic Union League Premier A title-contenders Sheriff YC overcame Amateur Football League side Coolock Town under different circumstances but signalled their competition credentials as effectively nonetheless.
Spearheaded in attack by finalist in the last two seasons and former Killester United striker Mick Keogh, the visitors were more than a match for their Dublin neighbours until moments of magic from strikers Jonathan Rock and Terry Corbally either side of half time gave Sheriff the 2-0 victory and equalled their best ever junior cup finish.
Mayo’s Erris United continued to make history in Kerry also, as they came away with a 2-1 victory over Kinsale and quickly surpassed their history-making last-sixteen appearance with a place in the quarter-final draw.
Second-half goals from substitute Michael Tother and former Mayo GAA star Stephen Carolan were enough to see Erris through, despite a consolation goal from Derek McCarthy in the final minute of the game.
FAI Umbro Junior Challenge Cup 2008/’09
Sixth Round Results
Crumlin Utd. 2 - 0 St. Maelruans FC
City Utd. 2 - 1 Glengad Utd.
Westport Utd. 2 - 2 St. Peters FC
(7 - 8 on pens)
Kinsale FC 2 - 0 Nenagh FC
St. Kevins Boys 2 - 0 Evergreen FC
Sheriff YC 1 - 1 West Utd
(3 - 2 on pens)
Douglas Hall FC 1 - 4 Regional Utd
St. Vincents Hosp. 0 - 4 Coolock Town
Fairview Rgs. 2 - 0 Redcastle FC
Carrick Utd 1 - 1 Athenry FC
(3 - 0 on pens)
Rathkeale FC 0 - 3 Ballymun Utd
Janesboro FC 3 - 0 St. Michaels FC
Clonmel Town 1 - 0 Carbury FC
Willow Park FC 1 - 1 Bohemians FC
(3 - 5 on pens)
Lisselton FC 6 - 1 Granville Rgs.
Iorras Aonthaithe 3 - 2 Pike Rvs.
FAI Umbro Junior Challenge Cup 2008/09 - 7th Round
St. Peters (Athlone) 2-1 Carrick United
Ballymun Utd 6-0 Crumlin United
Sheriff YC 2-0 Coolock Town
Kinsale FC 1-2 Erris United
Lisselton Celtic (Kerry) 6 - 0 City United (Sligo)
Evergreen FC 1 - 4 Fairview Rangers (Limerick)
Bohemians FC (Waterford) 0 - 0 Regional United (Limerick)
(4 - 2 on pens)
Janesboro FC (Limerick) 1 - 2 Clonmel Town
FAI UMBRO Junior Cup Quarter-Final Draw
A: Bohemians FC 1 - 3 Ballymun United
B: Clonmel Town 0 - 0 Sheriff YC
(5 - 4 on pens)
C: St Peters FC v Lisselton FC
D: Fairview Rangers 1 - 1 Erris United
(5 - 3 on pens)
Clonmel Town 2-4 St. Peters FC
Erris United 1-2 Ballymun United
FAI Umbro Junior Challenge Cup 2008/’09