PLENTY TO CELEBRATE UCD goalscorer Harvey O’Brien (left) celebrates with fellow Mayo native, Paul Doyle, after O’Brien headed home Doyle’s corner during their FAI Cup win over Shelbourne last Friday night.
THIS past weekend the League of Ireland clubs were in FAI Cup action when 32 teams contested the first round. There were no major shocks, but UCD’s defeat of runaway First Division leaders, Shelbourne, will have surprised some.
Harvey O’Brien from Claremorris was man of the match for UCD, scoring with a fabulous and unstoppable header. The 20-year-old student picked up a late yellow card for a professional foul. UCD weren’t going to surrender their 2-0 lead too easily.
“I had a late tackle on Michael O’Brien, their striker, to break up the play,” Harvey told The Mayo News. “It was a yellow card to be fair. There was a bit of a discussion after and a few other players got involved. It was nothing really.”
Harvey said that there was no pressure on UCD going in to the match.
“We knew Shelbourne would be physically strong like Treaty United were last week. We were well up for it. It was a big cup tie and we wanted to win it. We felt we were bullied a bit by Treaty last week, they are such a physically strong side, and we weren’t going to let that happen two weeks in a row.”
Harvey said his goal came from a move they’d worked on in training.
“Paul Doyle sent in the corner and I went for it. I got a perfectly clean contact on it with my forehead and it went in.”
Harvey was back in his more familiar defensive role after an unsuccessful tour of duty on the wing in the league last week in Limerick.
“I was back playing centre back alongside Sam Todd in a back-four. The manager changed it round a bit from last week when I was wing back. He moved Jack Keaney into midfield. We were much better against Shels. We were hungrier; sharper. We were a match for them physically.”
Elsewhere, Ryan Connolly was back in the Finn Harps side that defeated non-league Fairview Rangers 3-0. Connolly was another Mayo-man to collect a yellow card for his endeavours.
Ronan Murray will be disappointed with Drogheda’s 4-2 loss on penalties to Derry City,after a 1-1 draw after extra time.
Ruairi Keating and Gary Boylan were unable to prevent Shamrock Rovers from beating Galway United 2-0, ending the Tribesmen’s five-match unbeaten run.
Another three Mayo men, Luke McNicholas, David Cawley and Mark Byrne, lined out for Sligo Rovers in their disappointing 3-2 loss at home to Cork City.
It’s not been a great few weeks for Sligo, after a tame elimination from the Europa Conference League just over a week ago. But they are going well in the SSE Airtricity League and that will please manger Liam Buckley and their large and loyal fan base.
Finally, Bohola’a John Mountney came off the bench for St Patrick’s Athletic as they dismissed Bray Wanderers on a 6-0 score line.
The second round will be drawn this week, and normal league hostilities return this weekend.