Strong second half gets Bluebell into decider
Bluebell United will face Rockmount of Cork in the FAI Intermediate Cup final after they recorded a 2-0 victory over St Francis on home soil earlier today.
A battle of two south Dublin rivals, this tie was deadlocked at the midway stage in the action and looked like it could well go down to the wire.
However, Bluebell had enough in reserve to ultimately overcome the challenge of Francis and booked a coveted spot in domestic soccer’s second-tier showpiece.
Commonly known as the hometown club of Republic of Ireland legend Roy Keane, Rockmount recorded a comprehensive 3-1 triumph over Maynooth University Town on the opposite side of the draw.
A win for the latter would have made it an all-Leinster Senior League decider, but it is the Leesiders who will provide the opposition to Bluebell in what should be a tantalising encounter.
In the previous round, Bluebell had two goals to spare over Donegal outfit Cockhill Celtic (3-1). For their part, St Francis were battle-hardened as a consequence of their 2-1 win over Lucan United.
As anticipated, it was a tight and tense affair at the Red Cow venue with both sides remaining relatively compact in defence.
Goal-scoring opportunities materialised at either end as the half progressed, but there was to be no breakthrough prior to the interval.
It didn’t take long for that to change on the resumption, however, as Leon Hayes hammered home a penalty just three minutes into the second period to give Bluebell the upper hand over their Baldonnell counterparts.
This came as a hammer blow for St Francis, but there was plenty of time left on the clock for them to work their way back into contention.
Yet the decisive second goal finally arrived for Bluebell five minutes from time, when Sodiq Oguntola shook the net in fine style.