THE build-up to Douglas Hall’s first FAI Women’s Intermediate Cup final in eight years is almost over as kick-off to the showpiece occasion at Turner’s Cross is almost upon us.
On Sunday afternoon at 2pm, Hall will take on Whitehall Rangers and while their manager John O’Mahony admits they are enjoying the lead-up to their first final in this competition since 2014, he knows the ultimate aim is to win the cup for the first time since 2013.
But they couldn’t be going into the game in better form as they recently claimed the CWSSL Senior title for the first time in their history having won 11 games out of 11.
“Our form has been good,” modestly admits O’Mahony.
“We have a really good squad. We brought in two good players this season as well - Tracey Kiely, who is a keeper, and Kara Lacey - they have been two very good additions for us.
“But we are expecting a very tough game, Whitehall are top of their league as well at the moment and they won the shield last year so we are expecting a very tough game.
“But again, we won’t worry about them, we will just focus on ourselves and if we can do what we normally do we will cause them problems on the day as well. It will be 50:50 so may the best team win.
We can’t wait for it to be honest. All the girls are looking forward to it and the whole club is right behind us as well so there is a good buzz around the place this week.
“We will turn up and hopefully we can do the business. It would be a great achievement for the girls this season.
“Fingers crossed we can just go that extra mile and get over the line on Sunday. We went back for pre-season in January and we have been at it ever since - twice a week - so we do play with a high tempo that has been sticking to us this year.”
There has been one disappointment in recent weeks though as Douglas Hall were forced to forfeit their FAI Women’s first-round fixture away to Women’s National League side Sligo Rovers.
Hall informed the FAI that they could not fulfill the fixture less than 24 hours before the significant cup clash was set to commence two weeks ago due to a lack of players.
The issue is still being reviewed by the FAI’s disciplinary committee as they determine whether or not to ban the Moneygourney club from cup competitions next season which could potentially end their defence of the Intermediate Cup before it can even begin.
“On the Friday we had 12 players going to the game but midweek we had an injury at the end of our game against Wilton on Wednesday night,” explains O’Mahony.
“That girl left us with 11 on Friday, then we had a girl that was sick and we were carrying two injuries and it just went from there. We had players with work commitments and who were away.
“I got in at half three that Friday and I was on the phone right up until quarter to seven when we decided we had to make a call and we just didn’t have the players to travel.
“We had nine players to travel and we just said we couldn’t so it was disappointing from our side. It is something we hope we can put right in the future.”