BY CHRIS MCNULTY
FINN Harps’ reward for last night’s 2-0 EA Sports Cup win over the Mayo League is a daunting second round meeting with Derry City at Brandywell Stadium.
The draw was made at FAI headquarters in Abbotstown on Tuesday afternoon and Harps have been handed a tie with their bitter derby rivals, who happen to be the holders of the Cup.
The tie brings together many faces in opposition with a former club. Harps manager Peter Hutton will come up against the club whose appearances record he holds. ‘Pizza’ played 600 times for the Candystripes and had two spells as caretaker manager on Foyleside.
However he and Harps’ Director of Football Felix Healy – who guided Derry to a Premier Division title in 1997 – will square up to their former employers on a sod upon which once they were kings. Also facing Derry in the Harps colours will be Kevin McHugh and Thomas McBride, who had spells at City, while Thomas McMonagle is on loan at Finn Park from Derry.
Adding another twist to the tale is that in the opposing dugout will be former Harps manager Paul Hegarty, who is now assistant manager to Declan Devine at City, who include Stephen McLaughlin, Mark Farren and David McDaid, former Harps conscripts, in their ranks.
The draw for the Second Round of the 2012 EA SPORTS Cup is as follows:
POOL 1: Limerick v Cork City, St. Patrick’s Athletic v U.C.D.
POOL 2: Derry City v Finn Harps, Sligo Rovers v Monaghan United
POOL 3: SD Galway v Shamrock Rovers, Shelbourne v Bray Wanderers
POOL 4: Drogheda United v Bohemians, Longford Town v Dundalk
Ties to be played on Monday/Tuesday, 9th/10th April.