nine-man crumlin force replay
These two LSL giants will have to do it all over again after they drew a blank in a robust FAI Intermediate Cup quarter final clash at the Red Cow in which Crumlin United ended the game with only nine men following a couple of red cards.
Crumlin lost a man in each half as the red mist draped over Martin Loughran's side. Derek Griffin was the first to be flashed a red card from referee Dave Fisher after the Crumlin captain chopped down Glen Keddy with a late lunge on the stroke of half time.
Midway through the second half and the red card was back in action when Irish international, Danny Loughran, was sent off.
Despite the handicap of being down to nine men the holders shut up shop and allowed the 'Bell little or no room to exploit the numerical advantage.
The visitors even managed to muster up several forays into the 'Bell half in the closing stages and came close to nicking a famous victory.
Last season these pair conjured up an Intermediate Cup classic in the final of this competition, but there was little of that magic on show on Saturday.
The early stages set the tone for the game with both sides cancelling each other out and chances were at a premium. It took 27 minutes before the first genuine effort was unleashed when Crumlin striker Ger Bambrick wriggled loose inside the home side's area but the former 'Bell striker fired just over the crossbar.
Bambrick's effort strung the home side into action and soon after the Bell's Ciaran Quinn fired a free kick down the throat of Karl Coleman, but the former Shamrock Rovers goalkeeper saved comfortably, and soon after the same two were duelling again, this time the Crumlin goalkeeper needed to get a strong hand on another Quinn set piece to push the ball to safety.
Coleman was proving his quality again just five minutes before half time when he produced a brilliant one handed reaction save from close range after Paul McCabe's clearance cannoned off Paul Kenny as the game started to liven up.
With a couple of minutes left in the half the game erupted when Crumlin were reduced to ten men when their skipper, Derek Griffin, was flashed a straight red card after he brought down Glen Keddy, who seemed to be getting some special attention from Crumlin, with a late lunge.
Sensing a chance to put the holders away Bluebell stepped up the pace after the break and both John Cleary and Darren Meade went close, but Coleman's net was left unruffled. With twenty two minutes left Loughran became the second Crumlin man to see red after an off the ball incident.
The Bell never pushed home their numerical advantage in the final quarter and the home side struggled to create any chances and it was Crumlin that almost stole the win in the closing minutes when Tony Griffiths flashed a header inches wide of McNulty's post.
BLUEBELL: Andrew McNulty; Ian Cherry, Shane Flynn, John Cleary, Paul Kenny, Anthony Doyle, Alan O'Duffy, Glen Keddy, Ciaran Quinn, Darren Meade, Peter Sherlock. Subs: Derek Fay (for Cleary 77mins), Gary Crowley (for O'Duffy 79), Darragh Hollingsworth, Stuart Smith, Stephen Curran, Stephen Fay, Keith Gallagher.
CRUMLIN UNITED: Karl Coleman; Derek Griffin, Carl Redmond, Paul McCabe, Martin Cramer, Gavin Kavanagh, Stephen Larkin, James Lee, Gerry Bambrick, Daniel Loughran, Robbie Shields. Subs: Tony Griffiths (for Bambrick 70mins), Dean Kelly (for Larkin 75mins), Colm Corcoran (for Shields 88mins), David O'Brien, Gareth Sutton.
Referee: Dave Fisher.