The Blackrock starting 11 ahead of their semi-final on Saturday.
The Liberties team which lost out after extra-time and penalties in Saturday's Challenge Cup semi-final.

29/04/2018: Challenge Cup semi-finals – April 28

Both Challenge Cup semi-finals took place on Saturday at the VEC Sportsground, Terenure and two fine games in the late April sunshine saw Portmarnock score a late winner in the first game before Blackrock emerged to join them in the May 12 decider after extra-time and penalties.

Portmarnock’s 2-1 win over Drumcondra will be covered in Monday’s Herald. The second game featured close rivals at the top of Division 1, Blackrock and Liberties. Blackrock made the early running, but Liberties almost took the lead on 10 minutes when Dylan O’Reilly in the Blackrock goal made the first in a series of excellent saves. However, Liberties were not to be denied and Ryan Plunkett put them ahead when he lifted the ball over O’Reilly’s attempted block after 18 minutes. Blackrock continued to enjoy the majority of the possession for the rest of the half, but Liberties continued to threaten on the break and it required two further notable saves from O’Reilly, first blocking another effort from Plunkett and then an excellent save from Barry Slattery to keep Blackrock in the game.

After half-time, Blackrock came out and largely dominated, though again without creating clear-cut chances at first. However, as the game entered the final quarter, their luck changed and, shortly after James Kelly shot just wide, Cormac Cullinane equalised, taking a pass before turning back onto his right foot and shooting low past Mark Delaney into the far corner.

Blackrock went close to a winner on a couple of occasions in the last 15 minutes, with Colm Daly’s effort blocked by Delaney before being cleared away for a corner and another effort flying just over the angle of crossbar and post before the end of 90 minutes.

There were no further chances of note in extra-time and so the game was decided on penalties, with Blackrock establishing an unassailable 3-1 lead after 4 penalties apiece.

The final will take place in Home Farm, Whitehall on May 12. It will be an evening kick-off, with the precise time yet to be confirmed, most likely 7.00 p.m. or 7.30 p.m. The game will be preceded by the Sidney Bedlow Cup Final between Walkinstown and Dunshaughlin.

Blackrock: 1 Dylan O’Reilly, 5 Alan Connaughton, 4 Fred Kenny, 17 Mark Lyons, 8 Cian O’Rafferty, 18 James Kelly, 6 Colm Daly, 10 Ben Macauley, 9 James O’Neill, 2 Sam Walsh, 11 Cormac Cullinane. Subs: 18 Luke Powdery, 15 Sean O’Dowd, 38 Adam Pvarnik, 18 Robert Young, 19 Conor Brophy, 16 Tom Curran

Liberties: 1 Mark Delaney, 2 Jimmy Campbell, 3 Paul Lyons, 4 Scott Thompson, 5 Robert Slattery, 6 Frank Clune, 7 Ryan O’Rourke, 8 Jonathan Lyons, 9 Dara Byrne, 10 Barry Slattery, 11 Ryan Plunkett. Subs: 12 Ross Byrne, 13 Ryan O’Neill, 14 Davey Sportell, 15 Jay Keogh, 16 William Madigan, 17 Lee Radley