An extra-time experience has almost become part of the FAI Cup final furniture

More than half the finals since 2006 have gone beyond the distance

Dundalk, Richie Towell

Dundalk's Richie Towell celebrates with the Irish Daily Mail FAI Cup ©INPHO/Ryan Byrne

On Sunday, Dundalk and Cork City renew acquaintances in the latest instalment of the FAI Cup final.

It will be almost a year to the day that both sides did battle at the Aviva Stadium in a match that ultimately ended in an extra-time win for Dundalk thanks to Richie Towell's 107th minute goal which spared either side the tension of penalties.

In one sense, don't be surprised if this year's final goes beyond the distance and into extra-time.

Only four times since 2006 has the FAI Cup final finished within the regulation 90 minutes: St Patrick's Athletic's 2-0 victory over Derry City in 2014, Sligo Rovers' 3-2 triumph over Drogheda United the previous year, the defunct Sporting Fingal's sole cup triumph in 2009 over Sligo and Cork City's 1-0 win over Longford Town in 2007.

Otherwise every other finale to the Irish knockout season has tended to go all the way into extra time since Derry City's Peter Hutton and a Stephen Brennan goal in the 106th and 109th minutes respectively saw them edge St Pats 4-3 at Landsdowne Road.

The deciders of 2008, 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2015 also went that way.

But how many penalty shootouts have fans witnessed on the big day out?

Sligo goalkeeper Ciaran Kelly is mobbed by teammates after saving the final penalty in 2010 ©INPHO/Ryan Byrne

There was a mini era of three finals from four between 2008 and 2011 that saw teams go beyond 90 minutes and extra-time and into the so-called lottery of penalties.

The first was Bohemians' victory over Derry City in 2008 that finished 4-2 in the shootout at the RDS with former Lithuania international Mindaugas Kalonas clinching it with the final kick for the Dublin side.

Sligo Rovers' two domestic triumphs of recent times owed much to penalty shootouts, with Shamrock Rovers losing out in 2010 and Shelbourne the following year.

Remarkably in the 2010 final, Sligo keeper Ciaran Kelly saved all four of Shamrock Rovers' kicks and then followed that up with two saves in the following year's final.

Whether similar heroics will be on show this Sunday is in the lap of the players. But based on the trend of recent finals, some extra-time action wouldn't be a surprise.