Pat Sheehan looks ahead to the weekend local soccer action where the FAI Junior Cup again goes centre stage.
The big game of the weekend is the FAI Junior Cup clash between Premier sides Regional Utd and Corbally Utd in Dooradoyle.
Neither team has been setting the League alight to date but both are hopeful of a good run in the National tournament.
As has been proven over the years, a good cup run will inevitably filter back into a club’s League form.
Victory on Sunday would put the winners into the last 6 matches locally with the winners of these games representing Limerick in the open draw.
A lucky draw or two and you could carry Christmas which would result in better numbers at training and a badly needed boost in confidence.
Regional have lost the services of striker Declan Nash to Janesboro but have responded by making a few shrewd additions to their panel.
Injuries have not helped them this season and now they need someone to take up the mantle of goal scorer. They have some experienced players in their line up including FAI Cup winner with Pike Rvs, Mike Aherne.
Corbally started the season full of confidence but after a couple of good results including a victory over Pike Rvs, they seem to have hit a stumbling block.
Like their rivals in Dooradoyle, they have players well capable of mixing it with the best but sometimes lack the self belief required to go that step further. In Fearghal O’Connell and Darren O’Sullivan they have two match winners, with the latter holding an FAI medal from Fairview’s last success.
While neither side realistically expects to win the FAI outright, Sunday’s clash nonetheless could have a big bearing on the remainder of their seasons.
In the Munster Junior Cup the most attractive game looks to be the clash of Premier League leaders Carew Park and Aisling Annacotty in Carew Park. The home side have been motoring along nicely and their confidence is building game by game.
They had their hands full against Granville last week but still came through. In the last few seasons Carew would have slipped up in games like this but they are showing a new self belief that makes them more difficult to beat.
On Sunday they host an Aisling side on a high since their 4-0 win over Kilmallock in the league last weekend. As we have stated before, Aisling are a much better side than their League position suggests but it counts for nothing without the results. This one has the potential for an upset but they way Carew are going suggests they will be cautious enough to get through.
Premier side Geraldines were rocked back on their heels last weekend against Moyross in the FAI and on Sunday they host Prospect Priory in the Munster Junior Cup, no doubt with a little trepidation.
Paul O’Donnell’s side have been playing quite well and he will be hoping last week’s game was just a blip and that it won’t have an effect on confidence. Ballynanty Rvs are another side playing quite well and with home advantage should progress at home to Herbertstown. The Premier side were most impressive beating Caherdavin 6-1 last weekend and Sunday’s visitors are another notch down the Divisions.
Pike Rvs also are favoured with home advantage against Summerville Rvs. Pike hit Bruff for eight last weekend but Summerville are no mugs this season as a 7-0 win over Ballylanders last weekend testifies.
That said, Pike’s strength in depth is too big a hurdle for most sides and I feel Sunday will be a similar story.
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