Frank Nelligan looks forward the Desmond Cup action this weekend.
There are four more Desmond Cup first round ties down for decision this weekend, two of them featuring two of the contenders for outright glory, namely, Ballingarry and Abbeyfeale United.
Ballingarry (Premier) v
Broadford United B (Division 2)
Ballingarry will be expected to get back to winning ways after their seven-game winning streak came to an end when they lost 3-2 at home to Killarney Celtic in the fifth round of the Munster Junior Cup last Sunday. The battling qualities that they showed to come from 2-0 down to 2-2 before losing to a Peter McCarthy scorcher will stand to them in the months ahead, especially if Francis Kiely can retain his keen eye for goal and Brian Fitzgerald and Colm Kiely continue to form such a cohesive partnership in the centre of defence.
Broadford United B are mid-table in Division 2, albeit far closer to the relegation zone than the top two. Avoiding relegation is a realistic target, beating Ballingarry is fanciful.
Abbeyfeale United (Premier) v
Adare United (Division 1)
Abbeyfeale United’s merited 1-1 draw away to Newcastle West in the league last Sunday will give them confidence that, on their day, they are capable of matching any side. They won’t lack for motivation for this encounter as, being well off the pace in the league, the Desmond Cup is now undisputably their prime target for the remainder of the season. Their panel is tight but, taking the positives, that means that they have a fairly settled side. One of their most consistent performers throughout the season has been Chris Smith, who is excelling at centre-half.
Division 1 has turned into a two-tier affair and Adare United are top of the second tier, albeit only two points above the relegation zone. They have lost their last eight games and it will be a major surprise if that sequence comes to an end on Saturday night in Riverside Park, kick-off at 7.30.
Forecast: Abbeyfeale United
Feenagh (Division 2) v
Creeves Celtic B (Division 4)
This tie was due to be played last Sunday and there is no change in my forecast that Feenagh’s moderate home record will be enough to account for Creeves Celtic B, who have failed to collect a single point in their Division 4 travels.
Carrig Celtic B (Division 2) v Shannonside FC B (Division 4)
Carrig Celtic B face an uphill battle to avoid relegation from Division 2, Shannonside FC have it in their own hands to win promotion from Division 4, with just three league games remaining. Confidence can be a big factor in Cup ties and it surely lies with Shannonside.
Forecast: Shannonside FC B
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