Pat Sheehan looks ahead to the local weekend soccer action where the last 16 of the FAI Junior Cup is centre stage.
The FAI Junior Cup continues apace with four Limerick sides vying for a place in the last eight of the tournament.
We are guaranteed at least one representative in the quarter finals as two locals sides meet when Regional Utd host Carew Park. Both teams have been in fine form despite recent slip ups.
Carew Park went down in a recent League game to Pike Rvs and a few weeks earlier surprisingly lost to Kilmallock in the Munster Junior Cup but prior to that went unbeaten since the end of September.
Likewise Regional Utd who prior to last weekend’s game had gone 13 matches without defeat.
There is little to choose between the sides and their one clash this season went the way of Carew Park back in August on a 3-1 scoreline.
The one advantage Carew will hold is the firepower they possess. In 12 Premier League games this season Carew have bagged 36 goals while Regional with a game less played have only netted 15 goals.
That shyness in front of goal cost them in their game with Pike last week and if they are to triumph this weekend they need a change of tack.
No doubt managers Gordon Cowpar and Tom O’Connell are aware of this and will have worked on it by Sunday. On the up side the form of David Cowpar and Kieran O’Connell along with Brian O’Callaghan and keeper Rob Shier gives them plenty of reason to be positive.
After winning the Premier League last season, Carew had a dreadful start to proceedings but with the addition of a number of young lads, they have improved no end.
The scoring form of Jonathan Grant is phenomenal, bettered narrowly only by International striker Shane Clarke of Janesboro.
Mark McGrath is also a serious threat to Regional while Pat Boyle and former Regional player John O’Leary are also in fine form.
Pity one of the sides has to exit at this stage, but hopefully both teams give a good account of themselves, leaving their regrets on the field.
Geraldines travel to Dublin for a 4pm kick off on Saturday afternoon against East Wall.
The ‘Dines have done their homework and know what to expect but they know they face their toughest task to date in a memorable season.
Their large travelling support will be on hand to hopefully witness a Limerick success.
Ballynanty Rvs are favoured with home advantage against Waterford side Carrick Rgs.
With the venue yet to be announced Balla are in flying form and their perfect mix of youth and experience has stood them well to date.
Carrick are riding high in the Waterford League but they tend to find it difficult against Limerick opposition.
That said, Balla need to be at full tilt to get the better of an experienced outfit with a super goalkeeper in Adrian Walsh.
The Premier League games scheduled for the weekend put more focus on the relegation battle.
Fairview Rgs take on a pointless Wembley Rvs while Corbally Utd look to recover some pride when they host Janesboro.
The final game sees Aisling Annacotty at home to Summerville Rvs.
The promotion battle in Div 1A has some interesting games on offer. Leaders Mungret Reg take on third placed Caherdavin Celtic in what promises to be a cracking tie. Hoping the leaders slip up are Knockainey who will be fancied to take the points against Shannon Hibs.
Although Kilmallock are mid table they have a number of games in hand that, if won, would put them top of the pile. They face Shannon Town on Sunday. Fourth placed Moyross welcome Caherconlish to their ground.
Thursday night’s game in Jackman Park is an all county affair with Kilmallock taking on Hospital in the Div 1A O’Halloran Cup.
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