There are 22 ties in the first round of the Weekly Observer Desmond Cup and 14 of them take place this Sunday. Frank Nelligan previews this weekend’s action
Glantine (Division 1) v Rockhill Rovers (Division 1)
Division 1 leaders Rockhill Rovers are nine points ahead of Glantine but the home side have shown good form recently. Rockhill have had the edge over Glantine in their league meetings this season, winning 2-0 away and drawing 1-1 at home. Rockhill’s motivation for the Desmond Cup mightn’t be the same for the Desmond Cup as it is for the League and, that being the case, I think that home advantage might be enough to swing the tie in Glantine’s favour.
Rathkeale (Premier) v Kilcornan (Division 2)
Winners two seasons ago and runners-up last season, Rathkeale will be hoping to stay on track to reach the Final for the third season in a row. They will be given a tough test by Kilcornan who are joint top of Division 2 but it would be a major shock if they didn’t advance.
Glin Rovers B (Division 3) v Newcastle West (Premier)
Newcastle West are the holders. As leaders of the Premier Division, they are 36 places ahead of Glin Rovers B, who lie bottom of Division 3.
Forecast: Newcastle West
Killeaney (Division 1) v Pallaskenry (Division 1)
Killeaney are challenging for the Division 1 title, Pallaskenry are seven points adrift of safety. Killeaney have already beaten Pallaskenry 5-0 away in the League. They should win this one too.
St. Ita’s B (Division 4) v St. Ben’s (Division 3)
St. Ita’s B are acquitting themselves reasonably well in Division 4. St. Ben’s are challenging for promotion from Division 3.
Forecast: St. Ben’s
Old Mill (Division 1) v Athea United (Division 1)
With a game less played, Athea United are ten points ahead of Old Mill in the Division 1 table. Athea showed their current well-being with a 2-0 win at home to fellow promotion hopefuls, Carrig Celtic, last Sunday. Home advantage hasn’t proved significant for Old Mill this season, winning only one of their five league games at home.
Forecast: Athea United
Carrig Celtic (Division 1) v Feenagh (Division 2)
Carrig Celtic will have been disappointed by their league defeat by Athea United last Sunday and will be hoping to bounce back in this competition. Feenagh have won three of their four away games in Division 2 but those wins were against the bottom three teams in the Division.
Forecast: Carrig Celtic
Ballingarry B (Division 3) v Knockaderry (Division 2)
Both teams occupy second last place in their respective divisions. Home advantage might help Ballingarry B to prevail, possibly in extra-time.
Forecast: Ballingarry B
Breska Rovers (Division 2) v St. Ita’s (Division 1)
Division 2 joint leaders, Breska Rovers, are unbeaten in all domestic competition this season and are through to the semi-finals of both the Richard Hogan Cup and the Reidy Cup. St. Ita’s will survive in Division 1 but they have lost more games than they have won. All the ingredients are in place for high-flying Breska to claim the scalp of a team from a higher division.
Forecast: Breska Rovers
Feenagh B (Division 4) v Ballysteen (Division 3)
With no wins from nine games, Feenagh B are last of the 44 teams in the Limerick Desmond League. Ballysteen are in with a shout of promotion from Division 3.
Shannonside FC (Premier Division) v Carrig Celtic B (Division 3)
Shannonside lost Eddie Cummins and Gerard Hanlon to Killeaney in the transfer window in January but, with Daniel Power scoring regularly, it will still be a major shock if they can’t win at home to Carrig Celtic B, who are the unbeaten league leaders in Division 3.
Forecast: Shannonside FC
Ferry Rangers (Division 3) v Athea United B (Division 4)
This is a tough one to call, a mid-table Division 3 side against the Division 4 leaders who have scored fourteen goals without reply in their last two league games. Ferry are an experienced outfit and that should see them over the line.
Forecast: Ferry Rangers
Newcastle West Rovers B (Division 4) v Adare United (Division 1)
Though they have lost more that half their games, Adare United look like they will survive in Division 1. The expectation is that they will win away to Newcastle West Rovers B, who are doing okay in Division 4.
Forecast: Adare United
Abbeyfeale United (Premier) v Newcastle West B (Division 1)
Two many draws has proven to be Abbeyfeale United’s downfall in their bid to retain the Premier Division title. The Desmond Cup is now their primary focus and so they are unlikely to slip up at home to Newcastle West B, who have no wins and only one draw to show from their twelve games in Division 1.
Forecast: Abbeyfeale United
Subscribe or register today to discover more from DonegalLive.ie
Buy the e-paper of the Donegal Democrat, Donegal People's Press, Donegal Post and Inish Times here for instant access to Donegal's premier news titles.
Keep up with the latest news from Donegal with our daily newsletter featuring the most important stories of the day delivered to your inbox every evening at 5pm.