Weekend predictions as Desmond League sides prepare for Cup action

Frank Nelligan

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Frank Nelligan

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sport@limerickleader.ie

Weekend predictions as Desmond League sides prepare for Cup action

The Broadford United side who defeated Tralee Dynamos in the Munster Junior Cup last weekend

There are six provincial games down for decision on Sunday. Five of them are in the Munster Junior Cup but the big one is undoubtedly the meeting of Janesboro and Rathkeale in the quarter-finals of the Munster League Champions Trophy.

Janesboro (Limerick District Premier) v Rathkeale (Premier)

Interest in the Munster League Champions Trophy was heightened last season when Abbeyfeale United became the first Limerick Desmond team to win a provincial title by beating St. Michael’s in the final. Rathkeale have been dealt a tough draw in their bid to emulate Abbeyfeale with this trip to Janesboro.

Janesboro won this competition two seasons ago, adding to the Munster Junior Cup that they won in 2012. They have strengthened their squad this season with the signing of Keith Mwadsley from Aisling Annacotty. Mwadsley partners Irish junior international, Shane Clarke, up front and has scored in every game since he signed. With the help of this formidable striking partnership, Boro are the current table-toppers in Limerick. They will feature a familiar face in Kevin Murphy, whom they signed from Athea United in the summer.

Pa Ahern has returned from Pike Rovers to Rathkeale and he will boost their chances of honours this season, helping to take some of the weight of scoring goals from the shoulders of Declan Nash. Rathkeale are unbeaten in the league and had an impressive 4-2 victory away to highly-rated Tralee Celtic in the FAI Junior Cup last Sunday.

The Rathkeale players will relish this test but it’s hard to oppose battle-hardened Janesboro.

Forecast: Janesboro.

Munster Junior Cup

Newcastle West AFC (Division 1) v Newcastle West Rovers (Premier)

Newcastle West are performing well in Division 1, unbeaten in four games and just two points off the pace. Newcastle West Rovers have lost just once in the Premier and that was a narrow 1-0 defeat away to Abbeyfeale United. Rovers would appear to have the better squad of players and that should sway the game in their favour.

Forecast: Newcastle West Rovers.

Broadford United (Premier) v Athea United (Premier)

Broadford United should be close to full-strength for this encounter and that isn’t good news for Athea United, who are still without a win after five games in the Premier Division.

Forecast: Broadford United.

Ballingarry (Premier) v Shannonside FC (Premier)

I don’t know what Ballingarry’s targets were at the start of the season but they must be very happy with the way things are going at the moment, unbeaten in the Premier and through to the third round of the FAI Junior Cup after an impressive 3-0 victory at home to Bridge United on Sunday. By contrast, Shannonside are without a point in the Premier and gave a walkover to Castleisland in the FAI last Sunday.

Forecast: Ballingarry.

Killeaney (Division 1) v Carrig Celtic (Premier)

Killeaney’s confidence will have been boosted by last Sunday’s last-gasp victory away to Abbeyfeale United B, which leaves them with a share of the lead in Division 1. Likewise, after three successive league defeats, Carrig Celtic will have been heartened by last Sunday’s penalty shoot-out victory away to Bridge Celtic in the FAI Junior Cup. This should be a close contest and I think home advantage might swing it for Killeaney.

Forecast: Killeaney.

AK United (Division 1) v Adare United (Division 1)

This will be a keenly-contested derby game between two teams which are going well. Adare are joint leaders of Division 1, helped by a 3-2 victory away to AK United a couple of weeks ago. AK pulled off the shock of the round in the FAI Junior Cup on Sunday, winning 4-3 in extra-time at home to Dingle Bay Rovers. I think that AK might just have enough to also advance in this competition.

Forecast: AK United

SMITH MAKES FINAL IRISH SQUAD

Chris Smith from Abbeyfeale United has been selected in the 20-man squad that will travel to Glasgow to play with the Republic of Ireland junior team in the Quadrangular tournament. It is a well-deserved honour for Smith, who has been a huge factor in Abbeyfeale keeping a clean sheet in all their six games played so far this season.

WEEKLY AWARD

The Weekly Award this week goes to AK United who pulled off the shock of the round by winning 4-3 in extra-time at home to Kerry Premier A side, Dingle Bay Rovers, in the second round of the FAI Junior Cup. AK will go into a draw with the other Weekly winners for a €100 voucher from Adrenalin Sport of Abbeyfeale and Newcastle West at the end of the season.

RESULTS

Sunday results should be phoned in as soon as possible after the match but not later than 4.30 and the same applies to Saturday Youths games. In the event of Cup games going to extra-time, results should be phoned in immediately after the match. The results of evening matches should be phoned in immediately after the match. As usual, the person to ring is Frank Nelligan and the number is 068-31386, rather than the mobile number. Please include details of scorers if leaving a message on the answering machine. It is the responsibility of the home team to phone in results and failure to do so within the time required will result in a fine being imposed.

TWITTER

The League has a Twitter account, which will feature live updates on featured matches as well as results. The account is Limerick desmond lge @ LgDesmond so follow the League on Twitter for the latest news.