Limerick's Janesboro the team to catch in 2018

Pat Sheehan


Pat Sheehan


Limerick's Janesboro the team to catch in 2018

Shane Clarke, Janesboro, celebrates with Daniel O' Neill after scoring a stoppage time equaliser to send their Champions Cup final clash with St Michael's

The Christmas break should see all clubs rejuvenated as they embark on the second half of the season this weekend. The Premier League will attract most attention but the Lawson Cup and Ger Ryan Cup also kick off.

League Leaders Janesboro, fresh from their exciting Munster Champions Cup victory over St Michaels, welcome Charleville to Pearse Stadium boasting a six point advantage over the chasing pack.

Aidan Ryan and Shane O'Hanlon will be hoping their two strikers Shane Clarke and Keith Mawdsley can continue in the type of the form that has seen them net 40 goals to date.

The pair came up trumps in their last outing when 'Boro came from a goal down to beat St Michaels in Jackman Park.

The return to action in that game of last season's Player of the Year Steven Bradley is another huge boost to the League Leaders who are striving to retain the Premier title for the first time in their history.

Charleville have lost ten of their first 12 games in the top flight but six of those losses were by a single goal so will be hoping the new year gives them a change in fortunes.

Few people can see 'Boro throwing it away at this stage but Carew Park and Ballynanty Rvs, their nearest chasers will not give up just yet. They are both favoured with home ties. Ballynanty Rvs return to Shelbourne Park with a home tie versus Nenagh AFC, while Carew Park welcome Aisling.

Balla dropped five points in their last three League outings. They exited the Tuohy and FAI Cups in that time also so they will be hoping that their win over Holycross in their last game has halted the slide. They meet a Nenagh side who also are in a poor run, having lost their last four League games.

On the flip side, Carew Park are in fine form with just one defeat in their last 11 games. They host an Aisling side that also seem to have found a bit of form winning four of their last five.

Just a point worse off are Regional United and they face a Moyross side going through a difficult spell of late. The Northsiders are just outside the drop zone thanks to their two wins to date over bottom two Holycross and Charleville. Regional slipped up in League games versus Pike and Balla but have been in fine form in the FAI Junior Cup reaching the last 32 with a win over a fancied St Peters side.

The remaining two fixtures see Holycross continue their search for their first win at home to Pike Rvs and Fairview Rgs host Kilmallock.

The Lawson Cup has thrown up some interesting ties in the opening round. High flying Cappamore take on Castle Rvs having beaten the same opposition by a single goal in their Divisional Cup.

Summerville welcome Caherconlish while St Pats tackle Shelbourne.

Two of the top teams in Division 2A, Hyde Rgs v Geraldines meet in Hyde Road.

Corbally Utd will face a stern test at home to Coonagh Utd while Kilfrush will also earn their passage at home to Kennedy Park. Hill Celtic and Murroe could be the pick of the bunch.