Fairview Rangers' Ross Mann wins possession in their FAI Senior Cup tie with Athenry last month Picture: Kieran Ryan-Benson
THE 2021/22 Limerick District League Junior Soccer season kicks-off on this Thursday, August 12, hoping it’s a case of third time lucky.
Having watched the last two seasons decimated by the Covid-19 pandemic, the soccer public are craving the excitement that end of season brings about.
While we did have Munster Junior and FAI finals in 2019/20, all other competitions fell by the wayside.
Last season was halted nearly halfway through with the top half of the table reading as follows; Ballynanty (9/23), Pike Rvs (8/21), Aisling (8/19), Fairview (6/16), Regional (8/16), Coonagh (8/10) (Played/Points)
The road to glory for 2021/22 begins this week with most attention as usual focused on the Premier League.
By default, Janesboro are current holders of the title and they have a difficult start to proceedings when they host Pike Rvs.
‘Boro have had a change of management in close season. Jason O’Connor, who began a rebuilding program at the club, has opted to move on.
Daithi O’Donoghue, who tasted huge success with the club, both as a player and part of the management set up, has taken up the challenge to continue to rebuild.
The new manager has attracted several players from an impressive Kilfrush side and if he can integrate them, they will be a huge boost.
There are plenty of changes in Crossagalla as Pike Rovers look to fill several gaps. Conor Kavanagh has moved to sunnier climes, while Kieran Hanlon moved on to Treaty Utd. The addition of Aisling duo, Aaron Murphy and Brendan O’Dwyer, will help in that regard. Ger Barry also joins from Ballynanty Rvs.
Fairview Rangers have seen action in the FAI Senior Cup, and they acquitted themselves very well before losing in extra time to Finn Harps. They begin their campaign with a trip to Prospect Priory. Conor Coughlan and Kennedy N’Dip made the switch from Aisling while Mike O’Gorman, if he can regain his fitness, will prove a class signing.
They have lost some serious talent to Treaty, most notably Alan Murphy, Clyde O'Connell and Sean McSweeney while Dermot Fitzgerald and Darragh Hughes return to Balla. Prospect lost a couple players also but welcome Yakouba Yabre and former Fairview player Dylan Kelly Higgins.
Ballynanty Rvs led the way when things were halted back in October. They will be hoping that the form they showed then, will be evident again on resumption of play.
They must do it without Alex Purcell, Ger Barry and Rian O'Connell, who have moved on, but the return to the fold of Dermot Fitzgerald, Darragh Hughes is a huge positive.
Geraldines will be relying on the same squad as last season with the exception of Evan Moloney and Dean McNamara who have stepped down a division to join Carew Park.
Most of the player movement over the break revolved around Aisling Annacotty.
Blake Curran, David O'Mahoney and Eoin Murphy are newcomers to fold and while the names might not mean much to the casual observer, Shane O’Hanlon’s ability to spot talent ensures they will be good additions to the side.
Former Fairview player James Cussen is back in town as is former Aisling favourite Brian O'Donovan. Former Murroe player Liam Quinn could prove the pick of the new crop. He is a hugely talented player with a keen eye for goal.
The availability of Adam Foley (returned from Treaty) and Aled Harkin also strengthens the side.
It’s not all positive out Annacotty way however, as they have lost the services of Aaron Murphy, Conor Coughlan and Brendan O'Dwyer to name a few.
On Thursday they host Regional Utd, who have been going about their business without fuss. They lost Edward McCarthy and Joel Coustrain to Treaty Utd and Shane Dillon returns to Charleville. They have added a new defender in Evan O’Connor (Not the Aisling player).
Coonagh were very impressive last season and they have a similar squad . They host Nenagh who lost Mike O'Gorman and Alan Sheehan but picked up new signings Kieran Barr and Paul Costello.
Kilmallock and Mungret Regional meet in Kilmallock and it pits two sides who will concentrate on much the same panels as last season in the hope of an improved showing.
Thursday August 12th (All games kick off 6.30pm)
Coonagh V Nenagh, K Gorman
Ballynanty V Geraldines, R Broe
Prospect Priory V Fairview Rangers, S Rooney
Kilmallock V Mungret Regional, Mike Monahan
Aisling Annacotty V Regional, B Higgins
Janesboro V Pike Rovers, D Power
Premier A League
Newport v Charleville, A Hall
Star Rvs V Granville Rgs, D Downing
Hyde Rgs v Patrickswell, Martin Monaghan
Castle Rvs V Ballylanders, G Clancy
Kilfrush V Shelbourne, J McNamara
Southend V Knockainey, M Murphy
Friday Aug 13th (All games kick off 6.30pm)
Mungret Reg V Aisling Annacotty C, Martin Monaghan
Pallagreen V Caledonians, M Murphy
Glenview Rvs V Charleville, Mike Monahan
Caherdavin Celtic V Newport, A Galvin
Athlunkard Villa B V Regional Utd B, R McCann
Kilmallock B V Wembley Rvs, M Kiely
Corbally Utd B V Meanus, A Walsh
Hyde Rgs B V Murroe B, T Joyce
Janesboro B V Castle Utd, S Rooney
Parkville B V Croom Utd, P O’Brien
Corbally Utd C V Granville Rgs B, J Clancy
Mungret Reg D V Pike Rvs B, S Scully
Newtown Rvs A V Brazuca United, T O’Sullivan
Newtown Rvs B V Ballynanty Rvs B, J Rooney
Summerville Rvs B V Herbertstown A, D Downing
Herbertstown B V Knockainey B, F O’Neill
Saturday Aug 14th (All games kick off 6.30pm)
Premier A League
Hill Celtic V Athlunkard Villa, D Downing
Carew Park V Aisling Ann B, A Hall
Moyross V Corbally Utd, K Gorman
Fairview Rgs B V Cappamore, D Power
Murroe V Holycross, B Higgins
Lisnagry A V Northside, R McCann
Abbey Rvs V Lisnagry B, Martin Monaghan
Nenagh B V Mungret Reg C, M Kiely
Newport C v Aisling Annacotty D, A Galvin
Shelbourne B V Coonagh Utd B, T Joyce
Dromore Celtic v Athlunkard Villa C, M Murphy
Sunday Aug 15th (All games kick off 10.30am)
Geraldines V Coonagh, B Higgins
Fairview Rangers V Nenagh, R Broe
Mungret Regional V Ballynanty Rvs, K Gorman
Regional V Prospect Priory, D Power
Pike Rovers V Kilmallock, S Rooney
Janesboro V Aisling Annacotty, A Hall
Hyde Rgs V Star Rvs, G Clancy
Ballylanders V Granville Rgs, J McNamara
Shelbourne V Patrickswell, Martin Monahan
Knockainey V Castle Rvs, R Broe
Summerville Rvs V Kilfrush, S Rooney
Tuesday Aug 17th (All games kick off 6.30pm)
Parkville V Pallagreen, Martin Monaghan
Charleville V Mungret Reg, M Kiely
Caledonians V Caherdavin Celtic, T Joyce
Regional Utd B V Glenview Rvs, A Walsh
Newport V Athlunkard Villa B, J McNamara
Wembley Rvs V Caherconlish, K McCormack
Murroe B V Kilmallock B, R McCann
Castle Utd V Corbally Utd B, M Murphy
Janesboro B V Hyde Rgs B, A Galvin
Wednesday Aug 18th (All games kick off 6.30pm)
Lisnagry B V Lisnagry A, M Kiely
Mungret Reg C V Northside, A Galvin
Aisling Annacotty D V Abbey Rvs, M Murphy
Coonagh Utd B V Nenagh B, Martin Monaghan
Athlunkard Villa C V Newport C, A Walsh
Dromore Celtic v Shelbourne B, T Joyce
Granville Rgs B V Parkville B, J Clancy
Pike Rvs B V Croom Utd, K McCormack
Brazuca United V Corbally Utd C, P O’Brien
Ballynanty Rvs Rvs B V Mungret Reg D, J McNamara
Herbertstown A V Newtown Rvs A, S Scully
Knockainey B V Newtown Rvs B, F O’Neill
Herbertstown B V Summerville Rvs B, J Rooney
U17 Div One
Mungret Reg V Regional Utd, Mike Monahan
Caherdavin Cel V Pike Rvs, S Rooney
Aisling Annacotty A V Shelbourne, K Gorman
Ballynanty Rvs v Fairview Rgs, R Broe
U17 Div Two
Kilfrush v Castle Utd, R McCann
Thursday Aug 19th (All games kick off 6.30pm)
Premier League Round 3
Coonagh V Fairview Rangers, S Rooney
Geraldines V Mungret Regional, D Downing
Nenagh V Regional Utd, J McNamara
Ballynanty V Pike Rovers, B Higgins
Prospect Priory V Janesboro, Mike Monahan
Kilmallock V Aisling Annacotty, D Power
Star Rvs V Ballylanders, A Hall
Hyde Rgs V Shelbourne, K Gorman
Granville Rgs V Knockainey, G Clancy
Patrickswell V Summerville Rvs, M Kiely
Kilfrush V Southend, R Broe
U17 Div Two
Regional Utd B v Corbally Utd, A Galvin
Pallasgreen v Croom, M Murphy
Aisling Annacotty B v Herbertstown, R McCann
U17 Div Three
Geraldines v Newport, J Clancy
Cappamore v Charleville, S Scully
Parkville v Granville Rgs, Ken McNamara
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.