Tipperary & District League champions Nenagh Celtic in the Munster Champions Trophy Semi Final on Sunday. In what promises to be an exciting and close affair the Desmond side will probably go in as favourites.
The hosts have had an indifferent start to the season and have lost five of their fifteen games so far, scoring fifty five and conceding twenty seven. Celtic sit top of the table however only losing once in six games to second placed Roscrea by the odd goal in three.
The NT&DL side have a wealth of experience and Manager Robbie Ryan will be confident of his sides chances here. Jimmy Hynes and Mark Walsh are in a rich vein of form up front while Danny Ryan continues to be a rock in central midfield. Sean Healy has been in great goalscoring form this season and he will be ably assisted by Jamie Kelly and Stephen Flynn. Paul Walsh will marshall the defence in front of the very solid Jake Byrne in the goal.
Abbeyfeale currently lie second in the Desmond league table, four points behind leaders Rathkeale. With some big wins so far they will be disappointed with their two draws against Newcastle West Rovers and Glin Rovers, two games they would have expected to win.
They have however remained unbeaten in their last sixteen games dating back as far as April last season, something of which is very unusual in Junior football. They have Billy Quirke in fine form between the sticks while Tom Smith and Barry Sheehy will be a constant nuisance throughout the game. Chris Smith and Cormac Roche will be shielded by Mike Sheehan, while Joe Kelliher will be linking with the front two.
John Kellihers side will be extremely confident here and will have a lot of expectations on their shoulders as they will be full expected to beat the North Tipperary side.
Celtic beat CSDL champions by two goals to one in the quarter final while the visitors needed extra time to beat Kerry Champions Dingle Bay Rovers, albeit they did so with ten men from the hour mark on.
Celtic have had to give up home advantage as their facilities weren’t deemed to be of the right standard for such an occasion by the Munster council but the pitch in Roscrea should do much to suit their style of play.
Stoppagetime.ie feels that a very tight game is on offer and with both Leagues represented on the site we found it hard to come to an agreement so we have come up with two predictions.
James Kirwan of stoppagetime.ie is going for a 2-1 win for Nenagh Celtic.
“I feel that Celtic are now coming into the form needed for such an occasion. They should have beaten Peake Villa two weeks ago but they let themselves down in front of goal, something of which won’t happen very often. Jimmy Hynes and Mark Walsh are two fine players and they will get chances especially on the big Roscrea pitch. Abbeyfeale are a good side but the physicality of Celtic might be too much“
Jason Shanahan of Stoppagetime.ie feels that Abbeyfeale have too much in the tank for the NT&DL side and should win 2-1..
“I think with the run that Abbeyfeale are on it will take a lot to beat them. Celtic have been too inconsistent this season and are struggling in the big games and failing to set the NT&DL alight even, albeit they are at this stage of the competition for a reason so we should expect a close game either way“
The winners will face either Carew Park or St Michael’s in the final.
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