Thurles Town travel to Timeighter in Roscrea to face Roscrea Town in what could be the biggest game in the history of the club.
A win would see Thurles win their maiden North Tipperary & District League Premier Division Title in what has become a forty year wait, which is hard to believe in such a soccer stronghold. Only needing one win in their last four league games it should be the end to this title hoodoo but they will take nothing for granted as they come up against a Roscrea side that has already pushed them the whole way to extra time only two weeks ago in the Ricky Fogarty Cup.
Town go into this game after a fine win over rivals Nenagh Celtic last weekend but did not come away unscathe as Paraic Fogarty and Ted O’Connor both picked up red cards in the latter stages, this couple with Aaron Ryan struggling with a hamstring injury, we could very well see a much changed defensive lineup.
Graeme Loughman will continue in goal but it is anyone’s guess as to who will fill the centre half spaces with Michael Byrne and most Probably Aidan Keenan most likely to do so. Martin Darmody is likely to switch to right back if Byrne goes to the centre and Stevie Coppinger will then make a return to left back. The midfield could the have Eoghan Vaughan, Michael Foley, Liam Hickey and Robert Jordan or Philippe Samuels in it whilst captain Barry Ryan will be partnered with Paul Kirwan up front. A strong team if indeed this is how they play but it leaves very little to the imagination on the bench.
Roscrea will against start with Roddy Teehan in goal, a makeshift keeper who has shone since taking up the position some months ago. With no B team players on offer it should be John Cordial and Ray McNicholas at centre half while Paul Franks could more than likely move to right back and Jason Moloney on the left side of defence. Brian Franks and Craig Byrne will be at the heart of the midfield whilst captain Shane Moloney take up the left midfield position and Rody Ryan should play out on the right with Craig Phelan and John Pio Fitzpatrick up front. Again only a guess at this possible lineup but if indeed it is right it will prove very hard to beat.
Roscrea themselves will jump into fourth place if they win which could mean a John Delaney Cup place for next season so it is a big game in their own right.
However all eyes will be on Noel Byrnes’ side as they look to end their forty year wait and very few could say they are undeserved of it as they have a 100% record in the league after eight games, managing 36 goals whilst only conceding 7.
Barry Ryan sits on thirty goals for the season while Roscrea have struggled to find an out and out goalscorer they have plenty of goals all over the field.
A huge game that will be shown LIVE ON STOPPAGETIME.IE as we now follow Town’s pursuit of the title.