Weekly Observer Division 1 League Cup 1st Round (extra time & penalties if required).
Abbeyfeale United B vs Pallaskenry AFC.
For the second week in a row Abbeyfeale United B and Pallaskenry will meet in cup competition. Abbeyfeale are joint third in Division One and will be hurting after their 5-1 loss to Pallaskenry last week. They will be hopeful that they will be able to return to winning ways when they return to Riverside Park this Sunday especially when their last home game saw them defeat AK United 5-1. Abbeyfeale have been dominant at home this season having only lost once from seven home games along with being undefeated in their last five. Their two cup wins this season have come against sides in divisions beneath them so they will want to change that at the weekend. Pallaskenry are eighth in the table and have flourished in cup competition this season. With five cup games under their belt this season they have emerged with four wins with their last two wins over Granagh United and Abbeyfeale United B being exceptional results. This will be their first away trip since the beginning of February when they defeated Creeves Celtic on penalties in the Desmond Cup. They have two wins and three draws from eight games on the road and it will be interesting to see if they can carry over their great cup form to an away venue. With such a big win last week it is hard to look past a Pallaskenry win but I wouldn’t rule out the home side.
StoppageTime.ie Prediction: Pallaskenry.
Weekly Observer Premier Division.
Athea United vs Carrig Celtic.
Athea United will look to jump out of the relegation zone when they welcome Carrig Celtic to the Vales in our only Premier Division game of the weekend. Athea are ninth in the table and had a comfortable 4-1 win over Ferry Rangers in their last contest. This will be their first league game since mid-January where they shared the points with Glin Rovers and they will be optimistic about getting three points at the weekend. Athea have recorded most of their results on home soil with three wins and two draws from ten games and will want to take three points after sharing the points last time around. Carrig Celtic are sixth in the table and advanced to the Semi-Final of the League Cup last Sunday and so they will look to keep that momentum rolling at the weekend. They had no success in their last league game but have a good record on the road with seven wins from twelve and so they will be confident of overturning Athea and distancing themselves from the drop zone. Despite their league positions there is not a whole pile between these sides and with Athea managing to grab a draw in their away trip to Carrig I will have to give them my prediction for this Sunday.
StoppageTime.ie Prediction: Athea United.
Weekly Observer Division 1.
Breska Rovers vs Kildimo United.
Breska Rovers host an in-form Kildimo United in our first of two Division One games. Breska are fifth in the table and had a convincing 4-1 win in their last game. They will be at home once again on Sunday and will be hopeful of a more comfortable win this Sunday with it being so close between the two sides earlier in the season. Breska have been able to overcome some of the best sides in the league at home and so they will go into this game as favourites. Kildimo United are ninth in the table but will be on a high going into this game after their 2-1 win against Shannonside in the League Cup. Kildimo have shown prowess in cups but it will be a true showing of their ability if they can carry that form over to the league. They will go away from home for the first time since their 7-1 win over Pallaskenry and will be hoping to add to those impressive results which includes victories over Glantine and Rathkeale B. My prediction goes to Breska Rovers to take this one but I would not rule out Kildimo considering Breska have little to play for.
StoppageTime.ie Prediction: Breska Rovers.
Rathkeale B vs Feenagh.
Our other Division One game has a lot at stake as Feenagh travel to Holycross with the hopes of surviving in Division One. Rathkeale B are seventh in the league table and go into this off the back of an impressive cup victory over second placed Granagh United. They are five points above the drop zone and a win on Sunday would all but guarantee safety. They were 1-0 winners against Feenagh last time around and have picked up victories over Kildimo United and Rathkeale B in the league, the previously mentioned cup win against Granagh United last Sunday as well as taking them to penalties in the Desmond Cup three weeks. Feenagh are tenth in Division One where they are six points away from safety with two games in hand. They suffered a crushing 5-0 defeat away to Creeves Celtic last Sunday in the Riedy Joinery Cup Semi-Final and have solely their survival to focus on for the rest of the season. They have shown how capable they are in cup competitions in recent weeks but they have not shown that same strength in the league. They have gotten one point from their last five league games and deserved at least a draw in their away trip Glantine but they will be more focused on the games ahead rather than the past. Rathkeale B have shone lately and so my prediction goes to them.
StoppageTime.ie Prediction: Rathkeale B.
Weekly Observer Division 2.
Adare United vs St. Ita’s.
Adare United face off against St. Ita’s for the second time in their last three games. Adare are second in the table and have won five of their last six games therefore they will be confident ahead of this game having defeated St. Ita’s twice already this season. They have only lost three times at home this season so they will expect to keep that record alive along with their league title hopes this weekend. St. Ita’s are fifth in Division Two and have an outside chance of promotion as they have two games in hand on Adare. They have gone through a rough spell since their big win over AK United having not won in their last four games along with being kept scoreless in three of those. They have always done better on the road than at home but struggled in their last trip to Adare having lost 3-0. My prediction goes to Adare United for this one.
Askeaton AFC vs Shountrade AFC.
Askeaton host Shountrade in what should be a tough game. Askeaton are third in Division Two and have just as much of a chance as the previously mentioned St. Ita’s when it comes to promotion. This will be their third home game in a row but their first in the league since the end of January when they went down to Adare United. They have done well at home with five wins out of eight but their competition on Sunday will make them earn their three points. Shountrade are sixth in the table and continued their great season with a 2-0 win away to Glantine to make it three wins on the bounce. They face their second away trip in as many weeks this Sunday and have six wins from eleven to their name so there is no reason why they cannot win this Sunday. It will be a close one but my prediction goes to Askeaton.
StoppageTime.ie Prediction: Askeaton AFC.
Bally Rovers vs Ballysteen AFC.
Ballysteen could seal the league title deal should they come away with the three points in our final Division Two game of the weekend. Bally Rovers are fourth and have lost their last two games, both of which were away from home. They will return home with the hopes of picking up a win and boosting their chances of promotion. With a record of three wins from seven at home they have done well but they have a challenge on their hands this Sunday if they are to make it four from eight. Ballysteen sit on top of the table and have yet to lose in the league this season. They have not lost in their last two games and will be favourites to grab the league title this Sunday considering they defeated Bally Rovers 5-1 at home earlier in the season. They are as strong away as they are at home with five wins and one draw from eight games and so my prediction goes to Ballysteen to lift the league title.
StoppageTime.ie Prediction: Ballysteen.
Weekly Observer Division 3.
Glantine B vs Newcastle West B.
Glantine B will look to cause an upset in their second to last league game when they host Newcastle West B. Glantine B are sixth in the table and could push themselves to fifth should they win their last two games and Creeves Celtic lose to Carrig Celtic B. They have lost their last two games and will look to make up for the mistakes they made in their last game against Newcastle. Glantine have improved as the season has progressed as they picked up their first league win in their eighth league fixture. All eight of their league points have come at home so Newcastle will be cautious ahead of this one. Newcastle West B are top of the table and could win the title on Sunday should Ferry Rangers slip up against Knockaderry. They will be nervy going up against a side who have been strong at home towards the end of the league campaign but will be confident considering they were 4-2 winners in Ballygowan Park along with the fact that their A’s were 7-0 winners against Glantine B. They have won four of their last five games in all competitions and have only lost to Pallaskenry and Ferry Rangers on the road. There is so much at stake for Newcastle that I cannot see anything but them winning.
StoppageTime.ie Prediction: Newcastle West B.
Carrig Celtic B vs Creeves Celtic.
Carrig Celtic B host Creeves Celtic in our second Division Three game. Carrig Celtic B are fourth in the table and could finish third should they win and Knockaderry fail to win. They have not won at home in their last four games and will look to make up for their loss to Creeves at the thatch earlier in the year. Creeves are fifth in the table and will look to keep their momentum rolling after a 5-0 win at home to Feenagh of Division One in their last game. Unfortunately for Creeves they have only done well in the cup and have lost their last four league games so a win on Sunday would be a great way to prepare for their Riedy Cup Final and end the league on a high. Their away form has not been great with two wins and one draw from seven outings but I still think they will do the double over Carrig on Sunday.
StoppageTime.ie Prediction: Carrig Celtic B.
Ferry Rangers vs Knockaderry AFC.
The last Division Three game of the weekend is a must-win for the home side as Ferry Rangers take on Knockaderry. Ferry Rangers are second in the table and will need a win if they are to have any hope of winning the Division Three league title. Their last game was a loss away to Athea United in the Desmond Cup but this game will be of much greater importance to them. They will be confident as ever with this home fixture after defeating Glantine 1-0 at the start of February and even more so with the fact that they have not lost their last three at home whilst keeping two clean sheets. It was a draw between the sides in their first encounter but Ferry will be up for this contest with the league title being at stake. Knockaderry sit third in the table and had an impressive showing against Rathkeale with only one goal separating the two sides in the finish. Knockaderry will look to finish the league campaign on a high against this Tarbert side and have a decent away record behind them with two wins and one draw from five. With Ferry being at home I cannot see anything but a home win.
StoppageTime.ie Prediction: Ferry Rangers.