Munster Champions Cup 1st Round
Thurles Town Vs St Micheal’s
NT&DL Champions Thurles Town host TSDL counterparts St Michael’s in the first round of the Munster Champions Cup. Town have yet to find the standards they set last season having dropped points in the league for the first time in over a year to Cloughjordan and also losing out in extra time to Peake Villa in the John Delaney Cup, a competition that was won by Saints as they beat Villa 3-0 in the final. Saints season has started as the last season ended by winning their first six games of the campaign and they are overwhelming favourites for this game on Sunday. Barry Ryan has already amassed seven goals for Town this season and he will need to be on his game if he is to add to that here, Paul Kirwan and Martin Harty will also be potential dangers but Aidan Keenan is the man they need to be in with any chance of winning along with Graeme Loughman in the goal. Saints however have a wealth of talent in their ranks and with the likes of Irish Junior Internationals Jimmy Carr and Chris Higgins they will prove very hard to beat. Former BT Harps ace Sean Paddy Guerins should feature here also potentially playing beside Junior football legend Paul Breen in defence. Olly O’Driscoll has been the man inform goals wise for Saints and this is a very big opportunity to keep that run going.
StoppageTime.ie Prediction: We predict that Saints win this one with plenty to spare as Thurles continue to look for the form that brought them their first league title of their history.
NT&DL Premier Division
BT Harps Vs Ballymackey Fc
This has been earmarked to be the most entertaining game of the day as both relatively young sides clash at Priory Place on Sunday. Harps have been in outstanding form this season having won all three league games this far beating Killavilla, Portumna and Cloughjordan al by a single goal. Ballymackey have had an indifferent start however but managed a vital win against Nenagh Celtic, having went all of last season without a league win. The Ballinree side have lost to Borroway Rovers and Thurles Town though and Harps will see this as a must win if they are to challenge for the title this season. Harps Eanna McBride and Tommy Brophy are the ones to watch while having the experienced Johnny Coleman in at centre half and the hugely talented Kuba Beben between the sticks. Ballymackey have Willie Darcy firing on all cylinders at the minute and know if he keeps his form up they can beat any team on their day as Gary Kevin and Aidan White continue to improve as the weeks go on.
StoppageTime.ie Prediction: This should be a top game of football but we expect BT Harps to continue their fine start to the season and win, in the process push further away from Thurles who don’t play a league game this weekend.
Portumna Town Vs Cloughjordan Fc
Even at this early stage of the season both of these sides need to pick up a win sooner rather than later. Portumna are only in their first top flight season and have proven to be very hard to beat in their opening two games having lost by the odd goal against Thurles and BT Harps. Cloughjordan however haven’t been able to manage a win themselves in their first three games losing to Nenagh Celtic and BT Harps by the odd goal but they did manage a draw against the current champions Thurles after a pulsating 2-2 draw. Garry Curran is proving to be a dangerous force for Portumna while Cloughjordan have goals all around the pitch but none as potent as Dean O’Meara when on top form.
StoppageTime.ie Prediction: We predict a draw here as Portumna’s luck has to change sometime. Both sides concede goals also so again this should be a great game for the neutral.
Nenagh Celtic Vs Borroway Rovers
Nenagh Celtic’s luck could be on the up as they have been reinstated into the Premier Division Shield. That coupled with a hard-fought home win against Killavilla seems to have put the loss to Ballymackey behind them. Rovers however started the season on a bright note beating Ballymackey by three goals to two but then losing out in their first home fixture to Killavilla. Celtic are a side at the minute that you could not put money on as they have been short on numbers since the start of the season. Rovers are keen to pick up early points this season as Paul Gould’s side look to maintain their status as a Premier Division side. The will have their work cut out here though as they try to contain Marky Walsh up front. The return of Michael “Wong” Hynes has been a particular plus for the hosts also as they know any more points dropped could be detrimental to their title hopes. Rovers can go into this game with a nothing to lose attitude and this could make life very difficult for Robbie Ryan’s Celtic, Keith Moore and Benny Connolly will be the biggest threats.
StoppageTime.ie Prediction: Celtic should win this, if they defend aswell as they did last weekend I don’t see Rovers getting too much joy in this one.
NT&DL Division 1
Rearcross Fc Vs Clodiagh Rangers
First plays third here as Rangers travel to Rearcross on Friday night. Rangers go into this game with a 100% record whilst also scoring sixteen goals in their opening four league games. Rearcross’ fantastic start to the season ended last weekend with a 4-0 loss to Holycross and this is an ideal chance to bounce back and make inroads at the top of the table. Paul Doyle, Dean Carew, Mark Quinlan and David Butler have been in great goal scoring form while Rearcross’ Nigel Ryan will look to add to his three goals so far this season.
StoppageTime.ie Prediction: Clodiagh Rangers
Sallypark Odhráns Vs Holycross Fc
Sallypark will look to bounce back after last weekend’s huge loss to Moneygall but would have hoped for a better fixture than this one. Second placed Holycross will prove very hard to beat all season and are genuine title contenders. The hosts main aim for the season is to get a team together that will last long term but on their day they can beat anyone. Shane Hogan and Micheal Carey have been in form in front of goals but so have both Jojo O’Meara and Seanie Comerford for Holycross.
StoppageTime.ie Prediction: Holycross Fc
Killavilla Utd B Vs Lough Derg Fc
Even after four games apiece this is definitely a relegation dog fight. Neither sides have managed a win this far so both managers will see this as an ideal opportunity to kick start their season. Both sides have conceded thirty-three league goals between them but Villa have scored eight more goals that their opponents. A loss here for either side could be the start of a very long season although the home advantage should tell and with the Villa A team not playing a few extra players maybe readily available.
StoppageTime.ie Prediction: Killavilla Utd B
Gurtagarry Fc Vs Moneygall Fc
Gurtagarry continue their ascension through the NT&DL Divisions and have become one of the most popular clubs throughout the league. The face a Moneygall side that have been inconsistent this far but are on the back of an 8-0 win against Sallypark. Steven Cummins, Paddy O’Rourke and Paul Ryan are on a red hot streak for the hosts but none of them are on a hotter streak that multiple time golden boot winner Joe Callaghan who has amassed thirteen goals in all competitions already this season.
StoppageTime.ie Prediction: Draw
Nenagh Celtic B Vs Borrisokane Fc
Division One newbies Borrisokane have made a solid start to the season since their “relegation” and are expected to be in the mix as the season goes on. They face a Celtic side that have failed to shine this far and will be at their lowest, morale wise, after last weekend’s 8-1 loss to current leaders and Shield winners Clodiagh Rangers. An away win is expected as Gordon Harding continues his goal scoring prowess. Sean O’Meara however has already bagged three league goals so far and will hope to add to that in Celtic’s bid to find some form again.
StoppageTime.ie Prediction: Borrisokane Fc
NT&DL Division 2
BT Harps B Vs Templetuohy Fc
BT Harps play Templetuohy in a game where both sides need to win if they are to mount a serious title challenge. Tuohy have Oisín Jordan on fine form again this season having scored four league goals while Brian and Aidan Kelly have grabbed five between them. Chris Eid is Harps top scorer with two goals but more will be needed as they look to keep in touch at the top.
StoppageTime.ie Prediction: Draw
Ardcroney Fc Vs Clodiagh Rangers B
On paper there can only be one winner here as leaders Ardcroney face bottom of the table Clodiagh Rangers. Rangers have lost their opening four games scoring on just three occasions whilst conceding nineteen in that time. This is a stark contrast to Ardcroney who remain unbeaten and scoring fourteen goals in the process. The leaders must win games like this if they are to add to their Shield triumph but they will take nothing for granted and will need top scorer Jack Daly on top form again.
StoppageTime.ie Prediction: Ardcroney Fc
Village Fc Vs Arra Rovers
Village Fc of Shinrone have enjoyed their start in life in North Tipperary having gathered four points in two games. Last weekend’s 7-0 win over Clodiagh marked the return of former Streamstown Celtic star and former Division 1 player Paul Doyle to the league and he did so in style by getting on the scoresheet in the process. Village boast a wealth of talent in their squad albeit at the wrong side of Thirty years of age and they will be genuine contenders this season. Rovers however have won thre from three so far and will be no pushovers as they look to go top of the table this weekend but will need Ciaran Willis in top form to do so.
StoppageTime.ie Prediction: Village Fc