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Limerick Desmond League Preview 12/3/2017

Munster Junior Cup Quarter Final (extra time & penalties if required).

Broadford United vs Aisling Annacotty.
It’s a big cup tie to kick off the weekend’s game as Broadford United take on Aisling Annacotty in the Quarter Final of the Munster Junior Cup. Broadford are third in the Premier Division and will look to continue a great run of form which has seen them win their last six games. Their Munster Junior Cup run began with extra time victories over Killeaney and Rathkeale in the first and second rounds respectively. The last three rounds have been easy for Broadford with a 2-0 win over Ballingarry and two 5-0 victories at home to both Tower FC and Youghal United. This will be their toughest challenge yet but they will be well prepared having had a friendly with Janesboro last Sunday. They have only lost once at home all season to Rathkeale but face a stiff task if they are to maintain that almost flawless record this Sunday. Aisling Annacotty are fourth in the Limerick District Premier Division where they have won nine, drawn three and lost six in their league campaign. They began their run in this competition with a 2-1 win away to Moyross United and followed that up with an impressive penalty shootout win over league leaders Janesboro and a big 5-0 win over Coonagh United. In the fourth round they were 1-0 winners away to Prospect Priory and reached the Quarter Final stage with another penalty shootout win over Carew Park. Keith Mawdsley has been a consistent scorer for his side finding the net twelve times in their league campaign and will look to bag some more and secure a Semi Final spot this Sunday. Broadford are a strong side but I feel Annacotty will have too much for them and will advance.

StoppageTime.ie Prediction: Aisling Annacotty.

Weekly Observer Desmond Cup 2nd Round (extra time & penalties if required).

Knockaderry AFC vs Rathkeale AFC.
Our first Desmond Cup game sees Knockaderry host Rathkeale. Knockaderry are third in Division Three and will be a lot more confident going into this game with it taking place in their home grounds. While not always coming out on top at home, they have never been far behind with five wins and one draw from ten games. This game on Sunday will be their toughest contest of the year but they have had other tough games also with home wins over Askeaton and Feenagh of Division Two and One respectively, a 4-1 loss at home to Adare United of Division Two after extra-time and a 2-0 loss to Abbeyfeale United B. Knockaderry will not be afraid of Rathkeale especially with how close it was between them when they met in the semi final last year. Rathkeale are first in the Premier Division and will look to maintain their winning ways when they travel to Knockaderry this Sunday. They have not lost in their last seven games and have kept clean sheets in five of those. A very remarkable record backed up by the fact that they have only lost once from ten games away from home which occurred in extra time against Broadford United in the Munster Junior Cup. Knockaderry are a strong side at home but Rathkeale have proven how good they are time and time again and so I see them getting the win.

StoppageTime.ie Prediction: Rathkeale AFC.

Weekly Observer Desmond Cup 3rd Round (extra time & penalties if required).

Pallaskenry AFC vs Abbeyfeale United B.
It’s an all Division One clash as Pallaskenry host Abbeyfeale United B in this Desmond Cup game. Pallaskenry are eighth in Division One and raised a few eyebrows with their 5-0 win against Granagh United in the last round. They will be at home for their second cup game in a row and will be confident of a win after that result. With only three wins and one draw from ten games at home they have not had the greatest record but their cup record has been decent and improving as of late with three wins out of four. Abbeyfeale United B are joint third in Division One and eased into this stage of the competition with a 5-0 win against Bally Rovers but their results from earlier in the year show that they deserve to be in this stage of the competition. Abbeyfeale are a high scoring side having hit AK United for five last week along with scoring thirteen from their last three games. Confidence will be high going into this game after last week’s win along with their 6-2 win away to Pallaskenry in the league earlier in the season. They have won six of their ten away games with their losses coming in a penalty shootout against Feenagh along with league losses with three other top sides including Glantine, Granagh United and Shannonside. My prediction goes to Abbeyfeale United B but I would not be shocked to see Pallas pull it out of the bag once again.

StoppageTime.ie Prediction: Abbeyfeale United B.

St. Ita’s vs Abbeyfeale United.
For the second year in a row St. Ita’s and Abbeyfeale United will face off in the Desmond Cup. St. Ita’s are fifth in Division Two and will look to end a two match losing streak against the cream of the Desmond League. In recent weeks St. Ita’s promotion hopes have been damaged by Shountrade while their Richard Hogan Cup campaign ended at the hands of Adare United so with just the Desmond Cup and the Division Two League Cup being the only cup competitions they remain in they will want to have a good run in both. The Ashford based side reached this stage of the competition with a great 4-0 win over AK United of Division One which was moved to the Manor Fields in Adare and with two of their last three home games having to be moved it would not be a shock if this cup tie were to take place in Riverside Park. St. Ita’s have proven themselves in cup competitions this season with five wins from eight and have a home record of three wins out of seven with a noticeable 4-1 win over Ballysteen. Abbeyfeale United are fourth in the Premier Division and will look to record a fourth win in a row on Sunday. They earned their three points in their last game at home to Glin Rovers and will be confident of a victory considering the gap between both sides. Abbeyfeale United have not lost on the road this season and have a stellar cup form which has seen them reach the sixth round of the FAI Junior Cup, the fourth round of the Munster Junior Cup along with winning the Munster Champions Trophy. They have yet to lose to a Desmond League side this season and so I see them advancing

StoppageTime.ie Prediction: Abbeyfeale United. 

Ballingarry AFC vs Newcastle West Rovers B.
Our Final Desmond Cup tie of the weekend sees Ballingarry entertain Newcastle West Rovers B. Ballingarry are eighth in the Premier Division and will look to bounce back from their loss to Newcastle West Rovers in the league by defeating their B team. Ballingarry will feel very much at home this Sunday as this marks their tenth home game in a row in all competitions. Their last win at home came in their first round game against Feenagh B and with Ballingarry being two divisions above Newcastle West Rovers B they will be confident of a win. Newcastle West Rovers B are seventh in Division Two and go into this game off the back of a 0-0 draw with Glin Rovers B. They will look to their first round victory over Kildimo United as a form of inspiration for this big game. They have been in cup action five times this season and have emerged with two wins while they have recorded four wins from their nine away games with the previously mentioned Kildimo result and a 4-3 win over Adare United be the most noteworthy. This will not be their first visit to the Paddocks this season as they lost out to Ballingarry B earlier on in the season at that grounds and with the gap in divisions between these two teams I see Ballingarry advancing.

StoppageTime.ie Prediction: Ballingarry AFC.

Riedy Cup Semi Final (extra time & penalties if required).

Glantine vs Shountrade AFC.
Our first Riedy Joinery Cup Semi Final sees Shountrade travel to Glantine. Glantine are joint third in Division One and go into this game with home advantage following last week’s cancellation. They are in the midst of a two game win streak with both victories coming in cup competition so they will fancy their chances of a place in the final against a side one division below them. This will be their third home game in a row and they have been winners in their last five games with only two losses from nine home games in total. Their last two victories came against stiff competition in the form of Adare United and Feenagh so they will be more than ready for this game. Shountrade are sixth in Division Two and go into this game following a good win away to St. Ita’s which is sure to have spirits high leading into this game. They have been successful in their last two games in all competitions and have only lost once in their six cup games which came against Newcastle West Rovers. They have won five and drawn once from ten games on the road which is an impressive record including victories in tough places such as Rockhill Rovers and Ferry Rangers. Shountrade will be keen to reach the final of this competition but I think Glantine will want it even more and so my prediction goes to the home side to advance.

StoppageTime.ie Prediction: Glantine.

Creeves Celtic vs Feenagh.
Creeves Celtic host Feenagh in Newbridge with the prospect of a rematch with Glantine in the final should they progress. Creeves Celtic are fifth in Division Three but have seemed to spare themselves for cup games with big wins over Kildimo United and St. Ita’s in the Desmond and Riedy Cup respectively along with a penalty shootout loss to Pallaskenry. They have not won in their last five games but they will see this as a huge opportunity to get back on track as they continue their bid for gold. With nine home games under their belt they have emerged victorious four times but were unfortunate in their losses to the previously mentioned Pallaskenry along with St. Ita’s in the Richard Hogan Cup. Feenagh are tenth in Division One and much like Creeves have shone the brightest when it comes to knockout games with three wins from five. Their wins over Granagh United and Abbeyfeale United B are the most noticeable with both coming in this very competition and if they maintain that cup form then they could very well advance. They lost out on penalties in their last game against Glantine in the Division One League Cup and will see this game as a great way to return to form. Feenagh have only won once from eight games on the road which was a narrow Riedy Joinery Cup win over Pallaskenry with two of their seven losses being in cup games also. Form would probably favour Feenagh and it could go either way but despite my prediction last week I am going to for Creeves Celtic.

StoppageTime.ie Prediction: Creeves Celtic.

Weekly Observer Premier Division League Cup Quarter Finals (extra time & penalties if required).
Killeaney vs Carrig Celtic.

Killeaney will take on Carrig Celtic for the second time in a row when they clash in the Quarter Final of the Premier Division League Cup. Killeaney were victorious in their last outing when they faced Carrig Celtic so they will be confident of another victory. They have really hit top gear in recent weeks with their first two victories of the season coming in their last three games. They have not had much success at home with two draws and forcing Broadford United to extra-time in the Munster Junior Cup but those past results may be irrelevant considering their recent form. Carrig’s last game was the previously mentioned loss to Killeaney and a win would be a great way to both bounce back as well as move closer to silverware. They have a decent away record of six wins from eleven games but with Killeaney winning in their last encounter I feel that they will do so again.

StoppageTime.ie Prediction: Killeaney.

Weekly Observer Division 1 League Cup Quarter Final (extra time & penalties if required).
Kildimo United vs Shannonside FC.

Kildimo United host Shannonside with the hopes of advancing to the Semi Final of the Division One League Cup. Kildimo are ninth in the league table and lost their last cup game at home to Newcastle West Rovers B and will look to return to winning ways. Shannonside are top of Division One and with two wins over Kildimo already this season I see them getting another.

StoppageTime.ie Prediction: Shannonside FC.

Granagh United vs Rathkeale B.

Our other Division One League Cup game sees second placed Granagh United take on seventh placed Rathkeale B. This will be Granagh’s third cup game in a row and they will look to bounce back from a 5-0 Desmond Cup loss at the hands of Pallaskenry. These two sides met in the first round of the Desmond Cup with Granagh United coming out on top on penalties. Granagh have home advantage but have not been as strong in the cup as they have been in the league so Rathkeale B have a great chance to right the wrongs of their last loss to Granagh. Rathkeale B go into this game off the back of a 4-1 loss away to Breska Rovers. They have been in cup action twice and have been on the losing end twice this season and while my prediction goes to Granagh United I would not rule out the visitors.

StoppageTime.ie Prediction: Granagh United.

Weekly Observer Division 2 League Cup 1st Round (extra time & penalties if required).
Adare United vs Rockhill Rovers.

An away Quarter Final against Ballysteen is at stake as Adare United and Rockhill Rovers meet in the first round of the Division Two League Cup. Adare are second in the Division Two table and have won their last two games in a row along with three of their last four cup games. This will be their third meeting with Rockhill Rovers with both teams having a win each but Adare will be confident of a win considering their result against Rockhill at home earlier in the season along with Rockhill’s away record. They have won seven and drawn once in eleven home games and have shown their endurance in cup ties with two wins from the three times they have gone to extra-time and beyond. Rockhill Rovers are eighth in Division Two and have given walkovers in their last two games. The last game they did play was against Adare United where they were victorious so they will hope to do it again this Sunday and advance in the cup. Away form has always been poor for Rockhill with just one draw on the road and with Adare winning 6-1 at home last time around I see them winning again.

StoppageTime.ie Prediction: Adare United.

Weekly Observer Division 2.
Ballysteen AFC vs Glin Rovers B.

Ballysteen will go ten points clear of Adare United at the top of the table with the same number of games played should they overcome Glin Rovers B this Sunday. Ballysteen have yet to lose in the league and will be favourites to continue that run when they host a side they defeated 4-1 away at the beginning of the season. Ballysteen received a walkover in their last league contest and had a 0-0 draw with St. Ita’s before that so they will want to pick up a win to ensure a big lead at the top of the table. Their home record has been excellent this season and so they will be confident of another win. Glin Rovers B are ninth in Division Two and picked up a good point away from home against Newcastle West Rovers B in their last game. They are four points behind Rockhill Rovers with two games in hand and so they will want to make those games count with a result on Sunday. They have had two good results away from home which were a 2-1 win over Ferry Rangers and a 2-2 draw with Adare United but I feel that Ballysteen will come out on top in this one.

StoppageTime.ie Prediction: Ballysteen AFC.

Weekly Observer Division 3.
Newcastle West B vs Feenagh B.

The second to last league game for both of these teams is a crucial one for the home side as Newcastle West B host Feenagh B. Newcastle West B are second in Division Three and will need to win their remaining two games to have any chance of league title glory. They were unfortunate to lose out in their Desmond Cup tie against Adare United but have flourished in the league having not lost their last three league games. Newcastle West B have only lost once at home which was their last game against Adare and they will be up for this game with so much at stake. Feenagh B are seventh in Division Three and will look to pick up their first win against a team they held to a draw earlier in the season. Their last result came six games ago when they drew with Glantine B so my prediction goes to Newcastle.

StoppageTime.ie Prediction: Newcastle West B.

About James Kirwan

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