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Limerick Desmond League Preview 9/4/2017.

Weekly Observer Premier Division League Cup Semi Final (extra time & penalties if required).
Rathkeale AFC vs Carrig Celtic.

The first of this weekend’s cup games sees Rathkeale take on Carrig Celtic with a place in the final against Abbeyfeale United awaiting the victor. First placed Rathkeale were victorious once again last Sunday making it five wins in a row and eleven games unbeaten. They have not showed any signs of slowing down this season and will be confident of a final place having defeated Carrig away from home this season. Having only lost one out of their nine games at home they are a formidable force on home turf and will look to keep that good record going come Sunday. Fifth placed Carrig Celtic fell to a 1-0 loss at home to Abbeyfeale United in their last game and will look to bounce back from that loss along with their last two defeats at the hands of Rathkeale by advancing to the final. Their last three away games have seen them come out on the winning side along with a strong cup record of seven wins from ten. Carrig will be up for this game after their recent victories, but with Rathkeale having picked up two convincing wins away to Carrig I see the home side progressing.

StoppageTime.ie Prediction: Rathkeale AFC.

Weekly Observer Division 1 League Cup Quarter Final (extra time & penalties if required).

Glantine vs AK United.

We move to the Division One League Cup where Glantine host AK United in the last eight of the competition. Glantine are fifth in the table and are eight points ahead of AK United in sixth with one less game played. They lost their last game at home to Breska Rovers which means they have lost their last two games whilst being kept scoreless in both also. It is a worrying run for them but with this being the only competition left for them to win they will determined to get the victory this Sunday. Glantine are a strong cup side having won the Riedy Joinery Cup last season but have not fared as well this season win three wins from six along with only one of those coming against a side in their division or higher. A home record of seven wins from eleven is great considering two of their four losses came in their last two games. Like Glantine, this is the only competition that AK can contend for so there is a lot at stake for both sides. AK will head into this game full of steam following a 4-1 win at home to Rathkeale B last Sunday. It ended a run of two losses on the trot and they will look to push closer to some silverware with a win on Sunday. Away form has not favoured them this season with two wins and one draw from ten games but having only lost out by a goal in their last encounter with Glantine they will to know what to expect this time around. My prediction goes to Glantine for this one.

StoppageTime.ie Prediction: Glantine.

Weekly Observer Division 1 League Cup Semi Final (extra time & penalties if required).
Breska Rovers vs Kildimo United.

In the last four Breska Rovers entertain Kildimo United with a place in the final at stake for both sides. Breska Rovers are fourth in the table and edged out Glantine away from home last week. That made it two wins in a row for them and having lost to Kildimo at home just three weeks ago they will be cautious going into this game. They have not had much cup action this season having originally defeated Creeves Celtic in the Riedy Joinery Cup before the result was overturned due to their fielding of an ineligible player while their other two cup games saw them lose away to Abbeyfeale United in the Desmond Cup and defeat Pallaskenry 5-3 after extra-time away from home. As mentioned last week, the league cup is all that Breska can contend for which makes it that bit more important. Having put a five point gap between themselves and the drop zone, Kildimo United will look to try and move closer to some silverware when they travel to Breska once again. They are in the midst of a great run of form with three big wins back to back and they will not be afraid of Breska after defeating them previously as well as beating Shannonside in the quarter final of this competition. They’ve pulled off big away wins against Rathkeale B, Glantine, Pallaskenry and their opponents this Sunday but I think that Breska will want it more and will come away with the win.

StoppageTime.ie Prediction: Breska Rovers.

Weekly Observer Premier Division.
Newcastle West AFC vs Newcastle West Rovers.

The second Newcastle West derby of the season takes place this Sunday when Newcastle West Rovers make the short trip to the Demesne to face Newcastle West AFC. Tenth placed Newcastle West AFC came agonisingly close to knocking out Desmond Cup Champions Glin Rovers in their last outing which has made it three impressive outings in a row for them. Despite the results not going their way in two of those games, it is still something positive for the relegation fighters and if they can continue to learn from their mistakes then there’s no reason why they cannot move out of the bottom two in their seven remaining games. Regardless of form, they will see this game as one they can very well win especially with them arguably being the better side in their 3-1 loss to Rovers in Woodfield. They have not played many home games this season but have grabbed two wins in their last five games with their last victory being a 3-0 league win over Killeaney. Newcastle West Rovers are third in the Premier Division and despite their title damages being damaged by a draw with Abbeyfeale United, it was still a good result regardless. Their trip to the Demesne will be made less intimidating by the fact they have defeated Newcastle West already as well as the fact that they have only lost to Rathkeale, Avenue United and Broadford United away from home. I think Rovers are a strong side that will come away with the win this Sunday.

StoppageTime.ie Prediction: Newcastle West Rovers.

Broadford United vs Abbeyfeale United.

While the big game of the weekend pits Broadford United against Abbeyfeale United in a game which is pivotal for both sides. Broadford had a convincing 4-1 win at home to Newcastle West Rovers in the Desmond Cup and will need just as good of a performance this Sunday if they are to get a result. They have the added advantage of playing at home where they have only lost two of their last seven but that is countered by the fact that Abbeyfeale are strong both at home and away and have yet to lose to a Desmond League side this season. The recently named Premier Division Player of the Year, Michael Brosnan, is a standout player for the side and if anyone on the Broadford side is to get on the score sheet it will most likely be him. Abbeyfeale are in second place but are in a position where they cannot afford to drop any more points if they are to clinch the league title this season. They are seven points behind Rathkeale with a game in hand and a win against one of the top four of the Premier Division would be a big three points. They have a win over Broadford at home from earlier in the season and will be confident of doing the same having not lost away from home this season. These are two very strong sides and it will undoubtedly be a close game. It could go any way but I’ll take Abbeyfeale here.

StoppageTime.ie Prediction: Abbeyfeale United.

Killeaney vs Athea United.

While at the other end of the table, Killeaney take on Athea United as the relegation dogfight continues. Killeaney are one point above the drop zone in eighth while Athea United are two points above it at seventh position. Their last game was a 2-0 loss at home to Carrig Celtic meaning their survival in the Premier Division is now their sole focus. They have yet to win at home but have grabbed a draw against Glin Rovers and narrowly lost out to Athea when they met in the Desmond Cup. A win for Athea United would be huge for them and would leave a five point gap between themselves and Ballingarry with one game more played. Their last game was a 3-2 win at home to Ballingarry with all three of their goals coming in the second period. Their only results away from home are wins over Killeaney and Ferry Rangers as well as a draw with Carrig Celtic but after a great comeback last week they get my pick for this game.

StoppageTime.ie Prediction: Athea United.

Weekly Observer Division 1.
Abbeyfeale United B vs Feenagh.

Feenagh will look to revive their bid for survival when they travel to Abbeyfeale this Sunday. Abbeyfeale United B had a good win at home to Pallaskenry and have now won their last four league games. Feenagh are four points behind Rathkeale B with a game in hand and will need to get results in their remaining games. They were unfortunate to lose out to Kildimo United in their last game but will have to put that result behind them. It was a strong away showing nevertheless and overall they have won twice away from home along with taking Glantine to penalties in the Division One League Cup. The last two meetings between these sides have been close with Abbeyfeale United B winning 1-0 away from home first time around with Feenagh winning on penalties in the Riedy Joinery Cup quarter final. With Abbeyfeale being at home my prediction goes to them.

StoppageTime.ie Prediction: Abbeyfeale United B.

Pallaskenry AFC vs Granagh United.

While Pallaskenry will also continue their bid to escape the relegation zone when they host Granagh United. Having lost their last two games they will want to end that run of form but face a stiff task with Granagh now being in title contention. They have not won in their last three league games and will need to change that with little time remaining. Granagh United are top of the table and with them only having a one point lead, will need to be at the top of their game if they are to win their second league title in as many years. Despite Pallaskenry’s 5-0 win at home to Granagh United in the Desmond Cup I think that Granagh will come out on top here.

StoppageTime.ie Prediction: Granagh United.

Weekly Observer Division 2.
Askeaton AFC vs Ballysteen AFC.

Askeaton will look to end the unbeaten streak of Ballysteen and push for promotion this Sunday. Askeaton have not won in their last two games and were on the receiving end of a 6-1 defeat from Ballysteen at the start of the season. Ballysteen have not lost in their last four games and would love nothing more than to go unbeaten in the league and so my prediction goes to them.

StoppageTime.ie Prediction: Ballysteen AFC.

St. Ita’s vs Bally Rovers.

St. Ita’s will look to end a run of seven games without a win when Bally Rovers visit this Sunday. Their recent run has been poor but they will still fancy their chances having defeated Bally Rovers away from home at the start of the season. Their home record as of late is still decent with two wins and one draw from their last five. Bally Rovers have lost their last three games and have won one of their last five on the road. With this in mind I see St. Ita’s winning this.

StoppageTime.ie Prediction: St. Ita’s.

Shountrade AFC vs Newcastle West Rovers B.

Shountrade will look to continue a fantastic run of form when Newcastle West Rovers B visit. They have not lost in their last six games and have beaten Rovers B in their last two meetings. Newcastle West Rovers B have won once in their last five games which was away to Kildimo United but they have also taken Ballingarry to extra-time in the Desmond Cup since then. With Shountrade’s recent form I see them taking three points here.

StoppageTime.ie Prediction: Shountrade AFC.

Rockhill Rovers vs Glin Rovers B.

It’s a big relegation game for our final game of Division Two with Rockhill Rovers hosting Glin Rovers B. Rockhill have lost their last three but have a great home record with fourteen of their fifteen points being gathered there. Glin Rovers B had a great 2-1 win away to St. Ita’s which will give them great confidence ahead of this away trip. Glin Rovers B won the last encounter but I see this one going to Rockhill.

StoppageTime.ie Prediction: Rockhill Rovers.

Weekly Observer Division 3 League Cup Group (90 minutes).
Knockaderry AFC vs Creeves Celtic.

Knockaderry and Creeves Celtic meet in our first of three Division Three League Cup games this Sunday. This is the third encounter between these sides with Knockaderry having won the previous two both at home and away. They started off their league cup campaign with a 1-1 draw away to Glantine B which is a good result considering other teams have found it to be a sticky place to go to in the past. Despite that they have not lost in their last two and return home for the first time since their strong performance against Rathkeale where they only lost out on a 1-0 scoreline. From eleven home games they have recorded five wins and one draw while only two of their losses have come against Division Three sides. Creeves Celtic grabbed their first three points of the league cup with a 7-1 win at home to Glantine B and will look to grab a further three this Sunday. They face a side they have not been able to overcome this season whose games have been generally low scoring affairs but if they can score even half as many as they scored last week then there is no doubt that they can pick up three points. Their last game on the road saw them lose 2-0 to Carrig Celtic B while their last five games away from have seen them win two and lose three. Creeves will not want to lose three times on the bounce to Knockaderry but I see the home side taking the spoils.

StoppageTime.ie Prediction: Knockaderry.

Carrig Celtic B vs Feenagh B.

Our second game sees Carrig Celtic B take on Feenagh B. This will be the third time Carrig Celtic B and Feenagh B have faced off with Carrig coming out on top both times. Carrig got their league cup campaign off to a good start with a 2-0 win at home to Creeves Celtic and will look to make it two wins from two when Feenagh come to visit. Their home form has declined as the season has progressed winning their first three on home soil before going on a five game losing streak which came to an end with their win last Sunday. Feenagh B will kick off their campaign and will look to pick up their first win of the season against a side they were only a goal behind in their first away encounter. The best they have gotten this season is a home draw with Newcastle West B and an away draw with Glantine B and with Carrig having a strong win behind them I see them picking up the points.

StoppageTime.ie Prediction: Carrig Celtic B.

Glantine B vs Newcastle West B.

Newcastle West B return to the scene of their Division Three triumph when they travel to face Glantine B in our final game of the weekend. Their last game saw them lose out on penalties to Shountrade after a 3-3 draw in the Riedy Joinery Cup Semi-Final and they will look to pick up their first three points after a strong 2-2 draw away to Ferry Rangers. Having recorded two wins over Glantine already they will be confident ahead of this one especially with their strong away record with their only losses coming against Shountrade, Ferry Rangers and Pallaskenry. With the league title in the bag this is they only competition they can contend for and so these league cup games are of importance. Glantine B took a heavy loss away to Creeves Celtic last week and will look to return to winning ways when they return home where they have a great record. With Newcastle having won there just three weeks ago I see them doing so again.

StoppageTime.ie Prediction: Newcastle West B.

About James Kirwan

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