Limerick District League Premier Division Preview

There is a reduced schedule in the Limerick District League Premier Division this weekend with just three fixtures taking place. All fixtures taking place this Sunday morning are re-scheduled fixtures which were postponed for various reasons last month.

All games start at 10.30 with three experienced officials in Brian Higgins, Andy Hall and Robbie Broe taking charge of each game respectively.

Newly crowned FAI Junior Cup champions Fairview Rangers will have to leave the celebrations to one side when they make the short trip to Garryowen Green to face Geraldines.

Fairview captain Jeffrey Judge being presented with the FAI Junior Cup Trophy

Following last week’s superb win over Usher Celtic in Galway, Jason Purcell will have to ensure his side are motivated for a local derby where a victory will ensure that they keep pace with the likes of Aisling Annacotty, Ballynanty Rovers and Pike Rovers.

This week, the Fairgreen outfit added the lively Russell Quirke from St. Michaels as attention quickly turns to the new season. Quirke joins Daragh Hughes, Sean McSweeney and Alan Murphy in joining the side as they bid for both local and national success. It has been an incredible 17 years since Fairview have won the Premier Division title and the club will be desperate to end that drought this year.

Geraldines will be desperate for a victory as they currently occupy one of the relegation places with just one point from 6 games. Last week, Derek Hannon’s men showed great fighting spirit which will be needed for the rest of the campaign when they came back from a 3-0 half-time deficit to draw 3-3 with Nenagh in Tipperary.

Bobby Tier (Pictured with Athlone) is pivotal in defence for Geraldines Picture credit: Pat Murphy / SPORTSFILE

Goals from Christy O’Neill, Bobby Tier and Eddie Lee rescued the game for the Dines who picked up their first point of the campaign. A win against their near rivals would be a massive boost to the club who are 3 points from safety. Also, the recent return of Cian Byrnes is vital also as the Geraldines squad is stretched currently with a heavy reliance on players from the B team to make the substitutes bench thus far.

Janesboro have been the surprise package so far in the Premier Division. Many people were reading the demise of the club due to the departure of club legend Shane O’Hanlon and the club were very quiet in pre-season. However, Jason O’Connor has assembled an inexperienced yet competitive squad so far.

Vitally, they have picked up wins against Nenagh and Kilmallock while securing draws with Coonagh, Prospect and Mungret and sit in sixth place currently. Despite possessing a young team looking to prove itself at premier level including Dermot Hughes, Conor Madden and Adam Costello, ‘Boro can also call upon the talent of captain Donie Curtin, Thomas Lyons and Aaron Fitzgerald when needed.

Dermot Hughes (Pictured on the right) made a big impact for Janesboro on Sunday

Last week, O’Connor admitted he was disappointed to draw 2-2 with Prospect at Priory Park as they had taken a 0-2 lead thanks to goals from the aforementioned Curtin and Lyons. However, they were pegged back in the final ten minutes with the concession of two goals. The 3-5-2 formation has been serving the side well up until now.

It is the first time Janesboro will face a title rival in the form of Annacotty who are in red hot scoring form with 31 goals scored. Both Shane Clarke and Adam Foley have been leading the scoring charts but the likes of Nathan O’Callaghan, Thomas Clarke, Conor Coughlan and Aaron Murphy have all chipped in.

In their last outing, Shane O’Hanlon’s men defeated Mungret 6-1. It was a harsh scoreline on Mungret who had been trailing 2-1 until the 65th minute and the introduction of Foley who went on to score a hattrick.

Annacotty captain Nathan O’Callaghan clearing the ball against Mungret

However, Annacotty do have a smaller squad than their rivals for the title with O’Hanlon only able to select 14 players last week due to the absence of the minor players. In an 11 v 11 encounter, Aisling possess as much quality as the likes of Ballynanty and Fairview but may need the addition of one or two extra players, especially when you take into account the recent signings made by Fairview.

Prospect Priory host Mungret Regional on Hyde Road in a massive game for both sides. Prospect are one point ahead of Mungret in eight position. Eddie Storan’s team will be hoping to bounce back from back to back defeats to Annacotty and Pike in which the team uncharacteristically conceded 11 goals in those games.

Keith Storan and Dylan Sheehan jostle for possession

Although it makes for poor reading, Mungret were against two free-scoring outfits and have suffered terrible luck with defensive injuries. They were missing four centre-backs on Sunday in the form of captain Adam Storan, Dylan Frawley, Aaron Long and Brian Cotter. Storan was forced to play son Keith and Colm Barrett in the centre of defence, a position alien to both.

It is a massive test of character for the young Mungret side and they will be physically up against it on Sunday morning against a Prospect side who have started well at home. Wayne Colbert’s team beat Kilmallock and drew with Janesboro at home thus far.

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