Limerick District League Premier Division Preview

Following on from last week’s goal fest in the Limerick District League Premier Division, there are four games down for decision this coming Sunday and one game taking place on Saturday evening. The Sunday morning games will begin at the usual time of 10.30.

On Saturday evening, Fairview Rangers will host their first even game under the recently acquired floodlights when they entertain Prospect Priory at the Fairgreen (7pm). They will be looking to keep pace with the leaders and Fairview are at least two games behind everyone else in the league due to their FAI Junior Cup involvement.

Jason Purcell will be pleased with the start made by new signings Sean McSweeney and Russell Quirke who were in devastating form against Geraldines. There have been some changes at the Fairgreen since last month’s FAI Junior Cup success. Brothers Liam and Eddie Byrnes, Jason Lipper and Brian Fitzgerald have all headed for the exit door to make way for the new signings.

Jeffrey Judge receiving the FAI Junior Cup Trophy three weeks ago

Purcell will be expecting another victory from his side but will have to be wary of the threat posed by Prospect. Last week’s away loss to Coonagh would have hurt Prospect’s top 6 hopes but they remain just two points off sixth position.

Thomas Lyons has joined the club from Janesboro and will add competition in midfield. Lyons and player-manager Wayne Colbert shared a dressing room at Limerick FC in 2008. It is hard to look beyond Fairview for this encounter, especially as Colbert’s side have struggled against the top four so far this season.

Pike Rovers will make the trip to Kilmallock to face the leagues bottom side who are without a win in 8 games. Robbie Williams men will be full of confidence heading into this game after defeating Ballynanty Rovers in the Tuohy Cup to advance to the quarter-final.

Evan Patterson featured at right-back for Pike against Ballynanty last Thursday evening

It was revenge for the league loss in August which is the Hoops only defeat so far. They have only conceded five goals so far this season and the performance of Adam Lipper at centre-back will be a big boost also.

Last week’s draw with Geraldines at the Garryowen Green will provide some confidence for Kilmallock but in truth, Niall O’Riordan will be disappointed that his team were unable to maintain their 1-2 half-time lead.

The county outfit concede far too many goals and it looks as though their biggest chance of survival is in the second half of the season is when the bottom six sides play each other home and away.

However, Kilmallock’s record against fellow bottom six sides Prospect, Coonagh and Nenagh does not make for pretty reading either. Pike will be expected to come away with the 3 points as they look for their sixth league win in a row.

Adam Costelloe (left) has been a key performer for Ballynanty Rovers so far this season

Ballynanty host this season’s surprise package Janesboro at Limerick Institute of Technology. Janesboro gave Aisling Annacotty a big scare in their last league outing and raced into a 2-0 lead thanks to a brace from striker Dermot Hughes.

The sending off of midfielder Niall McNamara did nothing to help ‘Boro’s cause and three former players in the form of Keith Mawdsley, Shane Stack and Thomas Clarke came back to haunt their former side and run out 2-4 winners.

Both sides adopt a preferred 3-5-2 formation with the three centre-backs being key areas. What Ballynanty’s back three lack in experience, they have certainly made up for with endeavour so far this season.

Jake Dillon, Dan Lucey and Adam Costelloe have been very impressive, and they will need to quieten the aforementioned Hughes who has made a big impact for the Pearse Stadium outfit in the last few weeks. Likewise, Donie Curtin will need to marshal the back three where he is partnered Sean O’Dwyer and Sam Ogundoe.

Ger Myles of Coonagh takes on Thomas Clarke in the Tuohy Cup last week

Mungret Regional and Coonagh face off in Mungret in what is a big game for different reasons.  Suddenly, Coonagh United look as though they are making a push to be part of the top six when the league splits after 11 games. They currently hold a one-point lead over Janesboro having played one game extra.

Adopting the popular 3-5-2 formation, the partnership of Gordon McKevitt and Ger Myles provided dangerous moments in the Tuohy Cup defeat last week. Martin Deady is a key player for the management duo of Keith Doran and James O’Neill due to his set-piece delivery and overall distribution.

Mungret are suffering from the infamous “second season syndrome” and find themselves just two points above the relegation zone. Last week’s 7-0 defeat would have hurt Eddie Storan as they club prided themselves on shape and defensive solidity last season.

Geraldines face a mammoth task on Sunday morning when they welcome Aisling Annacotty to the Garryowen Green. Annacotty will be disappointed that they let a 2-goal lead slip against Ballynanty last weekend but once again, Shane O’Hanlon’s men scored 3 goals. A surprise win for Derek Hannon’s men would give them real belief as they look for an upturn in fortunes.

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