Limerick Premier Division action returns this week

The Limerick District League Premier Division returns this weekend with five teams in action over two days. Also, there is one game in the Lawson Cup and games in five lower divisions down for decision on a busy weekend for managers, players and referees alike.

On Saturday evening, Aisling Annacotty will take on a new look Janesboro side in the league (7pm). Janesboro boss Shane O’Hanlon has recruited no less than six players in the transfer window including the returning John Mulready, Ryan Doherty and Kevin Barry from last year’s Oscar Traynor winning squad.

As a result of Mulready’s arrival, Tommy Holland will depart the club. As we have mentioned so many times, Annacotty are formidable opposition at home and they easily overcame Killarney Athletic in the Munster Junior Cup two weeks ago.

The sides are currently locked on 16 points with identical league records and it promises to be a tight affair. It is the first time that Clarke brothers Shane and Thomas will face their former club since their surprise move in August 2019.

On Sunday morning, Pike Rovers face Regional United knowing that a victory could send them to the top of the table with Fairview Rangers in Lawson Cup action on Sunday. Pike will be looking to bounce back quickly from their exit in the FAI Junior Cup. With Janesboro winning the league for each of the last three seasons, Pike manager Robbie Williams has stated that the league is the main priority this season.

Regional have enjoyed a solid season and are currently in fifth place and looking forward to a Munster Junior Cup last 16 tie in a week’s time. They possess many talented youngsters including Ed O’Dwyer and Andy Quaid and will be looking to put in a performance. Last season, the Dooradoyle outfit were easily beaten at Crossagalla and they were also defeated by the Hoops in this season’s Tuohy Cup so Shane O’Donoghue and co will be hoping for a more spirited display.

Ballynanty Rovers are the only obstacle in Pike Rovers way and Donal Magee’s men will look to keep their title challenge going with a home victory over Kilmallock. The Northsiders will be expected to win the game and go to the summit but they recently struggled to overcome their county counterparts in the semi-final of the Tuohy Cup.

A great defensive display saw Kilmallock hold Balla until the second period before they eventually scored two quick fire goals to reach the final. Kilmallock manager Niall O’Riordan will be hoping for an equally good display in Limerick Institute of Technology on Sunday morning and will hope to have key players at his disposal, which is certainly not always the case.

There is a huge game in the relegation battle on Sunday as Prospect Priory host Coonagh United (11am). Following their exit from the FAI Junior Cup recently, all focus is now on league survival for John Spillane’s side. Both sides currently occupy the two relegation place with Coonagh two points better off. However, with Kilmallock facing a tough challenge, managers Spillane and Anthony McCormack will see it as a big opportunity to briefly escape the bottom two places.

Even though it is just two points separating the teams, it feels as though this is one of Prospect’s last chances in terms of staying up. Before Christmas, the Hyde Road outfit threw away a 2-1 lead and lost 3-2 to Kilmallock and they cannot afford a repeat on this occasion as a five point deficit may be too much to catch even at this early stage. It promises to be a tense affair and both sides drew 2-2 when they met earlier this season.

Geraldines will put Munster Junior Cup concentration to one side on Sunday when they face Nenagh at the Garryowen Green. Derek Hannon’s men will face Pike Rovers the following week and it is still unknown as to whether that will have any effect on team selection.

A win would see the ‘Dines consolidate fourth position in the league table. Nenagh are just three points above the relegation zone so it is an equally important game for the Tipperary based outfit. In the Lawson Cup, Fairview Rangers host Atlunkard Villa in the Lawson Cup. Atlunkard will be viewed as extremely unclucky to be meeting Fairview once more as they have already met the country’s form team in both the FAI and Munster Junior Cup.

After last week’s tough win over Pike and the game with Stradbally fast approaching, Jason Purcell is likely to hand opportunities to the likes of Adam Frahill, John Mullane and Brian Fitzgerald in this game.

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