The FAI Junior Cup reaches its Third Round this week and the draw has thrown up some scrumptious ties across the country for all to look forward to. Here’s our picks of games to watch in the tournament across this coming weekend.
Collinstown FC vs Kilbarrack United
SDFL Astro, Saturday 29th October, 8pm KO
Old foes will cross paths once again this weekend as Collinstown face former AUL Premier A rivals Kilbarrack United in a massive Third Round game.
Since making the move from the AUL to the Leinster Senior League, Collinstown have been exceptional. The Major 1 Sunday side have been in immaculate form and currently lead the division with a 100% record having won seven out of seven thus far.
They also boast one of the strongest squads in the entire competition having recently added last year’s Intermediate Cup winning captain James Lee and Gareth Brogan to their already huge pool of talent which includes the in-form Dylan McKeever and Daniel Matthews.
The ultimate aim for this Collinstown squad is to be playing in the top division of Intermediate football, Senior Sunday, however, for now they can target Junior football’s biggest accolade and face their first real test in the form of Kilbarrack United.
Kilbarrack are one of the competition’s biggest ‘nearly men’ having twice finished as runners-up in consecutive seasons between 2012 and 2013, losing to Sheriff YC on both occassions. Last year they once again fell to their biggest rivals, this time at the quarter-final stage.
Their form so far this season has been good. Gareth ‘Redzer’ Brady, Eoin Fowler and Rory O’Connor have all hit the ground running fast which has seen them propel up the table after winning their last four league games in a row.
They will be wary of the challenge Collinstown pose, however they can take confidence from their record against the Southsiders in recent seasons, winning three of their last five league games together with a single draw and defeat.
It is surely the pick of the round and a cracking game can indeed be expected with the winner bound to progress deep into the competition.
Sheriff YC vs Ely Woodlawn
Clontarf Road, Saturday 29th October, 8.30pm KO
The current FAI Junior Cup holders continue the defence of their trophy by welcoming Division 1 Sunday leaders Ely Woodlawn to Clontarf Road on Saturday evening.
The visitors caused a major shock in Round 2 as they eliminated Sheriff’s B team after fighting back from two goals down to topple the Premier B side by winning four goals to two.
Their league form has also been excellent this season as they sit top of Division 1 Sunday with an unblemished record of five wins from five games, scoring eighteen goals and conceding only three.
Having already knocked out Sheriff’s second-string, Ely will certainly be full of confidence and have the belief that they can cause the unthinkable to happen and possibly upset Junior football’s biggest club.
Sheriff will of course have other ideas. The Premier A leaders have seemed to have found their rhythm after a somewhat shaky start to the season which included being held to a stalemate by nine-man Eastwall Bessborough and just about holding off a raw Real Transilvania side.
However, recent results have shown that Alan Reilly’s side are back to their best and sit top of Premier A undefeated with five wins from six while also picking up comfortable wins in the Leinster Junior Cup and Junior Cup.
John Rock hit a superb hat-trick in their last league game against Baldoyle Grange while Stewy Glen also picked up a trio of goals in their last outing in the LJC against St Patrick’s Boys meaning Sheriff have a strike force very rich in form and looking to keep the hot-streak going.
Moyne Rangers vs Monksland United
Billy Brown Park, Sunday 23rd October, 1pm KO
The current leaders of the Wexford Premier Division take on the leaders of the Combined Counties Division as Moyne Rangers host Monksland United in this Third Round clash.
This is set up to be a very intriguing tie as both sides hold identical records in their respected leagues. Moyne have been in immaculate form with four wins from four, scoring eleven and conceding five.
Monksland meanwhile have also won their opening four league games and sit comfortably at the top of the CCFL Premier Division.
It will also be Monkland’s second trip to Wexford this season as they took on North End United in the Leinster Junior Cup eventually losing 3-1 despite taking the lead early on.
Their players to watch are Matt Scally and Dylan Jinks who have turned in a number of goals for the Athlone club so far this season.
Moyne have displayed the kind of form that suggests they are capable of going far in this competition. They progressed to the Third Round by way of smashing eleven goals past Eleson United. They have been able to spread this goal-scoring form across other competitions two as in their most recent fixture they defeated Forth Celtic 5-0 in the LJC. James Peare is the one to watch for the Enniscorthy side as he provides the threat up top while Pa O’Rourke and Peter Marsden are also capable of turning in a goal or two.