Bangor Celtic FC vs Malahide United, Iveagh Grounds 7:45 pm
This time last season Malahide United were in the title race. 12 months on and they are very much in a relegation dog fight. They travel to the Iveagh League Grounds on Friday night very much in need of three points.
However, to get the points needed to move out of the bottom three they have to overcome one of the season’s top performers Bangor Celtic.
Malahide have proved an ‘on their day’ side this term, indeed their only away win comes against title hopefuls St Mochtas, but Bangor haven’t lost in the league since November and have been consistent if not quite spectacular this season.
The recently promoted side also have the added motivation of knowing victory will see them jump to second in the table. Both sides come into the clash on the back of draws Bangor a 2-2 home draw with Wayside Celtic and Malahide a scoreless point sharer with Drumcondra.
Crumlin United FC vs St. Patrick’s CYFC, Pearse Park Crumlin
Having beaten Bluebell United in the Leinster Senior Cup on Wednesday St Patrick’s CY will be looking to make it two big name wins in quick succession when they travel to Pearse Park on Saturday night.
Defeating Crumlin at home is never an easy task, but Stephen Geoghan’s men will take confidence from recent results and they fact they are above the FAI Intermediate Champions in the table.
While CY go into the game on a high Crumlin will be some what disappointed as they lost in dramatic fashion to St Mochtas last week, a defeat that prevented them from closing the gap on the title contenders. However their is plenty of motivation for Martin Loughran’s charges ahead of the only top flight LSL tie to take place on Saturday night.
Just hours after their Saturday side take to the pitch in FAI Junior Cup sixth round action the first team could avenge an October 3-2 CY defeat and even leap frog their opponents to go fifth with a win.
Bluebell United vs St. Mochtas FC, Red Cow, Naas Road 11:00 am
It’s first versus third in a mouthwatering Red Cow clash on Sunday morning. To say Champions Bluebell United will welcome St Mochtas might be a bit of a stretch, but they play host to their title rivals on Sunday morning.
Considering the Saints rise up the ranks in recent years and Bluebell status as an established Senior Sunday name means this one hasn’t got quite the history of a Crumlin v Bluebell clash or games of a similar ilk, but that’s not to say this hasn’t got match of the weekend boldly plastered all over it.
It arrives at a crucial time of the season when wins in big and tight games start to count. No doubt it will be tense, it will certainly be meaningful in terms of setting a title race tone, but most of all it will see some of the best amateur players go toe to toe in a clash both will go all out to win.
There will be intriguing battles all over the park. David Lacey versus Glen Walsh is one that could decide the game, but it’s in the middle of the park clashes that will intrigue most. Such is the talent at both sides disposal it’s hard to predict who will play centrally. Will Gar Cooney start against a club he played for last season? Will the Somers brothers shine? Will Luke Kelly dictate the pace of the game? Or will that mantle fall to Tony Griffiths, Sean Byrne or ever Sean Gleeson. This is one not to miss.
Mochtas go into the clash on the back of a confidence boosting victory over Crumlin. The managed to score five against the Pearse Park side to move within two points of the league leaders, while Bluebell lost in the Leinster Senior Cup midweek to St Patricks CY.
A interesting footnote is the fact Mocthas are only second to Cherry Orchard in the scoring charts this year, while Bluebell have by far the stingiest defence in the top flight having conceded only nine times in 14 league games.
Ucd AFC vs Greystones United AFC, UCD Belfield Dublin 4 11:00
While Bluebell United vs Mochtas will provide the tension that comes with both teams desperately wanting three points over a rival for title reasons, UCD’s clash with Greystones United is similar but for different reasons.
The Belfield clash is not a quintessential relegation six pointer, but only because both have recently managed results that have moved them out of the bottom three. However, avoiding the drop will still be on both sides top list of priorities at present and a win on Sunday morning would give the victor some breathing space while at the same time ensuring quality air is a little harder for their opponent to intake.
Greystone’s have done their annual trick of starting with a disastrous run of results to hitting form come Christmas.
The Wicklow side are now the divisions form side having won five on the bounce conceding just one during that impressive run. They travel to Dublin with the confidence that brings, but UCD have a habit of pulling out results when needed. Anytime they seem to be sinking toward the trap door they pull out the life jacket and seem to get a result that injects a more positive feel to the season. They also go into this clash on the back of their season best performance having defeated fellow drop candidates Drumcondra by four goals last weekend.
Killester United vs Tolka Rovers, Haddon Park Killester 2:00 pm
If one team needs a win this weekend it’s Tolka Rovers, so they might not be too impressed to have seen Killester United is what awaits them in this round of fixtures.
Tolka are six points of safety and have played 14- as many as anyone in the division- games this season, they have won just twice this season and have yet to taste victory on the road. There is a feeling around Frank Cooke Park that with the squad they have a run of results maybe just around the corner, but they need a win and need it soon.
They may take solace from the fact they drew with Killester early in the season, however Killester are a different proposition at home. They have lost just once- to Mochtas- at Haddon Park this term.
Gary Howlett’s men also go into the clash on the back of a good result away to Cherry Orchard. United got a draw in Ballyfermot, but could have taken all three points in a game which John Brophy stood out. They will also be keen to add to their points tally to ensure they climb up the ladder and establish themselves as a top end side.
Wayside Celtic vs Cherry Orchard, Jackson Park 2:00 pm
With Bluebell playing Mochtas this weekend Sunday’s trip to Wayside Celtic becomes all the more important for Cherry Orchard.
Victory over the well performing recently promoted outfit will be all the more beneficial whatever the result at the Red Cow. A Bluebell win gives Deko Hevey’s men the chance to open up a gap on the Saints a win the other way around gives them the chance to go top as does the draw, a result the probably want most.
The Ballyfermot side have just got promoted and most likely wouldn’t bemoan a top four finish as a result, but considering they are well in contention come January you can be sure winning the title is a target if not a must and a win Sunday would reaffirm their credentials.
Defeating Wayside, however is anything but a certainty. The side, who came up with the Orchard, have like the other promoted sides have performed admirably.
However, despite a relatively steady start they are just two points off the relegation zone, although the fact they are four places off the bottom three takes some of the pressure off. In saying that they too will be very keen to get a result this weekend.
Celtic’s issue this year seems to be turning performances into results. They have more draws than everyone bar Mochtas in the top flight-sharing the spoils on five occasions and their has only been one goal in all bar two of their defeats.
They side will also know each other having pushed for promotion together last season.