FAI Junior Cup is the main focus this weekend

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A general view of a footballer during the Irish Daily Mail FAI Cup First Round match between Bray Wanderers and Finn Harps at the Carlisle Grounds in Bray, Wicklow. Photo by Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile

The FAI Junior Cup third round takes centre stage in Limerick this weekend with six games taking place. It is the final ‘local’ round of the competition as the victors will advance to the open draw. Effectively, the clubs will represent Limerick as they could face any club in Ireland in the next stage.

There are two all premier division ties with Prospect Priory hosting Aisling Annacotty at home at 11am. Eight points separate the clubs in the league but Prospect have a game in hand. Despite possessing a small squad, Derek Braddish has made Prospect very difficult to beat this season. The southside club have only won once but have drawn 3 games while losing out by the odd goal to Janesboro, a match they led in for long periods. Annacotty have enjoyed a solid season and have performed well in cup competitions in recent seasons. With a large catchment area, the interest and support would rise dramatically with a good FAI Junior Cup run.

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The mouth watering clash between Fairview Rangers and Ballynanty will be the main focus of all junior football enthusiasts on Sunday. The game will take place at 2.15 at the Fairgreen. The sides met just two weeks ago when the Fairgreen club knocked their rivals out of the Tuohy Cup with a penalty shootout victory following a 0-0 draw. This game promises to be another tight affair. Ballynanty manager Donal Magee will be desperate to get back to winning ways following two defeats. Before that, Balla had won every game in the league and cup competitions, 12 in total.

Two lower league sides will battle it out at Glenbrook for an opportunity which they may have felt was beyond them at the start of the season. Division 1B sides Granville and Newport will face off for a place in the open draw. With Christy Doyle and Brian O’Sullivan up front for Newport, it will be tough for a struggling Granville side. Newport are 20 points ahead of their opponents in second place but in the cup it may be a tougher challenge than it appears on paper. The game will kick off at 11am.

Last year’s cup finalists Pike Rovers will be expected to advance when they host Hyde Rangers in Crosagalla. Murroe will face Geraldines in a bid to create a cup upset. Division 1A promotion chasing Moyross will be looking to build on a big win over Mungret Regional last week as they face an in-form Regional in Moyross. Regional have been scoring goals for fun in recent weeks and centre back Jack Lynch was recently awarded player of the month for September. The Dooradoyle outfit will be a dangerous team to face and look a different proposition from recent seasons. All three of the aforementioned games will begin at 11am.

There are two games taking place in the PJ Matthews Premier League as Kilmallock host Janesboro who will be looking to take advantage of the fact that rivals Pike and Ballynanty are in cup action as they bid to move to within one point of Mick Sheil’s side. After a great win while representing Limerick in the Oscar Traynor Trophy, confidence will be sky high. Carew Park and Charleville face off in what is a must win for both teams to stand any chance of survival in the premier division for next season.

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