THE busy cup schedule in the opening weeks of the 2021/2022 season continues this week with fixtures taking place in the Munster Junior, Tuohy and FAI Cups.
There was more than one FAI focus in Limerick this week FAI Chief of Operations Rea Walshe meeting with league officials and some disgruntled clubs to discuss issues which have caused a divide in recent months.
The football focus begins with a midweek Tuohy Cup clash between Pike Rovers and Regional United at Jackman Park tonight (7pm.) The last time these sides met in a Tuohy Cup clash in 2018, Pike ran out 1-0 winners on the night.
Regional will be buoyed by the recent addition of Ed McCarthy from Treaty United and with Ewan O’Brien and Kieran O’Connell also playing in the midfield area, the Dooradoyle outfit will be a match for anyone especially in a cup competition.
There has never been a question mark over the quality in the ranks, the problem with Regional over the years has been consistency and they have a chance to put down a marker this evening with a victory over title challenging Pike. Pike’s league game against Annacotty last weekend was abandoned due to a head injury to Aisling goalkeeper John Mulready.
The game was level at 2-2 as the Hoops fought their way back from 2-0 down. Once again, the Robbie Williams side will be reliant on Steven McGann in an attacking sense although Eoin Hanrahan had started the season brightly until GAA commitments halted his game time. It promises to be an interesting tie on Carey’s Road.
On Saturday evening, Geraldines make the trip to Cork to face Premier A side Charleville in the FAI Junior Cup. The Garryowen side’s struggles have been well documented although recent displays against Janesboro will give cause for hope.
However, Derek Hannon’s side will be aware of the challenge that lays ahead on a sizeable astroturf pitch at the Cork venue. Former Regional man Shane Dillon has picked up where he left off at his hometown club and will be a huge threat to their Premier Division opponents, who already know what it’s like to lose to a lower league side following their shock exit in the Munster Junior Cup at the hands of Croom.
There are some competitive ties to be decided on Sunday morning with two all-premier division ties taking centre-stage. Nenagh AFC will host cup holders Fairview Rangers at Brickfields.
Nenagh ran their visitors close at the Fairgreen in the league encounter with Jason Purcell’s side running out narrow 2-1 winners. With the quality of Shane Duggan, Mikey O’Gorman and Martin Deady being added to an already victorious squad, the minimum aim will be a stern title defence and a win will be expected on Sunday.
Regional will host Kilmallock for the second time in a week and will be hoping for a similar result to their league outing where they were 5-0 winners. Striker Jack Arra has also been in great goal scoring form and his work rate ensures a tireless day for his markers. Kilmallock continue to struggle, and a cup match will provide a much-needed distraction from league form.
Ballynanty Rovers host Premier A promotion hopefuls Carew Park at Limerick Institute of Technology. The visitors are back under the management of Albert Slattery who led the club to Premier Division glory back in 2015 and he has managed to convince the likes of Johnathan Grant and Adam Frahill to return to the club and Ballynanty will need to guard against complacency with Slattery’s charges in good form in all competitions thus far.
Mungret Regional will take on Division 1A side Granville while Corbally United B entertain Castle Rovers at Atlunkard. All games will kick off at 10.30.