Limerick District League Preview

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THERE are fixtures in three junior competitions this weekend as we near the halfway point of the season and the busy period before the Christmas break. The Tuohy Cup, Munster Junior Cup and Premier Division are the centre pieces on a busy weekend.

In tonight’s Tuohy Cup quarter-final clash, Mungret Regional take on Aisling Annacotty at Jackman Park (7pm). Mungret have endured a wretched league run of late which sees them looking over their shoulders following an impressive start.

Richie Burke will be happy to have an opportunity to reach a semi-final in a bid to overturn recent form. Aisling Annacotty will be favourites for the tie and have far greater experience than their opponents. The sides have already met in the league this season with Aisling running out 3-0 winners.

On Sunday morning, there are four Premier Division fixtures down for decision with all games kicking off at 11am. Mungret will face a quick turn around as they have the daunting task of facing Fairview Rangers at home.

Outside of a 3-2 defeat to Regional, Jason Purcell’s side have had a flawless season including a Presidents Cup victory in Tallaght recently. However, with the pace being set by rivals Pike Rovers and a three-point deficit currently at play, Fairview will be keen to ensure they don’t slip up.

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Pike Rovers host Nenagh in Crosagalla as they hope to extend their 100% league record and recent impressive form. Two back-to-back 6-0 wins in the cup and last week in the league means confidence is incredibly high in the camp and competition is increasing every week. Conor Layng is in great form leading the line for Robbie Williams side.

Seamus Maloney, Eddie Byrnes and Ger Barry pictured in the league meeting between Ballynanty and Pike earlier this season

The home side will be expected to gain victory here although Nenagh have made it difficult for other titlt challengers including Fairview this season. The Tipperary outfit are currently in pole position to get 6th place and play in the top section of the league for the second half of the season despite being tipped for relegation before a ball was kicked.

Janesboro will be buoyed by their 6-1 hammering of Kilmallock last weekend when they entertain Ballynanty Rovers at Pearse Stadium. The win moved Daithi O’Donoghue’s side 7 points clear of the relegation zone. Dermot Hughes is leading the line well and has ben heavily relied upon for goals since the early season departures of Tyrique Leamy and Davy Hannon.

Ballynanty Rovers will be aware that they must win to keep their slim title hopes alive. One big positive for Dave Dunphy’s side is that they have to play all title contenders twice again so staying in touch is a must. They have been boosted in recent weeks by the return of Dermot Fitzgerald and Connor Ellis.

Connor Ellis return to action is huge boost for Ballynanty Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Laszlo Geczo

Coonagh United host Kilmallock in a bid to keep their slim hopes of reaching the top 6 alive. It would be some achievement for the club and this game provides a big chance for them with Kilmallock taking heavy beatings in recent outings and currently in the relegation zone. With Nenagh playing Fairview, Coonagh have the opportunity to claw the deficit back to 2 points heading into the final two games before the league split.

In the Munster Junior Cup, Pike Rovers B take on Premier Division Prospect in an attempt to cause a huge upset. Pike are currently flying high in Division 3A and are 7 points clear at the top. With the experience of former Geraldines man Kevin Barry, former Pike A player Jason Mullins and former Corbally A player Darren Hanley among the ranks, it will be a difficult outing for the visitors who will be hoping to bounce back from a heavy 0-6 league defeat by Pike A. The game kicks off at 2pm.

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