Fairview Rangers and Ballynanty Rovers to contest Tuohy Cup Final


THE first piece of local silverware is up for grabs on Wednesday night with Limerick District League giants Fairview Rangers and Ballynanty Rovers contesting the final of the Tuohy Cup at Jackman Park (7pm).

There are currently seven points between the sides in the league table with Fairview leading the pack and Ballynanty sitting in third place. However, Jason Purcell’s side have played one game more.

League form will be put to one side when both sides take to the pitch on Wednesday in the all-premier cup competition. In the most recent meeting between the teams, Fairview narrowly beat Balla 1-0 in the Munster Junior Cup thanks to an AJ Moloney goal. In the league meeting, Ballynanty suffered a 4-1 loss although they were depleted on the evening.

Fairview managed to overcome the challenge of Pike Rovers in the semi-final last week with a 1-2 win over their arch rivals after extra-time. Pike took the lead through a Steven McGann goal but AJ O’Connor equalised before Eoin Duff grabbed the winner in extra-time as a penalty shoot-out looked likely.

Ballynanty had a more straight forward passage to the decider with a convincing 4-0 win over Aisling Annacotty. Eddie Byrnes x2, Adrian Power and Daragh Hughes got the goals for Dave Dunphy’s side. The northsiders have enjoyed a very good run of form since returning from the Christmas break with the only blip being a recent 1-0 defeat to Aisling Annacotty. The 0-1 victory over Pike is still the only league defeat that Robbie Williams side have suffered.

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Adam Costelloe has been a vital player for Ballynanty Rovers this season

The basis of Ballynanty’s good run of form has been built on a solid defence marshalled by Daragh Hughes, Adam Costelloe and Dermot Fitzgerald. There will be extra spice added to the game with the likes of Fitzgerald, Hughes and Eddie Byrnes lining out for Fairview in recent seasons. Ballynanty will be hoping that striker Connor Ellis can cause problems for the Fairgreen outfit. Jake Dillon is a key player for Dunphy’s side and has also lined out in midfield on occasion this season despite starting the season at centre-back.

Fairview will also be desperate for some local silverware as they recently relinquished their FAI Junior Cup crown after defeat to Salthill. They responded brilliantly with the narrow win over Pike Rovers and will be slight favourites heading into the encounter.

Stephen Bradley will be a key man for Fairview once again on Wednesday. Photo by Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile

AJ O’Connor and Stephen Bradley return off the back off their trial game for the Irish Regions Cup in Dublin and both players are most effective in important games. Ballynanty will have their hands full in trying to contain the midfield of Shane Duggan, Jeffrey Judge and Bradley, with O’Connor expected to line out at centre-back.

Since Ross Mann’s departure, there has been significant pressure on Conor Coughlan and AJ Moloney for goals and it will be an intriguing battle. Neither side have any major injury concerns heading into the game.

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