Friday, October 23, 2009

Quartet aim to keep unbeaten records intact

Four unbeaten records remain but the true strength of Three Rock and YMCA’s credentials as challengers will be tested to the hilt tomorrow as they host last season’s standard-bearers, Glenanne and Pembroke.

If last season’s Irish senior cup fixture is anything to go by, Rovers battle with the Glens looks set to be an absolute belter.

For the Grange Road hosts – switched due to repairs taking place at Glenanne Park – there has been plenty of personnel changes in the interim with five out and three in. The speed with which Tom Samuel has emerged as a first team prospect has also helped ease the transition though he is unlikely to take part, along with Kyle Good, due to their exploits with Wesley in the All-Ireland Schoolboys. Mick Maguire also picked up a knock against Monkstown last week but should recover in time.

For the Glens’ part, Joe Brennan’s thumb injury was the sole remnant of discomfort transferred from their EHL trip as they bounced back well against a game Corinthian at Whitechurch Park last weekend.

Stephen Butler may well be deployed at sweeper again with Graham Shaw in midfield but Filip Jaros, however, continues to be frustrated by injury as his complex recovery hit another snag.
There is a sense this fixture will give a major indicator of how serious a threat Maarten Bos’ side are this season.

YMCA are in a similar spot. They have done all that has been asked of them to date with two wins over UCD and a draw against Monkstown. Pembroke’s blitzing of all before them suggests even a point is unlikely but performance will be central to Trevor Dagg’s plans.

They will be less affected than recent years by the All-Ireland school’s fatigue though Luke Chadwick is one star who may feel the burn.

Marshalling Pembroke’s attacking multitude of attacking threats will be paramount. No other side has managed to stem the tide as yet, though YM would like to place themselves this season as a cut above Railway, Clontarf and UCD.

John McInroy’s student team, however, will be aiming to reduce the gaps between the teams. Tuesday’s Pembroke loss aside, UCD have been more competitive this term but still find themselves pointless with five games gone.

The South African will not want for motivation as he lines up against the side he led to the Mills Cup last season. Corinthian are another side looking to find their natural level but if Darren Kimfley can recreate the incredible skills that set up their goal last weekend on a regular basis, their prospects will improve.

Fingal’s correction of a stumbling start to the 2009/10 season faces a tricky tie against Railway Union at ALSAA. The imposing flicking of Peter English has caused many schools cause for concern this week and if he lines out, Railway have a very significant corner threat.

The northside club’s appetite for the battle can never be doubted and they produced the fight required to dig their way out of a hole last week against Clontarf. Gerry Wheeler’s men will hope such a sticky situation is avoided this time out.

Finally, Monkstown will hope their ability to score will not be counter-acted by a defensive record which has seen 13 conceded in four outings. Gareth Watkins has been in scintillating form and was at the heart of much of the Town’s invention last week.

But reaction-time at the turnover is a concern. Clontarf showed a willingness to play on the counter against Fingal that yielded the lead twice. If the Bulls can post a high conversion rate from their chances, they might make it an arduous afternoon for the Rathdown faithful.

On the women’s side, just one game survives the Bank Holiday weekend. Pembroke get their ESB Senior Cup campaign up and running when they play last season's quarter-finalists Lurgan in the first round.

Men's Division 1
Fingal vs Railway Union, 2.15pm, ALSAA (C Deane, S O'Connor); Monkstown vs Clontarf, 1.30pm, Rathdown (G Walsh, P Henchy); Three Rock Rovers vs Glenanne, 3pm, Grange Road (A Groves, K Bolger); UCD vs Corinthian, 1pm, Belfield (M Keane, B George); YMCA vs Pembroke Wanderers, 2.15pm, Alexandra College (N Mackay, K Cholewa)

ESB Senior Cup - round one:
Pembroke vs Lurgan, 2.30pm, Serpentine Avenue (N Brislane, S-A Fanagan)


Anonymous said...

Why are YM playing their home games in ALex?

Anonymous said...

they want to use a waterbase

Anonymous said...

TRR 1 - 3 Glenanne

Butler and an O'Malley brace

Anonymous said...

excellent article

Anonymous said...

Fingal v Railway draw
Pembroke Wanderers

Anonymous said...

Is there an Eddie O'Malley fan club I can join?

Anonymous said...

u'll find it at

Anonymous said...

I doubt it...

Anonymous said...

i heard there is one on and everything.

Anonymous said...

can someone tell me why this guy has a bandana - it aint the 80s dude

Anonymous said...

hes a pirate ...did ya not know....ARRRGGGHHH....