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Thursday 19 October 2017

Arklow will prove they mean business

It is acid test time for Senior Division new boys, Arklow Town, as the Garden County side travel to Crumlin United to have their top-flight title credentials tested by Martin Loughran's champions.

Matt Britton's side has impressed on their return to the top flight and can go top tomorrow if results go their way and they can nick a win over the champions on their own patch it will send out a signal of Town's title intent.

The Town have a little bit of history with Crumlin as they were the last team to beat Loughran's side in the FAI Intermediate Cup.

Arklow completed that feat two years ago, but the Wicklow men were disqualified after fielding a suspended player. It was the turning point in Crumlin's season as the Super Blues went on to win the trophy and have yet to give it up.

Town got over that disappointment and returned to the top flight after romping to the Senior Division 1 title last season. They have hit the ground running since promotion and have surprised many as they climbed the table with some solid performances.

Britton's boys have managed to clock up six wins out of nine games and currently sit one point off the summit, keeping five clean sheets on the way.

While they have performed brilliantly so far, they hit a bit of speed bump a couple of weeks ago when they were hit for four by Wayside Celtic.

Arklow showed their resilience, though, by recovering instantly and battered Dublin Bus by seven goals to one last weekend, a result that will patch up any bruised confidence after the Wayside defeat.

A win tomorrow against the reigning champions, though, will send out the message that the Arklow lads are in this title hunt for the real as they look to become the first team from outside of Dublin to claim the Senior Division crown since Newbridge Town back in 1999.

SENIOR DIVISION

BANGOR CELTIC v BLUEBELL UNITED

This is a huge clash. The 'Bell will be looking to win and go back to the top of the table while Celtic will be happy to put the three points on the board and get their title challenge moving again. The 'Bell have proved their worth this season and are more than capable of going to Bangor and grinding out a win.

Verdict: Away Win

CRUMLIN UNITED v ARKLOW TOWN

Arklow will fancy their chances against an out-of-sorts Crumlin. The champions only drew against struggling Mount Merrion on Thursday night and the Wicklow men are in good enough form to claim a draw.

Verdict: Draw

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