Crumlin on mission to silence 'Bell
There may only be two games in the Senior Division this weekend, but what is lacking in quantity is made up for by the quality on offer as the top four collide.
Tonight in Ringsend Park league leaders Cherry Orchard take on fourth place St Pat's CY, while tomorrow Crumlin United, currently in third place, take on second-placed Bluebell United.
Crumlin and the 'Bell will make sure that there is no sleepy Sunday. This pair have a tendency to rub each other up the wrong way and their rivalry has intensified over the last few seasons.
The hosts have looked ominous recently as they moved into the top three thanks to three wins and a draw. Martin Loughran's side have only scored three goals in the last four games, but it is their defensive shield that has remained intact and pushed them up the table.
Crumlin haven't leaked a goal since the end of last month and their four clean sheets, coupled with three 1-0 wins, has revealed a more steely edge to the Blues' usual flamboyant persona.
Bluebell have been in and around the top two since the second week of the season, with Andy Noonan's side putting together four straight wins after an opening day draw with Glebe.
However, since then the 'Bell have shipped five goals and dropped five points to slip back into second place behind Cherry Orchard. It was the Orchard that handed United their first defeat of the season a couple of weeks ago and, last Sunday, the Red Cow club had to produce a stirring second-half fight back to nick a point against St Pat's CY.
Tomorrow, though, is a different animal. This might be a league game, but it will have the feel of a cup tie. Current form will mean nothing when the whistle to start the game is sounded and 90 minutes of high-octane football is guaranteed.
ST PAT'S CY v CHERRY ORCHARD (Tonight)
The Orchard remained in top spot despite a shock defeat against Firhouse Clover last Sunday, thanks to results below them going their way. Two defeats in their last three games has brought an end to their blistering start and tonight they take on a Saints side that will be looking to dent the Orchard's confidence even further. The Saints will be smarting after shipping three goals in the final minutes of their game against Bluebell last weekend. That trio of strikes from the 'Bell wiped out a three-goal advantage and the Ringsend side had to settle for a point when it looked as if all three were in the bag. John Young will look for a positive reaction from his squad and the sight of those famous Orchard jerseys should be motivation enough. This will be a tight affair, with little to choose between the sides and a split in the points is most likely. Verdict: Draw.
CRUMLIN UNITED v BLUEBELL UNITED
These pair of rivals will put on a full-blooded contest, there is no doubt about that, but the quality of the football can sometimes be buried beneath the intensity. Crumlin will want to lay a marker in this one and that desire could see them edge out a 'Bell side that have been stumbling of late. Verdict: Home Win.