'House can withstand Phoenix fire
Either Firhouse Clover or Phoenix will see their FAI Intermediate Cup hopes disintegrate on the first weekend of football in 2012 as they clash in their third replay tomorrow in Tallaght IT.
Having drawn the first game before Christmas this is now a winner-takes-all battle.
This top-flight duo will have no safety net of a replay and will have to fight it out until there is a winner, be it in the 90 minutes, after extra time or by the dreaded penalty shoot-out.
For Phoenix, this will be the first trip away from home in this season's competition, having won two and drawn one of their previous three games in their own backyard.
A 2-0 win over Newtown Rangers in the first round was followed by a single-goal victory over Division 1B battlers, St Joseph's Boys. The Senior Division side were handed a third straight home tie against Clover and, having already defeated the Tallaght side in the league, started the game as favourites.
Firhouse, though, have shown an incredible stubborn streak in this competition so far and managed to etch out a 1-1 draw to bring the game back to Dublin 24.
The stubborn streak and a refusal to give up was evident from the first round as Peter Flood's side came from behind to dump Bluebell United out.
The Tallaght boys needed to be at their best to edge out St Mochta's by the odd goal in three in the second round to set up this tie with Phoenix.
FAI Intermediate Cup 3rd round replay
FIRHOUSE CLOVER v PHOENIX
What a way to blow off the festive cobwebs with a new year tussle that could define the rest of the season. At stake is a home game against Lucan United in the last 16 and a place in the FAI Senior Cup. Firhouse will feel that the momentum has drifted towards them, but the Nix are far from a beaten docket and could be more dangerous with the home pressure off. It will be an intriguing battle that could go down to the wire.
Verdict: Home win.
CRUMLIN UNITED v ARKLOW TOWN
United ended the year with three straight league wins to apply the pressure to leaders Bluebell United and that run should continue tomorrow. Arklow are down the wrong end of the table and it's difficult to see the Wicklow men getting any joy tomorrow.
Verdict: Home win.
MOUNT MERRION v GLEBE NORTH
A huge game for both sides. If Glebe want to figure in the title shake-up then this is the type of game they need to be winning, while Merrion's very survival is on the line over the coming games.
The home side sit bottom of the table and need the points in order to reel in the teams above them, but Glebe are sitting nicely in third, pushing the title contenders and will come away with the win.
Verdict: Away win.