Hoping to continue their impressive run of results since their opening day defeat to Bray Wanderers, Cabinteely host recently relegated Limerick FC at Stradbrook on Saturday afternoon. (Kick-Off is at 2.30pm)
It has been a very positive start to the season for Cabo, almost defying expectations already. Wins over Shelbourne and Drogheda United have left many tearing up pre-season predictions on where Pat Devlin’s side may finish.
Cabinteely’s most recent outing came in a 2-1 win away to local rivals Bray Wanderers in the Leinster Senior Cup as Sean Fitzpatrick’s powerful headed effort from close range proved telling.
The in-form Luke Clucas scored from the penalty spot initially for Pat Devlin’s much changed side before Luka Lovic made things nervy in the last few moments of the game for the South Dubliners.
Rob Manley has impressed upon his arrival to the South Dubliners as has Alex Aspil and Zak O’Neill who are both recent graduates of the clubs famed underage structure.
Despite their positive early season showings, the results have come at a cost with Conor Keeley joining a list of injuries at the South Dublin venue.
Keeley’s injury means he joins Daniel Blackbyrne, Kieran Butler and Paul Fox on the treatment table at Stradbrook.
In terms of Saturday afternoon’s encounter at Stradbrook, Cabinteely could go as high as first place with a win over Tommy Barrett’s side should results go Cabo’s way in other games.
Looking to secure their first away league victory since September 2018, Limerick make the daunting trip to Stradbrook as they face Cabinteely in what could be a tight and tense clash in South Dublin.
Tommy Barrett’s side have struggled upon their return to the First Division with only one win out of four against Stephen Henderson’s Cobh Ramblers at the Markets Field.
Connor Ellis and a brace from Kieran Hanlon set the Superblues on their way to their first league win of the season over their Munster rivals. Cobh’s Jaze Kabia scored the Rams consolation goal during an action packed first half.
Limerick have never tasted defeat against Cabinteely and will surely be out looking to extend that good recent run of form against Pat Devlin’s side as the Shannonsiders will be looking to climb up the table with a valuable three points in the capital.
Speaking to the Limerick Post ahead of the game on Saturday afternoon, Blues boss Tommy Barrett admits that he is expecting a tough challenge against Pat Devlin’s side.
“We haven’t seen much of Cabinteely to be honest. We have only seen them in one game, and they look really a really good outfit.
“They are strong and physical, but they can play a bit as well. We’ll assess it. We always go out to win but obviously we might not be as open.”
In terms of team news for the Markets Field outfit, the experienced duo of Shane Tracy and Shaun Kelly should make their return to Limerick’s starting eleven.
However, the exciting Will Fitzgerald will play no role in the trip to Cabinteely as he is still recovering from an injury picked up on duty with the Republic of Ireland’s Home-Based U21 side.
Referee: Sean Grant.
Cabinteely have never beaten Limerick in a competitive League of Ireland setting since their introduction to the league in 2015.
Cabinteely’s last encounter against Limerick saw the Shannonsiders come out on top in a 2-1 win in the FAI Cup Second Round. Limerick eventually bowed out of the competition after a 4-0 defeat at home to eventual winners Dundalk.
Limerick’s last visit to Stradbrook saw the then Martin Russell manged side come out on top in a one-nil win. Martin’s son Sean scored the Superblues winner on that occasion.
Cabinteely 2/3; Draw 3/1; Limerick 15/4.
Cabinteely 2-1 Limerick
Injured: Kieran Butler, Daniel Blackbyrne, Conor Keeley, Paul Fox.
Injured: Will Fitzgerald.