Limerick FC -v- Finn HarpsFri, Jun 29 2012
The ultimate aim for Pat Scully’s Limerick is to bring the club back to the Premier Division after an absence that exceeds fifteen years. Last Monday, Limerick proved that they were well capable of competing with a Premier Division side, comprehensively brushing Bray Wanderers aside in the quarter-finals of the EA Sports Cup. Limerick will now turn their focus back to the First Division campaign, and will look to tackle Finn Harps at Jackman Park on Friday night.
The Blues’ last league game came in the shape of a four-nil win over Wexford Youths. The partnership of Denis Behan and Rory Gaffney is producing some top class attacking play and chances are being created left, right and centre. The well oiled machine that Limerick were expected to be is finally slipping into gear.
The return of Dominic Foley and Derek O’Brien has given Pat Scully a few more options this week, and the form of David O’Leary is not to be ignored. On paper, Limerick should win this one, but Scully’s men prefer their travels this year to their home turf, so anything is possible at Jackman Park.
Limerick have what is almost a full squad to choose from; Cian Collins is expected to be the only absentee for the Shannonsiders.
It’s been quite a mixed bag for Finn Harps this season. While Harps can certainly turn it on against tougher opposition, the return for their efforts has been poor. Eleven points off a play-off spot, it would seem a very uphill task for the boys from Ballybofey.
The long trek to the north-west has so often been considered one of the hardest in the country to take, but in a severe twist this year; Harps’ home form has been nothing short of diabolical. Only two wins from seven, with the other five encounters producing defeats sums up just how much of a letdown the Donegal men have been this season.
The return of Kevin McHugh and Blaine Curtis will provide Harps with a massive boost for the trip to Limerick though, and as we sit exactly half way through the season, a turnaround needs to begin sooner rather than later.
Referee: Sean Grant.
Limerick have beaten Finn Harps on both occasions so far this season, but at one stage or another, in both ties, it looked as though Harps could well have snatched a point.
Limerick fans used to dread the arrival of Finn Harps on Shannonside. Over the past six years, Harps have had a fantastic record at Jackman Park; usually thanks to the heroics of Conor Gethins.
Despite having played only fourteen league games, the goal differential between the sides is already twenty one.
Limerick 2/9; Draw 17/4; Finn Harps 10/1.
Limerick 3-1 Finn Harps
Limerick FC injury news: Cian Collins.
Limerick FC suspension news: Joe Gamble.
Finn Harps injury news: Stephen O’Donnell (knee), Hugh Carlin (knee).
Finn Harps suspension news: None.
Andrew joined Extratime for the 2010 season and covers all the on-goings down in Limerick. Having first experienced the League of Ireland in 2002, Andrew became hooked, even at such an early age. He is currently studying English and New Media at the University of Limerick. You can contact him via Twitter @Cunneen92.