Finn Harps -v- LimerickSat, Aug 18 2012
Although a spot in the playoff places seems just out of reach for the Ballybofey outfit, Finn Harps are on a wave of euphoria at the minute, and will want to be claiming all three points against Limerick on Saturday night.
Unbeaten in their last six, Harps are one of the form sides in the division at the minute; showing better form than both Longford and Waterford, and had they shown this form on a more consistent basis, they would have been right in the middle of a race for promotion.
Peter Hutton has somewhat of an injury crisis however. Facing the league leaders is a tough enough task in itself, but the difficulty of their challenge has greatly increased due to the expected absence of up to ten players.
Speaking about the Limerick clash, Hutton said: “We basically have a whole team of players unavailable for the weekend but, as I’ve said before, it’s an opportunity for others to come in and show us what they have. We’re looking forward to seeing against Limerick where we’re at, having lost to them three times already this season.”
“We’ve done well against them up to a certain point. Thomas McBride got sent off in two of the games against them so that certainly didn’t do us any favours. It’s extremely hard to beat them with eleven players, never mind ten, so we’ll be drilling that message into the players how important it is to remain disciplined”, continued Hutton.
After eighteen years of absence from Premier Division football, the Shannonsiders are within touching distance of claiming their place in the top tier once more. Six points clear of both Waterford and Longford, as well as a vastly superior goal difference, a win in Ballybofey would go a long way to convincing the public of the Treaty City, that their side are en route back to the big time.
Showing great character last week to come from behind against Wexford, Scully’s troops will not lie down. Producing late winners against SD Galway and Athlone Town, Limerick deserved to beat Longford a week later; having the majority of play and most of the chances.
Limerick look to be clicking into gear at the right time. Players are returning from injury, Gaffney is starting to find his goalscoring form, and the Stephen Bradley factor in midfield is working a treat.
Limerick have no new injuries to deal with; Dave Ryan is still the only player out of contention after he damaged ligaments against Manchester City. David O’Leary is possibly the only player apart from Ryan who is not 100% match fit, but should make the squad regardless.
Referee: Ray Matthews.
Limerick are the only side that Finn Harps have not taken points off this season.
Finn Harps haven’t beaten Limerick at home in their last six attempts.
There are 22 points between the sides.
Finn Harps 5/1; Draw 11/4; Limerick 1/2.
Limerick to pip it; 1-2.
Finn Harps Injury News: Mark Scoltock (back), Michael Funston (ankle), Adam Clarke (ankle), Stephen O’Donnell (cruciate), Hugh Carlin (cruciate), Blain Curtis (cruciate), Gary Merritt (groin), Thomas McMonagle (groin), Tommy Bonner (goin).
Finn Harps Suspension News: Thomas McBride.
Limerick FC Injury News: David Ryan.
Limerick FC 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.