Having secured a playoff spot already, Tony Cousins has very little play for in the remainder of his First Division games. Coming off the back of a defeat to SD Galway, it’s probably just as well.
While Longford led the way for the majority of the season, a combination of injuries, suspension and more consistent competitors caught up with them in the crucial stages. While the prize money for second place is a healthier sum than that of third spot, Cousins could well look at the bigger picture and rest a few players in preparation for the playoff with Waterford United.
Having collected just seven points from a possible eighteen, it’s unlikely that Longford could be expecting much from their clash with Limerick, although one must consider complacency on the Limerick side of things, granted they’re already champions ahead of this clash.
Willo McDonagh and Austin Skelly will miss the tie through suspension. On top of this, Tony Cousins will have to make do without a number of key first-team players. Des Hope, Jeff Flood, Noel Haverty, Gary Shaw and Daniel Purdy make up the list of suspected absentees for Tony Cousins who has no choice but to field somewhat of a weakened side.
The First Division champions would have been expected to have been crowned in the midland venue, but Mervue’s win at the RSC on Friday night secured the title for Pat Scully’s Limerick. Despite the job being done, given the expected travelling support, Pat Scully will expect no less than a win from his players.
Eighteen years of absence is a long time for any side to be out of the top tier, let alone for a city the size of Limerick. Being the longest serving First Division side is a record Limerick certainly were not proud to hold, but on a season that marked twenty years since their last promotion, Pat Scully has followed in the footsteps of Sam Allardyce and returned Limerick to the promised land.
Limerick will be without the services of Dave Ryan, Garry Sheahan, Rory Gaffney and James McGrath for the encounter with Longford, although, given the occasion, Limerick can afford to take their time with possession and just enjoy the day that’s in it. Pat Scully has no suspensions to deal with.
Referee: Sean Grant.
Longford and Limerick have played three times this season already; a win apiece and a draw.
Neither side have won their home game within those three fixtures.
Longford have been remarkably better away from home this season; losing five times at Flancare Park.
Longford 12/5; Draw 9/4; Limerick EVS.
Limerick to win 1-0.
Longford Town Injury News: Des Hope, Noel Havert, Jeff Flood, Daniel Purdy, Gary Shaw.
Longford Town Suspensions News: Willo McDonagh, Austin Skelly.
Limerick FC Injury News: David Ryan, Garry Sheahan, Rory Gaffney, James McGrath.
Limerick FC Suspension News: None.