Mervue face tricky assignment in cup joust
Mervue United make the long trek to the RSC tomorrow evening knowing a win over Waterford United will steer them into the quarter-finals of the FAI Cup.
That is a significant incentive for Mervue, who endured a third loss in as many Airtricity League matches as Longford Town were too clinical at Flancare Park last Saturday.
Shaky at the start, Mervue were caught twice in the opening quarter as Gary Shaw and Daniel Purdy bagged for Tony Cousins' side.
Mervue, who were outfoxed by Waterford at Fahy's Field three weeks ago, are hopeful of causing a surprise in the south east, but Conor Gleeson, Michael McSweeney, Stephen Walsh, Noel Varley, Gary Kelly, Jason Molloy, and Pat Hoban will need to be at their most effective.
Mervue should not be discounted, especially if they frustrate the locals initially by being safe and solid.
Waterford, very much involved in the promotion race, have a crucial contest with Limerick FC on August 31 so Mervue will be anxious to examine the Blues.
There are plenty of experienced footballers in the Waterford ranks, including Packie Holden, David Breen, and Gary Dempsey, while teenager Sean Maguire continues to attract cross-channel interest.
Ailing for so much of the campaign, SD Galway have suddenly found form, winning two matches on the bounce to edge within a point of cross-town rivals Mervue.
With no first division fixtures scheduled for this weekend due to FAI Cup action, SD Galway will be disappointed they cannot build immediately on their smashing success over Athlone Town.
SD Galway took maximum advantage of Athlone red cards as Sean Skelly and Niall Scullion's dismissals disturbed the midlanders. SD Galway responded with three second-half goals from Eugene Greaney, Brian Gaffney, and Mixie Harty, sealing a confidence-boosting triumph.
Athlone were the first team outside of Mervue that SD Galway have defeated this term so it was a hugely encouraging result for Tony Mannion's side, which has shown signs of improvement recently. James Keane, Cian Fadden, Greaney, Ronan Conlon, Brian Geraghty, and Gaffney have occupied leading roles in SD Galway's mini revival.