Local derby could be the last as talks continue on way forward

Tomorrow's Airtricity League first division clash at Drom involving Salthill Devon and Mervue United could be the last Galway derby in senior football.

With the FAI repeatedly stating there will only be one Corribside team next season, tomorrow's fixture will be somewhat historic. Off the pitch talks continue between the relevant stakeholders about the proposed new side with the Galway FA, GUST, Mervue United, and Salthill all still involved.

On Monday GUST hosted an open meeting at the Galway Rovers clubhouse which drew slightly more than 100 people. Those included GUST members and other people interested in the development of the game in the west. While there was speculation that GUST might pull out of the talks about the united Galway outfit - that has not happened yet.

The table currently has a bleak look to it from a Salthill perspective as they trail second from bottom Cobh Ramblers. That means the upcoming fixture with Mervue carries real importance as Jumbo Brennan's charges are seeking to narrow the gap quickly.

During the campaign, especially in the middle part, Salthill had shown signs of improvement, but the departure of several key players has hindered them recently. The statistics are grim - with only four wins posted in 22 league matches. Salthill have been beaten in their past three games which terminated the momentum they had been generating.

Before last weekend's break for FAI Cup action Salthill had suffered a heavy loss at the City Calling Stadium as Longford Town cruised to a comfortable four-goal success. Salthill had been diligent initially but, once David O'Sullivan bagged midway through the first half, the midlanders were in utter control.

Brennan will be hoping Brian Geraghty, Robbie Gaul, Alex Byrne, Craig Harding, and Oscar Sibanda can make an impact in the last two months of the season with the Mervue encounter providing an ideal opportunity for Salthill to demonstrate their ability.

Now 12 points behind efficient leaders Athlone Town, Mervue's chances of a shock promotion are dwindling fast. Having only taken one point from a possible nine, Mervue's August 16 reversal against Roddy Collins' Athlone was a noteworthy result.

Mervue deserve credit, though, for responding to mini-slumps previously and they will cross the town keen to ensure Waterford United, Longford, and Athlone are kept under a bit of pressure as the business end of the football calendar looms.

Mervue certainly left that Fahy's Field match with Athlone with grievances and reflecting on what might have been. Athlone prevailed on a 4-2 scoreline, but that did not tell the whole tale as Mervue missed two penalties.

Being more clinical is one of the things Johnny Glynn will be demanding from his young squad of players, who need to start producing better results on the road. Mervue have won twice in 11 attempts away from home, and they will be looking to Martin Conneely, Marc Ludden, Tom King, Jason Molloy, Stephen Walsh, and Ryan Manning to guide them to a third away triumph of the year.


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