Pressure on Kanturk to match leaders

Going into the final two games of the Munster Junior League many issues could be finalised this weekend.

Richmond could secure the league title while Kilfeacle will be desperate to get a win over fellow relegation candidates Clanwilliam in what should be an extra heated derby.

If Kanturk, Richmond’s nearest rivals, cannot match the leaders’ points total, then no one could catch them. The Limerick side will be looking to secure the title at home against Old Christians, who have been excellent in the latter half of the league.

Richmond are strong all over, with Jonathon Forde’s kicking providing a solid foundation. Gareth O’Hanlon and Stephen Clancy have been their principle threats while in the pack Gearoid Phelan and Barry Humphries ensure quality ball.

They cannot take anything for granted against a confident Christians, however as. players of the quality of Conor Quaid and Alan O’Connell are capable of causing problems for any junior side on their day.

Kanturk will have to take care of their own business against Galbally. Last season this was a Division Two game but both sides have adapted superbly to the top flight, with Galbally also in contention. The Cork side will find it tough taking on their opponents away and this could play into Richmond’s hands.

Skibbereen are not out of the race themselves, however, although they need everything to go their way. They should prove far too strong for Clonmel in West Cork.

At the wrong end of the table, the big clash is the Tipperary derby as Kilfeacle travel to Clanwilliam. The Tipperary town are six points above their visitors and a draw could ensure safety. Kilfeacle must win to haul in their arch rivals and it should be a spicy affair between two sides.

Thurles are already relegated and are unlikely to get anything out of their clash at Crosshaven.

Waterpark will be aiming to reverse their slump as they host Cobh Pirates, while St Senan’s will battle it out against an in-form Tralee.

With more games left to be played in Division Two, things may not be quite as clear cut after this weekend as in the top flight, but it could give a strong indication of how things will pan out.

Current leaders Mallow will be expecting to take another step towards promotion as they host Newport. Under Robbie Doyle the North Cork side have proven to be formidable — but with Newport battling for survival they will have to play close to their potential.

Second placed St Mary’s face a tough trip to Presentation who, with two games in hand, cannot be discounted. Pres will hope to impose themselves from early on and if their defence can nullify some of Mary’s danger players they could eke out a win.

Kinsale and Newcastle West both face tricky ties on the road in their bid to keep the pressure on. The Cork side travel to Scariff while the Limerick men go over to Youghal.

At the other end, bottom-of-the-table Ballincollig have shown little sign of turning around their fortunes and Castleisland are likely to take the spoils.

Bandon take on a Killarney team who look to be out of the promotion hunt, while Muskerry take on Ennis in the big relegation matches.

The top two face off in Division Three as Killorglin host Dungarvan. The Waterford side have had a dip in form after playing a few tough derbies. Killorglin have recovered from their blip and will expect a large home support to get behind them in this crucial game.

Carrick-on-Suir can overtake the losers of that tussle and would be expected to win at home to Fermoy. Abbeyfeale are level on points with Carrick but with some extra games played they cannot afford to slip up in Dunmanway.

Charleville and Waterford City meet in Waterford with only the winners retaining hopes of breaking into the promotion picture. The other game is a mid-table clash as Douglas hope to close in on their visitors Corca Dhuibhne.

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