Quickfire games may force Ashton to shuffle pack

EA Sports Cup
Quickfire games may force Ashton to shuffle pack

St Francis College, Rochestown celebrate after defeating Douglas Community school (7-6 on penalties after the match finished 2-2) to win the FAI Schools’ Tom Ticher Junior Munster Cup U17 final at Ballea Park, Carrigaline. Picture: Eddie O’Hare
St Francis College, Rochestown celebrate after defeating Douglas Community school (7-6 on penalties after the match finished 2-2) to win the FAI Schools’ Tom Ticher Junior Munster Cup U17 final at Ballea Park, Carrigaline. Picture: Eddie O’Hare

Cobh Ramblers manager Stuart Ashton expects to shuffle his pack as they begin their EA Sports Cup campaign tonight.

Ramblers have a Cork derby away to UCC at the Mardyke (7.30pm) and, with just three days to prepare following Saturday night’s 3-2 SSE Airtricity League First Division win over Athlone Town, Ashton will assess how his squad are.

“The turnaround is short,” he says, “so the lads were off on Sunday for recovery and then we were in Monday again, with the UCC game Tuesday.

“No rest as they say, but players probably prefer to play games rather than train. So it is a short one and a quick turnaround.

“There could be changes, we’ll see who’s who and what’s what.The conditions were poor against Athlone, the pitch heavy and everything, so we will see. Hopefully, there are no knocks.” Ian Turner’s late goal on Saturday gave Ramblers their first victory after defeats in their opening two games, with Bryan Murphy and David Hurley on target too for the side beaten in the final of the EA Sports Cup in 2018.

UCC, last season’s Munster Senior League Premier Division champions, lie in fourth place in the current campaign, ten points off leaders Rockmount. They will look to the likes of captain Ronan Hennessy and Rian Hennessy, both of whom have played for Ireland at underage level, with O’Sullivan previously with Brighton & Hove Albion. Former Cork City academy players Jack O’Sullivan and Conor Bowdren are others who can impress for the Students.

There are three other ties tonight, all kicking off at 7.45pm. Longford Town, who have won both of their first division games so far, take on Donegal side Cockhill Celtic of the Ulster Senior League at Bishopsgate.

Elsewhere, two first-division sides will be eliminated as Galway United and Athlone clash at Eamonn Deacy Park, neither having registered a win yet in the league, while Wexford entertain Bray Wanderers at Ferrycarrig Park.

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