Top of the table clash against Limerick

Jackman Park should house a massive crowd on Friday night next when the leaders Limerick entertain the Town in what should be a cracking match.

Jackman Park should house a massive crowd on Friday night next when the leaders Limerick entertain the Town in what should be a cracking match.

With Limerick top, the Town 3 points behind and Waterford a further 3 points behind this is turning out to be one of the best finishes in the First Division for many seasons.

Before the 2012 league campaign started Limerick were odds on favourites to make it back to the Premier Division as manager Pat Scully had assembled a squad that he thought would basically run away with the title. Limerick were unlucky not to get promotion last season but he added to his expensive squad during the off season when he signed defender Shane Guthrie from St. Pat’s Athletic,Stephen Bradley a very good midfielder also from St Pat’s and striker Dominic Foley who returned to his home town club from Cerche Brugge KSV. Foley is a very good striker who has played at the highest level and they recently signed a central defender Kluciar a few weeks ago.

It’s honours even between the clubs this season as the Town won the opening game 2-1 at Jackman Park while the return game at Flancare Park ended 2-0 in favour of Limerick.

Last season Limerick won all three meetings between the clubs, winning the first meeting 1-0 at Jackman Park while the second meeting at Flancare Park ended 2-1 in favour of Pat Scully’s side. The final game ended 1-0 in favour of Limerick with the only goal coming from Denis Behan.

Apart from their new signings Limerick also have some other excellent players in their squad. Joe Gamble and Denis Behan both returned to Ireland last season to join the boys in blue. They also have keeper Barry Ryan, defenders Pat Purcell and Kelly,midfielders Judge and Sheehan while Rory Gaffney is a special striker who has scored some very important goals this season,none more important than the 86th minute winner against Athlone Town last weekend. The previous weekend they scored in the 83rd minute to beat SD Galway 1-0 at Jackman Park.

There is no doubt that this is a very talented Limerick side that are capable of winning any game but they are beatable as Waterford United have proven on three occasions this season and we also beat them on our last visit to Jackman Park.

The Town got back to their winning ways on Friday night last when they scored a very good victory over a very game SD Galway.

The Town went into the game minus the services of Alan Kirby,Mark Salmon and Colm James through suspension and that meant some changes in midfield.

New signing Robert Bayly made his debut after signing during the week. The former Shamrock Rovers, Bohemians and recently Monaghan United player slotted into midfield alongside Keith Gillespie, Karl Bermingham and Thomas Crawley. Bayly showed that he has a lot to offer to this team, and his vast experience should kick start the Town’s promotion push.

The Town also signed Darragh Reynor who previously played with Monaghan United. Darragh played part of the games against Millwall and Manchester United in the recent friendlies. A left-sided player who can play in defence or midfield, he scored the Town’s solitary goal against Millwall.

Longford have nearly a clean bill of health injury wise with only Jeff Flood the long time absentee while Austin Skelly could also be out for a long period.

Friday’s game against Limerick should be a very entertaining encounter as both clubs can play good attractive football. After that the Town are at home for the following two weeks against Finn Harps and Mervue United.