✍️ Finbarr Buckley
WITH both divisions nearing their conclusion, a number of teams are in the mix as the race hots up in the quest for title success.
In the Sports Gear Direct Premier Division reigning champions Doolan’s Cow are in pole position to win the top prize for the fourth time. The current shield holders have full points from their opening eleven matches and sit in 1st place in the table on goal difference, level on points with Satellite Taxis with four matches in hand. 16 points are required from a possible 27 to secure the championship with Satellite Taxis and UCC United, who they have beaten once already, the only realistic danger blocking their way. Doolan’s’ Striker Jamie Murphy leads the scoring charts in the top flight with his team enjoying a healthy goals tally of 48.
Following Harp Celtic’s recent withdrawal, SCS Crookstown, whose recent run to the last four of the Mooney Cup, can inspire a run of positive league form to bridge the four point gap to Jason O’Neill Electrical who have two matches played more than Crookstown. District 11’s recent 5-4 win over Martin Harvey Solicitors and a draw with JONE last weekend has eased their relegation fears considerably but two wins from six might still be required to avoid being brought into the drop zone.
The Sports Gear Direct First Division championship race is a much tighter affair with four teams battling it out to succeed for the first time. Brew Boys lead long time leaders Lion’s Den on goal difference with a match played more with both in a strong position to win out at the finish. Their second meeting, the first ended in a row, could tip the scales either way providing both pick up maximum points from their remaining fixtures. Jay Bazz, back in sixth but with plenty of matches in hand due to extended cup exploits earlier in the campaign, are next best poised to mount a challenge but with four of the top five to play each other, including the top two, have the destination of the title in their own hands. DAZ Barbers in third spot, three points off the pace will have to beat Brew Boys while hoping results elsewhere might go their way. Longboats and Co. Council will rue their early season form which has kept them off the pace ever since.
At the bottom VIP Barbers and TELUS International have the Weigh Inn Dripsey, who picked up a much needed win last weekend, in their sights for a top ten finish which would be a welcome consolation for what has been a disappointing campaign. Interestingly, Cork Hospitals, Suro Cars and debutants Trend Micro are contesting a three way tussle in mid-table with just a point between each going into mid March.