Laois teams look to advance in CCFL’s top cup

Portarlington keeper Mick Webster stretches to keep to touch the ball over the bar.
Photo Denis Byrne.

Portarlington keeper Mick Webster stretches to keep to touch the ball over the bar. Photo Denis Byrne.

The main focus of attention for Laois teams this weekend in the CCFL will be the John Farrell Combined Counties Cup.

Three teams are in action in the fourth round of the competition but all face tough assignments as they look to advance to the quarter-finals.

Rosenallis face the toughest task as they travel to play Senior Division high fliers Clara Town. Rosenallis qualified for the last 16 with a 5-2 win over Noreside Celtic while Clara overcam Portarlington Town. Fourteen league positions separate the teams and while Clara, cup winners in 2007 and 2008, are well in the hunt for the top flight title, Rosenallis are battling against relegation in the Premier Division. Rosenallis have to travel to Clara for the game and it will take their very best performance if they are to have any chance of making the last eight.

Dynamo Town face an equally difficult assignment as they travel to Tullamore to take on Premier Division leaders CK Utd. Previous winners of the cup in 2004, CK are all but assured of winning the Premier Division and they will be looking to add more silverware in the cup. Dynamo Town had an excellent 5-1 win over Senior Division side Gallen in the last round and they are right in contention for honours in Division 2. They will go into this game as underdogs but as they showed against Gallen, Dynamo are more than capable of taking out a big team on their day.

Gracefield Atheltic’s reward for a fine win over Abbeyleix Atheltic in the last round is a last 16 clash with Senior Division side Monksland Utd. Despite being mid-table in Division 1, Gracefield are not out of the hunt for a promotion spot and they have a quality team who are more than capable of causing an upset. They face a Monksland team who have risen quickly through the divisions and who are one of a trio of strong Athlone teams in the top flight. Gracefield however have home advantage in this game and that will given them an added edge in this tie. Twenty-two league positions separate the sides but if Gracefield play to their full potential, they could easily cause the biggest cup shock of the weekend.

In league action, Clonaslee have a crucuial game this weekend when they travel to Athlone to face Clonbonny. Currently in a tie with Temple Villa at the top of the table, there are two teams within three points of the Laois side and a slip this Sunday would prove very costly. Clonbonny are not out of the hunt themselves so this will be a difficult assignment for Clonaslee.

In Division 3A the battle for the top spot between Ballybrittas and Portlaoise goes on with both teams facing difficult away games to the sides currently 3rd and 4th in the table respectively. Portlaoise travel to play Kilcormac Utd while leaders Ballybrittas face third placed Clonminch.

In Division 4A, Rosenallis B, Towerhill Rovers, Stradbally Town B and Portarlington Town will all be looking to make up ground with leaders Abbeyleix Athletic B not in action this weekend.




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