The opening round of the cup dominates the fixtures of our men’s academy this weekend with the U19s solely on league duty. Our WU17 are on their travels for the second week running as our WU19 take their obligatory weekend off from the seven-team league.
The entire WU17 side will be buoyed by last weekend’s 5-2 dismantling of Bohemians in Dublin as they make their way to Donegal on Saturday evening. Rebecca Doddy and Anna Meade may be smiling brighter than most however, the former scored her first ever hat trick for Sligo Rovers last weekend while Anna celebrated her goal in the same game with a call up to the Irish Assessments panel last Monday 26th (Anna was one of five Sligo Rovers players called up). Rovers sit third in the table, six and seven points behind Galway and Shamrock Rovers respectively, albeit with a game in hand. Donegal had started the season well but have failed to win any of their last three games, losing two. (KO – Saturday 5.30pm)
Our unbeaten U19 men’s side host UCD this weekend looking to keep pace with Shamrock Rovers at the top of the league, both teams have identical records with Shams just shading it on goal difference. UCD should provide a stern test having only been beaten once this season (W2 D2 L1) while the students tally of 18 goals is the second highest in the league, ahead of Rovers and trailing only Shams. Eanna Clancy (4) and Josh Mulrennan (3) are our top scorers and both men were on target as we beat Longford 2-0 last weekend, continuing the trend of one or both men scoring in every game for us so far this season. (KO – Sunday 2pm)
Rovers and Athlone meet in the U14 Cup 1st round, both happy for a break from their league travails after suffering 6-2 and 8-0 defeats respectively in recent games. An early goal for Rovers and we can be confident of a first win of the season away to an Athlone side who have already suffered 7-0 and 8-0 defeats this season on home turf. (KO – Saturday 12pm)
The opening round of the Mark Farren cup takes place at the Sean Fallon Centre on Saturday afternoon as our U17 side host Derry City. Derry sit second in the league, one point and one place above Rovers and were victorious in our only prior meeting this season, a 3-1 win in Derry four weeks ago. However, Rovers have won all three games since then, scoring seven and conceding none, while Derry have won just once in that period, drawing the other two. (KO – Saturday 2pm)
The preview ends as it began, in Donegal, as our U15s take on Finn Harps in the first round of their cup incarnation. It was ‘one of those days’ for our boys on Thursday night against Derry where everything went wrong, a complete once off that didn’t sync up with how the lads have played all season to this point. The result was an anomaly and to add to the tragicomedy of it all – Rovers had beaten Derry 1-0 away just seven days prior. Finn Harps have beaten us twice (4-2 and 0-2) this season so what better way to avenge all three results than a win on the road this Sunday. (KO – Sunday 2pm)