SENIOR football survival is the key to the meeting of Newmarket and St. Nicholas in a relegation battle to determine senior status for 2014.
With three defeats incurred by both sides in the campaign that eliminated the pair from the 2013 championship, it now all about remaining in senior ranks from a crunch showdown.
Newmarket bowed out of championship contention following a disappointing 3rd round defeat 1-8 to 0-5 to St. Vincents . On doing so, Newmarket failed to make use of a numerical advantage during the closing quarter. With the sides deadlocked, Newmarket found it difficult to add to the scoreboard with the city side nailing down key scores that compounded Newmarket's misery
Earlier in the campaign, Newmarket lacked a cutting edge on a loss to Carbery Rangers first time out. Without doubt, Newmarket's best performance surfaced on a two point defeat to Aghada in round two.
Such inconsistent form place Newmarket in a vulnerable position and it will take a concerted effort from T J Brosnan, Mark Reidy, Bart Daly, John Ryan and Tony O'Keeffe to gain a positive return
The same applies to a proud St. Nick's who were in a similar last season but did enough to get past fellow city north side rivals Na Piarsaigh. Somewhat unlucky to come out second best to St. Finbarrs in round 1 to the 2013 campaign, they failed to gather a return from follow up encounters against Neno Rangers and Dohenys. Central to St. Nick's game is the play of Donal Óg O'Donovan, David Brosnan and Paul O'Brien.
Neither St. Nicks nor Newmarket wanted to find themselves in a relegation battle and this is the last chance saloon to keep themselves afloat. St, Nick's know what's required to survive though Newmarket's hopes may well be raised on the return of Danny Cullouty to the sideline.
There is no margin for error for either side for what could be a tense affair yet both Newmarket and St. Nickss will be committed towards achieving their goal.