Macroom play in the big one
Macroom A v Killumney Utd in Murray Field THE AOH Cup is the biggest cup competition in the junior soccer calendar and the side who wins this contest will go into the last 16 of the competition. Macroom and Kilumney both play in the Premier League where they are tied in midtable.
SATURDAY JANUARY 5 (2pm), AOH Cup Third Round
While Kilumney have won both their league games to date, Macroom have collected their six points from six games. Kilumneny won a league game between these sides early in the season.
Ballincollig v Buttevant A in Regional Park THE Corinthian's Cup is a knock-out competition for sides in the first divisions and below, and who lost the first round of their divisional cup or the AOH Cup.
The intention is to provide cup football for all sides in the second half of the season. The final takes place in Turner's Cross which is a wonderful incentive for all competing sides.
Buttevant's first team finished the year with a good 6-3 win over Greenmount Rangers. That win put them in second place in League 1A. In contrast, Ballincollig are second from the bottom of League 2, but they are considered difficult opposition when they play at home. Buttevant B v Greenmount Rangers A in Buttevant THE game between Buttevant's B side and Greenmount Rangers is in fact a rescheduled fixture. Their game at the start of December was abandoned after 75 minutes with Greenmount Rangers leading two-nil. This was because of an argument between the Greenmount players and the referee which prompted the referee to abandon. The venue and referee have been changed for Saturday's rematch.
County Cup Second Round
Bweeng v Strand Utd in Bweeng Sports Field BWEENG had a good run up to the Christmas break with a run of four games without defeat. They go into this contest in seventh place in League 3B. Strand are top of the League 2 table and their league form this season has been excellent. They won seven of their ten league games and scored 26 goals in the process. This makes them favourites for this County Cup fixture but the form book often counts for little in cup games. Rathcoole Rovers v Ballinhassig A in Rathcoole RATHCOOLE and Ballinhassig are very evenly matched and the outcome for their fixture is wide open. Rathcoole are third in League 1A, while Ballinhassig are sixth in a very tight League 1. The sides are both around the halfway point in their league campaigns and a good County Cup run will greatly add to their season.
Coachford v Greenwood in The Glebe COACHFORD have been the dominant side in the Premier League to date with four wins in four games and an impressive 23 goals scored. They are top of the table with a two point lead on second-placed Pearse Celtic. Coachford's last game was on the second Saturday of December when they beat Blarney Street Athletic 5-1. The performance had added pizzazz as five different Coachford players scored. Their opponents this Saturday are fourth-placed Greenwood.
Premier A League
Kanturk v Blackstone Rovers in Kanturk THIS is Kanturk's third Premier A League game of the season and they will want a convincing win to get the New Year off to a good start. They have three points from two games thanks to a win over Grattan in mid December with goals from Karl Holland and Martin Riordan. These sides haven't played in the league to date. Blackstone are bottom of the table with no points to their credit.
Macroom v Killowen in Town Park Donoughmore Ath v Blackpool Celtic in Donoughmore CFC Banteer v Waterloo in Banteer MACROOM, Donoughmore and CFC Banteer go into the second half of their league campaigns with everything to play for. The division is very tight with only nine points between the leaders Strand and the relegation zone.
Macroom are just above that relegation zone but they are only five points short of Banteer who are joint second. Consequently, a run of two or three consecutive wins over the next month could put any of these sides into a promotion contest. These are the only fixtures in League 2 this weekend and a win is an important marker for the New Year.
Glanworth Utd v Rylane Celtic in Glanworth Los Zarcos v Newmarket, Station Road in Millstreet NEWMARKET and Rylane are joint top of League 3B on 21 points.
Newmarket's form has been more impressive with seven wins in eight starts, while Rylane have played two games more. Both sides have been scoring well and they have lost only one league game each. However, they are not runaway leaders as Kanturk are only two points adrift. In fact, only eight points separate the second placed side from the side who are second from the bottom of the table. Clearly then, Glanworth and Los Zarcos have tough games on Saturday but a win will put them in the top six.
SUNDAY JANUARY 6 (10.45am unless stated)
FAI Junior Cup
Terenure FC v Park Utd A, in Terenure, 1pm THIS is a glamour fixture for Park United and one that they have every intention of winning. From an initial entry of 720 sides, these teams are among the remaining 64.
Terenure are a successful Dublin-based junior side who often make the last rounds of this competition. Park have also qualified for the fifth round in previous seasons so the outcome is up for grabs.
This round has matched teams from different counties but Park's opposition up to now have all been from the Cork AUL. As a Premier League side, Park had a bye into the second round and they ran up good home wins against Greenwood (3-2) and Knockraha (2-1). Park won away to Rockmount's junior side in the fourth round at the beginning of December. That game was tied at twoall at the beginning of extra time when Willie O'Brien floated in a free kick for Lar O'Flynn to head in the winner.
Glenvale v Kanturk B in Regional Park. KANTURK have had the better season to date and they travel to the outskirts of Cork City with good reason to be confident.
The visitors are third in League 3B with 19 points from 12 games. They have scored 25 goals in the process. While Glenvale play two divisions higher, they are bottom of League 1A. They have managed only one point from eight games and scored five goals.
County Cup Second
De Courcey Albion v Millstreet Celtic in Ballinadee MILLSTRET travel to Kinsale knowing that a win will relaunch their season after a few disappointing results over the past month or so. After four losses in eight league games, they are now midtable in League 1A. Decourcey Albion are midtable in League 2 with four wins in nine games. Watergrasshill v St John Boscos B in Skehenagh WATERGRASSHILL are also midtable, this time in League 1, with four wins in nine games. A good County Cup run will also make a big difference to their season as they were disappointed to exit the St Micheal's Cup in the second round last October. Their opponents are midtable in League 3A with two wins in seven games.
Munster Senior League Senior Second Division
Glasheen v Mallow Utd in Glasheen, 1.30pm THIS is the opening game of the New Year for both sides and Mallow will hope to continue the way they finished 2012. Mallow are second in the table, three points adrift of the top spot. They have won six of their eight games to date and scored 16 goals in the process.
Glasheen are in fourth place four points behind their visitors. The sides have not played so far this season.