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Backlog fear as games hit by big freeze

Not surprisingly tomorrow's scheduled programme of games in the Senior Division of the Leinster Senior League has become another victim of the icy conditions that have gripped the country in recent weeks.

Not for the first time this season the league has suffered a blanket cancellation and officials in the LSL and other amateur leagues around the country will be hoping that the disruption to the season will not create a huge backlog of games.

The worrying thing for the top sides in the LSL is that, with three cup competitions yet to start, another two only a couple of rounds in and a league programme yet to hit the halfway mark, once the snow clears there could be an avalanche of games still to play.

The saving grace is that so many clubs in the Senior Division now have floodlights, so midweek games, once confined to the summer months, will become a regular fixture over the coming weeks once the ice and snow melt.

Once that thaw comes it will be Crumlin United that will start the second half of the Senior Division season as league leaders. Martin Loughran's men sit four points clear of their nearest rivals.



Leapfrog

Those rivals, Bluebell United and Bangor Celtic, do have games in hand. The 'Bell have played one game less than Crumlin while current champions Bangor, who hold the last remaining unbeaten record in the division, can leapfrog their neighbours if they manage to win both their back matches.

Easier said than done, though, as this league is getting harder to predict by the week and, with sides such as Tolka Rovers, Phoenix and Glebe North all sitting just off the pace, a second half of the season surge from the chasing pack cannot be ruled out.

If the top of the table is intriguing, then just have a look at the bottom where former back-to-back champions Wayside Celtic currently occupy the basement spot. The Celts are not used to being down in the doldrums of the relegation battle, but Peter Lennon's side have a battle on their hands to escape what would be an unimaginable demotion.

Still, if there is one side that knows how to scrap it is Wayside. They will be looking to drag Firhouse Clover and Belgrove, both of whom are on the same points as the Celts, deeper into the mire, while the Jackson Park club will be eyeing up bringing the likes of Malahide United and Liffey Pearse into the relegation dogfight.

Top or bottom, every point at this part of the season is going to be hard-fought and hard-won, and, with a pile-up of fixtures on the cards, the run-in is going to test each and every club.


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