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'Bell can leave Merrion's ears ringing

After the mayhem of knockout action last week in the FAI Intermediate Cup, it's back to the cold reality of the Senior Division title chase.

Leaders Mount Merrion and third place Bluebell United clash tonight in Ringsend Park with the prize of top spot up for grabs.

These two had tough assignments in the cup last weekend, but with contrasting fortunes. Merrion were blown away by a first-half Phoenix storm while the 'Bell scraped through by virtue of a penalty shoot-out against Belgrove/Home Farm of Division 1.

It was a welcome return to winning ways for the 'Bell. A week earlier, Bangor Celtic ended their seven-game unbeaten run as Andy Noonan's side slipped off the summit.

That defeat, coupled with Crumlin's draw against Malahide United, left the top spot open for Mount Merrion to hop into. James Keddy's side duly got the better of Arklow Town to return to head of the table.

Tonight they defend their billing as league leaders in what could well be a turning point in the season. The facts are simple, though, and it's never too early to put the boot in on one of your contenders.

SENIOR DIVISION

MOUNT MERRION v BLUEBELL UNITED

Merrion will look to bounce back after last weekend's drubbing by Phoenix. They are still sitting proudly at the summit and can stretch that lead tonight. Merrion's form, though, hasn't been good and United will be ready to jump on any weakness. If the 'Bell get the upper hand, it could be a tough night for the hosts.

Verdict: Bluebell Utd.

WAYSIDE CELTIC v EDENDERRY TOWN

Edenderry have picked up four points in their last two games, including their first win of the season last week against Malahide United. They will travel to Jackson Park in confident mood. Wayside will be licking their wounds following their exit from the Intermediate Cup and Town could face the back lash tomorrow. Verdict: Wayside Celtic.


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