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Crumlin can start defence with win

Four-in-a-row-chasing Crumlin United will open the defence of their Senior Division title tomorrow in Armagh Road against St Pat's CY of Ringsend.

The Blues will start the campaign as favourites along with Tolka Rovers, but Martin Loughran has had to contend with the loss of some key figures from last season's squad.

Experienced defensive duo Ciaran Kenna and Derek Griffin, striker Ger Rowe and current LSL player-of-the-year Martin Cramer all decided to retire during the close season, leaving Loughran with some big gaps to plug.

"We have lost a few, but who hasn't. I am happy with what I have, as we have managed to get in some good lads. We have Thomas Hyland back in and Daniel McGuinness has joined from Belgrove/Home Farm.

"If I was a betting man, though, I would put my money on Bluebell, but I am not a betting man," said the wily Loughran.

Loughran recognises that his side along with Tolka will be favourites, but the Blues boss insists that this isn't going to be a two-horse race: "It is a tight league, it is really competitive this year. You have us, Tolka and Bluebell but someone could come from the pack."

SENIOR DIVISION

Crumlin United v St Pat's CY

Derek Bowden's side got off to the perfect start last week with a win over Malahide United thanks to a brace from Thomas Dunne. Tomorrow, though, could be one the visitors will have to mark down to experience. Verdict: Home Win.

FIRHOUSE CLOVER v BANGOR CELTIC

The Tallaght side has a tendency to come to life after the Christmas break in order to save their Senior Division status, but that will not work every year. Tomorrow, both will have to settle for a point apiece. Verdict: Draw.


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