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Bell to ring in New Year with replay at Tolka

It might be the week before Christmas, but there is no rest for the weather-stricken sides in the third round of the FAI Intermediate Cup as they make a third attempt at getting their games sorted out.

For the past two weeks the winter weather has held this round of the national competition in its icy grip and even if some games did manage to wiggle through, a large chunk of fixtures remain unsettled.

Hoping to make it third time lucky tomorrow will be top flight giants Bluebell United and Tolka Rovers, who clash in the morning at the Red Cow in what is the game of the day.



CRACKER

This tie brings together the top two in the Senior Division and it should be Christmas cracker.

The 'Bell are currently lording it up at the summit while Rovers are just a point off James Keddy's side.

The title, though, will be shifted off the agenda tomorrow morning as the gloves come off and these two giants slug it out for a place in the fourth round of the Intermediate Cup and the first round of the FAI Senior Cup.

Rovers have already visited the Red Cow this season and they grabbed a highly creditable point with only 10 men.

That draw, in turn, brought to an end a five-game winning streak for Bluebell.

The result also sparked Rovers into a five-game unbeaten streak that pushed them up to second in the table, a place that they will occupy into the New Year.

There will be no better way to end the year than by booking a spot in draw for the two biggest cups in the country.

Bluebell, though, will have plenty to say about that.

FAI Intermediate Cup 3rd Round

BLUEBELL UNITED v TOLKA ROVERS

This could go either way. Both sides have potential match winners in their ranks and any pre-Christmas looseness will be punished. With the safety net of a replay draped beneath them, both sides may just curb their adventurous spirit and be happy to bring this game into the New Year. Verdict: Draw.

BANGOR CELTIC v TEMPLE UNITED

The Celts will be anxious to get this done and dusted to avoid a New Year trip to Cork. Temple will be happy with a replay, but if Bangor can cut them open early then they will cut them open often and make the draw for the fourth round. Verdict: Home Win.

CHERRY ORCHARD v SKERRIES TOWN

The Orchard are bouncing back in style this season and they should have far too much for a Town side still winless in Division 1A, a league below the Orchard. Verdict: Home Win.

BUNCRANA HEARTS v BELGROVE

The Grove are well capable of grabbing a draw in this one, if it gets the go-ahead. Hearts have been out of competitive football since October, as the Ulster Senior League operates a summer league, and this should benefit the battle-hardened Belgrove. Verdict: Draw.

ROCKMOUNT v PHOENIX

Tough task for the Nix as they travel to one of the toughest venues in the country. The 'Mount love nothing more than taking Dublin opposition down a peg or two and Phoenix need to be at their defensive best if they are to survive. The Dublin side will need to dig in, not concede early and try to frustrate the home side. If they manage to do that, then a replay could be on the cards. Verdict: Draw.


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