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crumlin craving to shake off cobwebs

There will be a lot of fingers crossed in the LSL this weekend as players, managers and officials hope to kick off the second half of the season at the third time of asking.

Since the turn of the year, the LSL programme has been wiped out by the foul weather, including a blanket postponement last week, and now all involved will be hoping that this weekend will be third time lucky.

League leaders, Crumlin United, will be looking to shake off the cobwebs due to the festive inactivity and push further ahead in the championship chase when they welcome a Malahide United side that is hovering perilously above the drop zone.

Crumlin will be looking to shake off their less than impressive end-of-year form that yielded them just one win in their last four league games and in turn let Bangor Celtic and Bluebell United narrow the gap at the top to four points.

Martin Loughran's side will be raring to go after their extended winter break, but Malahide United will be hoping that the FAI Intermediate Cup holders are suffering from a bit of ring rust.

The Gannon Park club ended the first half of the season with three defeats in their last four games, including a defeat by fellow strugglers Firhouse Clover. Malahide know that if they are to avoid the worries of relegation battle they will have to start picking up points sooner rather than later. But it is hard to see them adding to their tally tomorrow.

SENIOR DIVISION

CRUMLIN UNITED v MALAHIDE UNITED

Crumlin will want to hit the ground running after their extended break and that could be bad news for struggling Malahide. Martin Loughran's side didn't cover themselves in glory in the final few league games of the year, but a win tomorrow will keep the FAI Intermediate Cup winners ahead of the chasing pack. Verdict: Home Win.

BANGOR CELTIC v DUBLIN BUS

The champions can go clear in second place with a win over the Bus in the morning, but the Coldcut side have proved to be a stubborn, if inconsistent, outfit so far. With the morning kick-off Bangor know they can close the gap at the top to just one point as Crumlin don't play until the afternoon. A win will turn up the heat on the league leaders, so expect the champions to take the three points. Verdict: Home Win.

FIRHOUSE CLOVER v GLEBE NORTH

Glebe can make further inroads into the upper echelons of the division with a win over struggling Firhouse in Tallaght tomorrow morning. For Clover, a victory will see them pull clear of Wayside Celtic at the bottom, but they will have to be at their gritty best if they are to grind three points out of Glebe. The Balbriggan side know that these are the games they must win if they are to figure in the title shake up. Verdict: Away Win.

FAI INTERMEDIATE CUP 3rd Round Replay

WAYSIDE CELTIC v RINGMAHON RANGERS

After grabbing a hard-earned draw in Cork, Wayside will be favourites to progress into the last 16. A win is needed to lift the gloom around Jackson Park and, if Peter Lennon's side can do it, it could be the catalyst to kick-start their season. Verdict: Home Win.


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