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Bus Éireann Women’s National League preview

Saturday, May 4, 2013

 

Raheny United v Castlebar Celtic, Morton Stadium, 2.30pm. Referee: Paula Brady

Raheny United can move into pole position in the Bus Éireann Women’s National League title race by winning their game in hand on leaders Peamount United when they play Castlebar Celtic at Morton Stadium on Saturday (2.30pm).

This will be the second of three meetings between the sides in the space of nine days as they met last week in Celtic Park in the League and will clash again at the same venue on Monday in the semi-final of the League Cup.

Raheny won last week’s encounter 4-1 and lie two points behind Peamount who don’t play this weekend. No matter what the result on Saturday, the title race will go down to the last day on Sunday week when Peamount are away to Cork Women’s FC and Raheny are at home to Wexford Youths Women in their final games.

With fourth place secured and no chance of catching Wexford in third place, the temptation might be for Castlebar to approach tomorrow’s league game with one eye on Monday’s cup semi-final but manager Johnny Morris-Burke says they owe it to the League to take one game at a time.

“We owe it to the other teams in the League to approach this game like we would any other league game. The cup game gives us an incentive to reach a final and maybe win a bit of silverware but it is important that we go out on Saturday and try to beat Raheny.”

Morris Burke got a good look at Raheny last week and feels he learned a few things which might assist his side in upsetting the odds.

“They are a very good side and showed their class in the first half last Sunday especially the way they maintained possession of the ball. We changed a few things at half time and that made a difference and I think we can improve further this week,” said Morris Burke.

That second half performance by Castlebar certainly impressed Raheny boss Sean Byrne and ensured that his side won’t be taking anything for granted despite being at home.

“They are a good side and if look back at last week you could say we won the first half 4-0 and they won the second half 1-0 so we have to be wary of them because they have some decent players,” said Byrne.

Raheny will be without Niamh Walsh who twisted her ankle during the warm-up last week and Siobhan Killeen who has badly bruised leg while Noelle Murray is struggling with an ankle injury.

Castlebar’s  Emma Mullen went over on her ankle at training on Thursday night. At first it was feared the ankle was broken but it is just badly bruised and will keep her out of both games this weekend. 

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