Cobh Ramblers meet Waterford FC on Saturday in what is a hugely anticipated First Division Play-Off Final. The Munster Derby will be played in Turners Cross, with kick-off at 5pm.
The Rams progressed to the final with a 2-1 aggregate win over Wexford in the play-off semi-final. Mikie Rowe’s corner proved the difference in a 1-0 first leg win, before James O’Leary’s late goal at a rain-sodden St Colman’s Park last weekend earned Ramblers a 1-1 draw and with it passage to the decider. Waterford’s path saw the Suirsiders defeat fifth place Athlone 4-2 over two legs, teenage sensation Romeo Akachukwu grabbing a hatrick in the 3-1 second leg victory, after a 1-1 draw in the Midlands.
This pair met four times in the regular league season, with two wins apiece, Cobh winning the most recent meetings 1-0 and 2-0 respectively. For Ramblers, on-loan duo Dean Larkin and Liam Kervick are ineligible for the tie as part of their loan agreement with Waterford. Michael McCarthy also remains absent through injury for the Rams.
Manager Shane Keegan gave his thoughts on the game earlier this week,
“We’ll give it absolutely everything, we fully believe we can pull it off. That being said, Waterford are an outstanding side. They finished second, miles ahead of anything behind them and we know what they’re capable of. But they can blow hot and cold. To get a result you probably need them to blow cold on a night when we’re blowing hot. That’s what happened in the two games where we got a result against them and that’ll give us confidence. We’re underdogs but we’ve been underdogs all season so bring it on.”
Defender Cian Browne also had this to say, as he faces his former side,
“I’m really looking forward to it. Obviously I’d know a lot of them being a Waterford lad so it’ll be good to see them again. We’ll do our best on the day and hopefully we can get over the line. It makes some difference when ye have all the fans there supporting us, screaming your name, celebrating tackles, everything. We’ll see them all again on Saturday and hopefully can give them lots to celebrate.”
The game will be live on LOITV and tickets are available online here.