The Rams were very much depleted in their 4-2 defeat to Longford Town with no less than five of their regular starting eleven unavailable. It was a spirited performance by Martin Cambridge’s men as they pushed the league leaders right to the last. Longford’s quality showed in the end but it was an impressive display by Cobh. That defeat almost confirms that the Cork club will finish last. They remain nine points adrift of Waterford with three games to play and a vastly inferior goal difference.
On the other hand, the Tribesmen were 3-0 victors against Finn Harps last time out. Goals from Jake Keegan, Vinny Faherty and Gary Shanahan ensured an emphatic win at Eamonn Deacy Park. This keeps them firmly in the hunt for a play-off place but automatic promotion is beyond them at this stage, seven points behind Longford Town.
The sides have met three times so far this season with Galway the gallant winners in each. They won the encounters 4-0, 5-1 and 4-1. It’s clear that they enjoy playing Cobh but Ramblers have improved of late and it definitely won’t be as easy this time around.
Cobh remain without the suspended Rob Waters for the tie while Andy O’Connell, Ryan Goldsmith, Ron Stanton and Eoghan Murphy are all out injured. Eoin Hastings is a week or two away from full fitness. Stephen Kenny will return from suspension though. Garry Comerford has also recovered from injury earlier than expected and played against Longford.
Ramblers centre back Craig Burns has enjoyed his first full season at the club and the ex-Waterford man had this to say ahead of Saturday’s clash, “We’re heading into the game against Galway with a positive mindset. Although we didn’t get the result against Longford last week, we gave them a tough game. We didn’t make it easy for them and we’ll be going into Saturday’s game with plenty of confidence. Hopefully we can get the three points and get a good crowd at St Colman’s.”
Galway have been excellent of late and they will want to keep that going when they visit the Cork coast. St Colman’s Park has been somewhat of a fortress though for Cobh as Shelbourne, Wexford Youths and Finn Harps have found. Whether it’s the claret of Cobh or the maroon of Galway, a win for either side would see them enter a ‘purple patch’ heading into the last few games of the campaign.
Injured: Ron Stanton, Eoghan Murphy, Ryan Goldsmith, Eoin Hastings
Suspensions: Rob Waters
Referee: Andrew Mullally
Assistants: Ken Hennessy, Trevor Cotter
Fourth Official: Anthony Buttimer
Venue: St Colman’s Park
Kick Off: 7:45pm
Preview by Thomas Stafford