With two wins on the trot, Ramblers come into Saturday’s Munster Derby in fine form. Treaty United are also on a positive run, with three wins in four, which sets up an intriguing clash at St Colman’s Park
Jake Hegarty’s second half double earned Cobh a 2-1 win at high-flying UCD last time out. Treaty meanwhile picked up their first away win of the campaign, winning 2-1 at bottom side Wexford.
The first ever meeting between these two sides took place at Markets Field back in April. An early red card that night for former Ram Charlie Fleming reduced the hosts to ten men, but they took a first half lead through the impressive Sean McSweeney. Full back Darryl Walsh rescued a point for Cobh in the second half with a superb strike. The Limerick men have gone on a fine run since then, currently sitting joint-second with UCD on 19 points.
As with most Munster Derbies, there is plenty of overlap between the two squads. Ramblers’ Lee Devitt came up through Limerick FC’s ranks under Tommy Barrett while Darren Murphy, David O’Leary and Ian Turner also spent time on Shannonside. For Treaty, former Rams Anthony O’Donnell, Charlie Fleming and captain Jack Lynch operate in defence while attackers Adam Foley and Shane Lowth also enjoyed time at St Colman’s Park.
The injury front is taking a positive turn for Ramblers. Pierce Phillips and Stephen O’Leary are back involved fully having made the bench in UCD and played an in-house friendly earlier this week. Attacker Ciaran Griffin is also back to full fitness. Caelin Rooney continues his recovery while John Kavanagh and Regix Madika are some way off a return. Defender Cian Murphy will be assessed before kick-off having missed last weekend.
Manager Stuart Ashton spoke to the assembled press before the game, understandably pleased at recent form and looking forward to the Derby encounter
“We’ve shown the commitment throughout the 90 minutes, we’ve reduced the silly mistakes and no we are getting our rewards. To come away with three points from UCD was brilliant. Our organisation at 2-0 up was excellent. They only had one shot on the target, and we felt the penalty was a bit harsh at the time, but we take that. Keeping the goals down has been key, not just the back five but as a team. Hopefully we can continue that against Treaty.
Tommy and the lads there have done brilliant. He has his team set up to be competitive as we found out in the first game. We know what to expect. They’re growing in confidence since starting off in the league and they’re rightly where they are in the table. We’ve done our homework and we showed last week that we’re a match for anyone in this league. We’re delighted to have some of the supporters back. Hopefully we can put in performance for their first game back.”
Right back James McCarthy also gave his views, having picked up two impressive wins in his first two Ramblers games,
“We’ve stuck at it. We knew we could do it, we knew we had the talent. Matches just weren’t going our way. We’re playing good football, we’re solid defensively and finally we are reaping the rewards. Hopefully we can keep that momentum going on Saturday.
It’ll definitely be a right battle. We’ve shown recently that we can put it up to teams. We’ll have to do that again this week, and more, against a strong Treaty side. Hopefully with the crowd back as well that we’ll get that extra push.”
Kick-off on Saturday night is at 19:00, with live coverage available on LOITV.
Elsewhere in the First Division, Bray Wanderers host UCD, Galway entertain Cabinteely, Cork City visit Athlone and Shelbourne travel to Wexford, all on Friday night.