do or die time

20 November 2017

It's Matchday Five in the RUSTLERS Colleges and Universities Football League with numerous possibilites about to unfold over the coming games

Mens Premier Division

Top Scorer(s): John Morgan (IT Carlow), Alan O'Sullivan (DCU) - 6 Goals

North - View Table

Three teams are deadlocked at the top of the group with DCU, Dublin IT and UCD all on 9 points.

Dublin IT and UCD clash in Grangegorman on Tuesday (3pm) with victory for Gavin Fleming's side enough to give them top spot and a likely home quarter final against Waterford IT or CSN. Whilst they sit top by virtue of a superior goal difference in the 3 way split, the champions UCD will need Maynooth to avoid defeat to DCU (TUE 2pm) for them to finish top due to Mark Walsh's goal in Declan Roche's side's 1-0 win in Belfield two weeks ago.

It has been a tough campaign for Maynooth this season. After squandering a 3 season unbeaten streak in the final game of the group stages last season, Garrett Dodrill's Kildare side have endured two defeats so far, including a 6-0 hammering by UCD last week. Whilst they are guaranteed to be in the Quarter Finals, Dodrill will be looking for 3 points and a stalemate in Grangegorman to try and avoid a trip to free-scoring IT Carlow in the New Year.

In the final clash in the group that is deferred a week, Trinity College travel to Galway (28/11 2pm) in an effort to preserve their Premier Division status for another season. A late victory against DIT gave Richie Maguire's team a huge boost of confidence getting points on the board for the first time this season which they will need to send NUI Galway into a Relegation Play-Off with Athlone IT. A draw will be enough for Trinity but victory for Galway will see them leapfrog them by virtue of the Head to Head.

South - View Table

IT Carlow can travel to Athlone this week (TUE 2pm) with the weight off their shoulders. Their ruthlessness in front of goal has guaranteed them a home quarter final and will be keeping an eye on the Northern results to see where their next challenge lies. For Athlone, their battle for Premier Division survival will be fought on another day as they are resigned to finishing bottom of the Southern section.

The battle for second place will take place in the Mardyke on Tuesday night (7.30pm) as last year's runners-up welcome UL to Cork. UL have been very much the surprise package of the season so far with star striker Garbhan Coughlan having graduated. They have won all of their games bar a defeat to Carlow including an impressive comeback from 2-0 down to Athlone last week, winning 3-2. This will surely be a tough test for Jamie Flynn and his team with UCC eager to guarantee that a team from the North will be faced with a trip to the Mardyke in late January. The Cork side will also be conscious of avoiding defeat to the Limerick side as they could in fact finish fourth when all of the dust is settled depending on Waterford's battle with CSN.

For that to happen, Waterford IT will need to discover the goalscoring touch against CSN. Paul O'Brien's team have been very shy in front of goal having scored the least amount of goals in the Southern section. With a 7 goal difference between them and UCC with the Head to Head ruled out if they end up tied due to their 1-1 draw earlier on in the campaign, they will need to show no mercy to CSN who have conceded the most this season with heavy defeats to Carlow and UCC. However the men from the Tramore Road will certainly not be rolling over as victory for them will see them sneak into the Quarter Finals at the expense of Waterford.

Women's Premier Division

Top Scorer(s): Eadaoin Lyons (UCC), Niamh Connolly (UU) - 5 Goals

North - View Table

Ulster University have secured a home semi-final, finishing as group winners following a 100% record in the group stages. The team that will join them in the semi-finals from the Northern section will be the winners of Maynooth University's trip to the North-West to take on IT Sligo (WED 4pm) in a repeat of last year's final. It hasn't been the ideal campaign for James O'Callaghan's side opening up with a defeat at home to UU. They have since recovered, picking up wins against UCD and DCU, but they still may not qualify for the Semi-Finals. A point will do for Maynooth but Sligo stand in their way and are sure to make life difficult for the Kildare side with their own aspirations of a semi-final.

In the other game in the group, UCD welcome DCU to Belfield (WED 2pm). It has been a mixed campaign for both teams with higher expectations left unachieved. The losing team will face a relegation play-off in the New Year with UCD having the added insurance of a point being good enough following the point they registered on the opening day.

South - View Table

UL and NUIG will clash on Thursday in Limerick (1.30pm) with both sides fighting for their Premier Division survival. It has been a disasterous campaign so far for the Limerick side compounded by a heavy defeat away to IT Carlow last week. Galway were boosted with victory over Waterford IT but will travel to Limerick without star player Aislinn Meaney who has been called into Colin Bell's WNT team for their WCQ with the Netherlands.

At the other end of the table, IT Carlow travel to the Mardyke in a battle for supremacy and a crucial home semi-final. The game has been pushed back until the 5th December (7pm) due to the significant absences in the Carlow side due to WNT commitments. With both sides at full strength, it will be a fascinating battle with Carlow's star studded side clashing with a UCC team boasting many of the talents from Womens Senior Cup winners Cork City WFC and the added aura of playing in the Mardyke certain to test Carlow.

Men's Division One

Top Scorers: Stephen O'Leary (CIT), Alan O'Donnell (MIC Limerick) - 5 Goals

North - View Table

With IT Blanchardstown assured of top spot with maximum points so far, the battles are to be fully played out for the remaining three quarter final berths. With extra games still to be played following the effects of Storm Ophelia, each side will be hoping to lay down a marker for the following week's action in a week of 6-pointers.

Maynooth University 'B' will be hoping to deal IT Tallaght a major blow with a defeat enough to send last year's runners-up hurtling towards a relegation play-off.

Sligo and Letterkenny do battle with both locked on points and hoping to add the signifigance of the Head to Head if they are to remain that way once the final ball is kicked.

Dundalk IT will be hoping to book their place at home in the quarter finals with a victory against IT Blanchardstown but Jamie Moore's side will be eager to maintain focus throughout

South - View Table

With all three certain of a quarter final, IT Carlow 'B', Mary Immaculate College and Cork IT will all be seeking a top spot finish in their final games. Whilst Cork and Carlow will battle earlier in the day (4pm, CIT), any result will be in vain if Mary I do the business this evening in Mervue (6.15pm) against GMIT having already beaten both of the other teams.

Barring a series of unlikely events, Limerick IT and UL 'B' can use their clash on Thursday to prepare themselves for the challenges that lie ahead later in the year. LIT will be facing a likely away trip whilst UL will be facing a relegation play-off.

Womens Division One

Top Scorers: Eleanor Ryan-Doyle (ITB), Lauren Cregan (LyIT), Sara McGeough (Trinity) - 6 Goals

Group A - View Table

Having completed all of their fixtures, Trinity College will be at home in the quarter finals with IT Tallaght set to travel away as group runners-up.

Group B - View Table

Dublin IT and IT Blanchardstown take each other on with the winners set to finish as runners-up in the group to the undefeated Letterkenny IT who will be at home in their quarter final.

Group C - View Table

Mary Immaculate College and GMIT Galway take each other on on Thursday (11am) with a quarter final place up for grabs for the winner. In the event of a draw, the advantage lies with the Galway side with their superior goal difference. The Garda College have finished as group winners.

Group D - View Table

Cork IT and UCC 'B' both enter the Quarter Finals as winners and runners-up respectively.

Mens Division Two

Top Scorers: Shane Lowth (IT Tralee), Eric Banville (LIT) - 6 Goals

Group A - View Table

It's all to play for heading into the final day of games with Maynooth, Colaiste Ide, National College of Ireland and Trinity all standing a chance of being in the Quarter Finals come 4pm today.

Maynooth hold a slender advantage on points heading into their game with Trinity today (2pm) although a home victory for Trinity will propel them above the Kildare side. Both Ide and the NCI face a similar situation when they kick off in Clontarf (2pm).

Group B - View Table

All is still up for grabs in Division Two also with each team in action this week still able to qualify for the Quarter Finals. NRC and DIT are still to face each other in December following the effects of Storm Ophelia but Ulster University can put immense pressure on their Northern Ireland counterparts if they can claim all three points on Wednesday in Jordanstown (3pm). IT Blanchardstown can guarantee their place in the last eight with victory against DIT, a result that would put the champions under severe pressure travelling to Coleraine.

Group C - View Table

IT Carlow can take a breath when they face AIT today (2pm) knowing that they will be at home in the Quarter Finals with superior Head-to-Head records over both of their nearest challengers from Galway who clash in Dangan today (2.45pm) with the winners finishing as runners-up, while a draw will be enough for GTI at NUIG's expense.

Group D - View Table

Whilst it will only be pride on the line in the battle between CIT 'B' and UCC 'B', it is a different proposition altogether for Limerick IT 'B' and IT Tralee when they face off in Mounthawk tonight (7pm). A victory for LIT will create a 3-way tie however they will need to win by at least two goals to usurp Waterford. A 5-0 victory or a 6 goal deficit if Tralee score will in fact eliminate IT Tralee based on either goal difference or goals scored.

Men's Division Three

Top Scorer: Azeez Ogunfawora (Maynooth University) - 10 Goals

Group A - View Table

DCU 'C' have already qualified for the Quarter Finals, whether they will be at home or not will be determined by Cavan Institute's result in Oriel Park against DKIT 'B' on Wednesday (2pm). Victory for Cavan will see them overtake DCU on goal difference having drawn 1-1 earlier in the campaign. However it shall be a competitive tie with a Dundalk win seeing them take the runners-up spot instead of Cavan.

Group B - View Table

It remains very tight in the Dublin based group with quarter final possibilites for all four teams in action with only one place up for grabs. Top spot has been secured by DBS and they will be drawn at home in the Quarter Finals. Their runners-up will be decided from the final games. Dun Laoghaire will hope a win will be good enough for them when they take on Tallaght on Wednesday (2.30pm) although they will have to wait until Thursday to be certain when IT Blanchardstown 'C' and Dublin IT 'C' clash in Blanch (2pm). A result for Blanch and IADT will send the decision to Goal Difference with Blanch needing to better the IADT result by at least two.

Group C - View Table

Only victory will do for last year's Division Four Champions Carlow Institute of FE as they welcome high-flying Maynooth University to Carlow on Wednesday (2pm). A draw or less for David Morey's side will see Athlone IT 'C' claim the Quarter Final place based on the Head to Head.

Group D - View Table

With Head to Head results already deciding that Waterford College of FE are group winners and UCC 'C' are runners-up, both teams will be playing for local pride when WCFE take on neighbours WIT 'C' on Tuesday (2pm) and UCC entertain Cork College of Commerce on Wednesday (2pm).

Division Four

Top Scorer: Dean Moore (Inchicore College of FE) - 6 Goals

Group A - View Table

Barring an extraordinary result for DBS 'B', National College of Ireland 'B' and DCU 'E' will enter the Quarter Finals. DBS will have the opportunity to defy fate when they take on Dunboyne College on Wednesday (2.30pm)

Group B - View Table

Rathmines and Inchicore will face off in a local derby on Wednesday (2pm) with top spot and home advantage in the Quarter Finals at stake. Both sides are level on points with a superior goal difference enough for Rathmines in the event of a draw.

Group C - View Table

Colaiste Ide 'B' will be hoping for lady luck to shine upon them when they face the already qualified Griffith College on Wednesday (2pm). They will need a win against their city rivals while hoping that St. Pat's Carlow slip up (1pm) otherwise it comes down to goal difference.

Group D - View Table

Limerick IT 'C' and UCC 'D' have qualified from the group as winners and runners-up respectively.

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