Cill Dara, Clane go head-to-head in opening round of the Towns Cup

THE Newstalk Provincial Towns Cup swings into action this weekend with 14 ties down for decision and the local derby between Cill Dara and Clane gets proceedings underway on Saturday evening (KO 5:30 pm) in Beechpark.

THE Newstalk Provincial Towns Cup swings into action this weekend with 14 ties down for decision and the local derby between Cill Dara and Clane gets proceedings underway on Saturday evening (KO 5:30 pm) in Beechpark.

Both sides will be looking for a good Cup run and with neither having been in particularly good form of late it’s a hard one to predict.

Home advantage might edge it towards Cill Dara but a lot will depend on their powers of recovery from last week’s disappointment in Carlow.

The remaining action is all on Sunday with Newbridge hosting Roscrea at this stage of the competition for the third year and on form should account for their visitors for the third year in a row.

Newbridge have failed to sparkle since Christmas but they have shown in the first half of the campaign that they are capable of mixing it with the best.

Roscrea have struggled in Division 2 this year and over the years have had trouble when venturing away from their Streamstown fortress; a home win is definitely on the cards here.

North Kildare are going well in Division 3 and will entertain Towns Cup debutants West Offaly Lions from Ferbane.

The visitors have struggled at the basement of Division 1B all season but will be greatly encouraged by a first win of the season at home against Portarlington last week.

The Kilcock side have however been in good form since the second phase of the League commenced and may just be able to sneak it on Sunday.

A year ago Athy caused one of the big Towns Cup upsets of recent years when they won in Skerries; on Sunday they’ll face a task almost as great when they travel to Division 2 leaders Longford.

Athy are third in Division 3 Section “A” but their form here has failed to match their Phase 1 form when they were unbeaten.

Longford have been consistent all season and it’ll take a mighty effort by the south Kildare team to knock them off.

Edenderry travel to Tullow to face a team that had won five Division 1B games on the trot before they lost 32-17 in Monkstown on Saturday.

If the visitors are to emerge triumphant it will take a mighty effort as the hosts would be considered a good outside bet for outright success.

Naas 2nd XV are not having a great season in the Metro J1 League Section “B” and they won’t relish the journey up to Ashbourne.

The home side are in the thick of the Division 2 promotion race and while Naas are two time winners of the treasured trophy a win in Ashbourne would constitute a surprise.

• The draw for the 2nd round of the Newstalk Provincial Towns Cup will take place in North Kildare RFC immediately after the North Kildare v West Offaly Lions tie.