If Andrew Cronje’s Corinthian are to win a maiden Irish Senior or Leinster Senior league title, Glenanne are the foe they most need to dispose of in the wake of Pembroke’s faltering campaign.
Their re-fixed league tie will be pivotal on the domestic scene but of more pressing concern is Saturday’s cup tie at St Mark’s.
Both clubs have shown that a counter-attacking style can upset Pembroke’s rhythm but playing such a style against each other is an unlikely option.
The Glens eased past Corinthian prior to Christmas in the league with Graham Shaw in top form while Stephen Butler reverted for the first time back to a sweeper role that has become a regular resting place.
In tandem with Joe Brennan, it leaves a formidable rock to break down for the unique and unpredictable skills of Darren Kimfley, Davy Carson and Lucas Piccioli.
Gary Shaw has emerged as a superb raiding force in recent times and how the rejuvenated Colin Black or Alan Blennerhassett deal with that threat could also be key.
Also in the foothills of the Dublin mountains, two of the tournament’s most famous names go toe-to-toe with spectators hoping Three Rock and Lisnagarvey recreate the incredible 6-5 Irish Club Championships semi-final of 2008.
Mitch Darling’s five was the story of that game but he has since passed on to Belgian pastures. Rovers are now without fellow internationals Phelie Maguire, Charlie Henderson and Peter Blakeney from that team.
Neil Lyons continues to be absent due to work commitments making it a very new look Rovers side with Tom Samuel and Ross Canning leading the new breed.
Cricket international Greg Thompson is the visiting threat to go with Timmy Cockram’s corners. Between the clubs, they have notched up 32 Irish Senior Cup titles and 46 final appearances in total.
Monkstown, in search of their first Irish Senior win since before the first World War, will hope to use Rathdown advantage to full effect against a lively Kilkeel outfit who had been threatening to break the top five hegemony in Ulster prior to a 5-2 loss to North Down.
Shooting sticks were marked absent last Sunday in the Mills’ semi-finals but if the Town can rectify that issue, they are in with a shout of a second semi-final place in three years.
Banbridge play Annadale in the all-Ulster tie at Havelock Park.
In the Leinster league, the northside derby may have come too late for Clontarf to affect their league standing. Fingal, meanwhile, will hope to avoid the play-off spot and need three points from the tie to move back ahead of UCD.
Nothing less than victory for Pembroke across the Dart tracks at Railway Union will be acceptable if they are to keep their outside league chances alive.
On Sunday, YMCA will attempt to add further nuisance value to the top sides when they visit Glenanne.
In division two, Weston and Avoca need three points from their home ties against Trinity and Navan, respectively to take advantage of Suttonians’ mid-week lapse. The Neville Davin Cup gets underway on Sunday.
Men’s Irish Senior Cup Quarter Finals (Saturday):
Banbridge v Annadale, 2.45pm, Havelock Park; Monkstown v Kilkeel, 1.30pm, Rathdown; Three Rock Rovers v Lisnagarvey, 2.30pm, Grange Road; Glenanne v Corinthian, 1pm, Glenanne Park
Leinster Division One (Saturday):
Fingal v Clontarf, 2pm, ALSAA; Railway Union v Pembroke Wanderers, 2.30pm, Park Avenue
Sunday: Glenanne vs YMCA, 1pm, St Mark’s
Men’s Division Two (Saturday):
Weston vs Dublin University, 1.45pm,Griffeen Valley Park; Avoca vs Navan, 1.45pm, Newpark
Neville Davin Cup (Sunday):
Dublin University vs Weston, 1.30pm, Grange Road; Bray vs Suttonians, 4.30pm, Loreto Bray; Navan vs Avoca, 12.30pm, Kings Hospital