A win for Mullingar Town over Killeigh Ramblers this Sunday could, if one other result goes their way, see them crowned Combined Counties Football League Division 1 champions before the month of January is out.
A win for Mullingar Town over Killeigh Ramblers this Sunday (11am) could, if one other result goes their way, see them crowned Combined Counties Football League Division 1 champions before the month of January is out.
It's a question of when, rather than if, Leroy Rhodes' charges will return to the Premier Division at the first time of asking, but the right combination of results this weekend will see them do it earlier than expected.
With forwards Stephen and Michael Fadian in fine fettle, resurgent Town have won 12 out of 14 games this year, though their stride was temporarily halted by a shock defeat to Gracefield after Christmas - albeit without two or three key players.
They will be leaving nothing to chance against mid-tablers Killeigh, despite having hit the Offaly club with six goals in earlier Division 1 tie at D'Alton Park in late November.
"If results go our way, we will win the league, but we have to win our game on Sunday to make that happen," says club chairman, Martin Moore.
The other crucial Division 1 fixture next weekend is the meeting of Gracefield and Temple Villa. If Villa slip up, and Town beat Killeigh, then the Division 1 crown will be going to D'Alton Park. If not, the Mullingar men will have to wait another week.
Elsewhere in soccer, Mullingar Athletic's struggling 'A' side host league leaders Willow Park in a CCFL Senior Division fixture at Gainstown tonight (8pm).
Athletic are playing for survival and pride at this stage. A squad weakened by retirements and injuries has been thrown right into the relegation mix, but their survival case was helped by a recent win over Mountmellick.
Tonight's fixture would give the Gainstown club an ideal opportunity to take their high-flying Athlone rivals down a peg or two. But Willow, who have won nine out of their 11 games so far, are on song, and will be hard beaten.
In the Premier Division meanwhile, the stage is being set for a fascinating title/promotion battle between Athletic and Willow's 'B' sides. Athletic are idle this weekend, and Willow 'B', who take on Clonaslee United, have a chance to close the gap at the top of the table.
Finally, Mullingar Athletic's women's side host Tullamore Town at home on Sunday, and hope to use this game in hand to secure a three-point lead over Killeigh at the top of the CCFL Women's Division.
Athletic are looking to clinch their third consecutive Women's Division title.