Galway United go in search of an unprecedented 11th consecutive win when they entertain Cobh Ramblers tomorrow night in Eamonn Deacy Park (7.45pm ).
A bumper crowd in Terryland is expected as United is hosting juvenile clubs from the city and county to cheer on their heroes.
The Tribesmen come into this contest on the back of another successful away trip, beating Kerry away by 4-1 win despite falling behind in the first quarter.
An uncharacteristically lax start from the visitors was eventually punished when Ryan Kelliher put the hosts in front in the 40th minute. However, David Hurley headed a crucial equaliser before the break to settle the nerves of a sizeable travelling support.
United thundered into the tie after the break with Stephen Walsh powering home in the 50th and 68th minutes, and fullback Colm Horgan produced the pick of the goals in between when he picked up possession on the right, drove goalwards and unleashed a vicious right-footed effort past Wayne Guthrie.
The victory sends United clear on 30 points, but Galway fans will be mindful of challengers Waterford, who have won five-in-a-row since the arrival of new boss Keith Long. United sit seven points clear ahead of their crucial encounter on Friday week, while Waterford enjoy a seven-point lead over third-placed Bray Wanderers.
Despite this big contest looming, tricky fixtures against Cobh and away to Longford on the bank holiday weekend are the immediate concerns for United. Shane Keegan’s side has faltered somewhat after an impressive start, having only mustered one win in their last six. In the last meeting between the sides, United turned in a professional performance in Cobh, winning 2-0.
Ramblers remain a side that will command total respect from their hosts. They have recruited shrewdly, are well-drilled and a threat to every team in the division.
John Caulfield will be delighted that Ronan Manning enjoyed minutes in Kerry before a busy long weekend, while the presence of Regan Donelon on the bench will also have been pleasing, particularly in the context of Conor O’ Keeffe’s absence.
The signs to date have suggested that the recruitment of Caulfield and Ollie Horgan, as well as the coaching of Chris Collopy, is producing a fit and hungry squad capable of any challenge in this division. Galway fans who flock to Eamonn Deacy Park in their thousands in the forthcoming week, will hope to witness more evidence of this.