FOR the second time in three weeks, Cork City’s men and women will take on the same club over the course of the same weekend.
Last night, Colin Healy’s side took another huge step towards claiming the First Division title when they hit Athlone Town for six goals at Turner’s Cross.
On Saturday night, Danny Murphy’s troops will make the long journey up the motorway to county Westmeath to take on Athlone Town at the Athlone Town Stadium with kick-off set for 7pm.
Unlike their male counterparts, this meeting between the two clubs does not come in the league instead, it is a massive quarter-final showdown in the Women’s FAI Cup.
And unfortunately, also unlike the men’s match, it will be Athlone Town who head into the fixture as overwhelming favourites as they currently sit third in the Women’s National League table while the Rebel Army lie second from the bottom.
Athlone have arguably been the story of the season in Irish women’s football and they will come into this game high in confidence having secured a hard-earned 2-1 win at home to DLR Waves last weekend which keeps them firmly in the hunt for the league title.
They are just six points behind Champions and league leaders Shelbourne with a game in hand and they will be confident of booking their place in the final four of the national cup when City, who were beaten 3-1 by Bohemians at Dalymount Park last time out, come to town.
But the Leesiders will be boosted in the knowledge that they can go there and be competitive having only narrowly lost 1-0 on their last trip to Athlone just over one month ago.
“Defensively I thought we were very strong, we worked really hard, and we did all the right things that we’d worked on in training,” Murphy said after that match.
“We had a lot of possession and a lot of really good hold-up play in the final third.
"We rushed things a little bit, but I’ve said to the players that’s on me, because I’ve encouraged them to be aggressive, to win the ball back quickly.”
Funnily enough, City’s Women’s FAI Cup campaign would begin the following weekend with Murphy adding in the club’s online pre-match programme; “We’d all love a Cup run.
“The club was in the final not so long ago and that’s the kind of experience that we want to keep bringing back to the club and the fans.” To do that and to reach the semi-finals - one step away from the showpiece occasion - they will need to defeat a strong Athlone Town side.
It is also their last chance to salvage something positive from this season.