CLONTARF, last yearís Premier League runners-up, will likely have to win their remaining three games in the Leinster League Cup to keep their place in the top flight.

It seemed unthinkable when the new format for this season was announced that the Castle Avenue side would not be in the league which they have won as recently as 2015 and 2016 but, after losing their first three games, they are now in must-territory, starting with an away game against Rush.

The top four in the two League Cup groups will make up this seasonís Premier League but Clontarf are currently sixth, with only nine bonus points, and 29 points behind Balbriggan who are currently in fourth place.

Rush are the team immediately above Clontarf, having won their last game against Terenure, so victory for the visitors today would see them swap places and start their climb up the table with games against Terenure and Pembroke to come.

In contrast, itís been plain sailing for defending league champions Merrion who have dropped only four points in their first four games and tomorrow take their unbeaten record to third placed Pembroke.

In Group A, The Hills and Malahide can both confirm their Premier League places with wins at Dublin University and Railway Union respectively before they meet at Milverton next Saturday.

Phoenix will also be well placed to retain their Premier League spot, despite finishing bottom last season, if they beat North County in the Park tomorrow, all the games being put back 24 hours because of todayís Ireland-West Indies international at Malahide.