Cabinteely are looking to end their season on a high Picture: Paul Lundy

Cabinteely director of football Pat Devlin is looking for a big crowd for their final home game of the season as they welcome Shelbourne to Stradbrook Park in the Dublin derby (Friday, 7.45pm).

This season hasn’t quite gone to plan for upwardly-mobile Cabo, who have improved their position in each of their three seasons in the League of Ireland and sought to kick on again.

With the First Division expanding to ten teams with two extra sides from the Premier dropping down this year, it was always going to be a tough ask for the south Dublin side.

Cabo targeted the play-offs, nevertheless, and Devlin feels they had the tools to make it to the business end of the season in spite of other clubs having greater resources.

With Shelbourne still well in the hunt for a play-off spot – a win would guarantee them a say in the post-season – it will be no easy task for Cabo.

The Reds have yet to take a win from their meetings with Cabinteely so far, however, the home side having won one and drawn one of their league fixtures to date.

“The Shelbourne game will be very tough for us,” Devlin told the Dublin Gazette.

“They’re obviously looking to the play-offs. In July, in the window, they got in very experienced players. It’ll be a great test and it should be a very good game with a large crowd.

“And going onto the Finn Harps match, depending on how things go in Belfield, we may have a say in how they finish.”

Cabo got their biggest crowd of the season the last time the Reds visited as more than 600 crowded into Stradbrook Park, the home they share with Blackrock College RFC.

Devlin is aware that crowds won’t consistently reach those levels unless the club is performing on the pitch and they’ve been plagued by inconsistency thus far.

Cabo have drawn just two games this season – winning nine and losing 14 – while last season’s First Division player of the year Marty Waters has seen his goal tally drop from 17 to six.

“I do think we should be in the play-offs. We dropped points to Wexford and Cobh [the teams immediately behind them].

“We’ve been very unfortunate with injuries. I was out myself for three or four months myself with an illness. Graham O’Hanlon had to go away; he got a job in America.

“The lads have had a lot of changes and you’ve got to give them a lot of credit for the way they’ve got out and performed.

“We’re not a team that has a lot of financing with regard to paying players, so we’ve done OK but I still think we’ve underachieved. I think we can go better next year and reach the play-offs.”

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