North Tipperary & District League Weekly Review
First placed Streamstown Celtic welcomed second placed title rivals Nenagh Celtic to Fanure Sunday morning last and remain top of the Premier League with a hard earned and well deserved three points thanks to a 2 – 1 victory in an entertaining encounter. Shane Moloney and John Bevans both netted for the home side with Stephen Flynn scoring for the visitors who now sit 5 points behind Streamstown, who themselves have two league games left to play, but Nenagh will be looking to take full advantage of their four games in hand to overtake the Roscrea side. Cloughjordan now slip to fourth place after being held by visitors Clodiagh Rangers 1 – 1 in a game where three points were essential for both sides for differing reasons. Clodiagh who were looking to creep out of the relegation zone, and opened the scoring against the run of play when Niall Shanahan tapped home from close range to leave the advantage to the Drombane side at half time. Cloughjordan seeking to remain third in the table, then moved three men up front and were rewarded when they levelled matters early in the second half. The home side pushed for the winner but, Clodiagh were stubborn in defence and were happy to settle for a point which means the bypass BT Harps who fell to a 3 nil defeat at the hands of Thurles Town, who themselves now move into third place and appear on course for a top four finish. John Lawlor, Eoin Dorney and Tommy Brophy all scored for Town as they condemned Harps into second bottom place, albeit with a number of games in hand over their nearest relegation rivals. Holycross’ season looks all but over in the Premier League as they lost out to a resurgent Lough Derg side in Glenbane by the odd goal in three, and will once again rue giving up the lead in a game as both sides went in level at the break one goal apiece. However, Lough Derg grabbed the winner with a typical counter attack late in the game as Holycross pushed for a much needed win, but it wasn’t to be as they now sit bottom of the Premier League eight points adrift of BT Harps.
Thurles outfit Borroway Rovers made the trek uphill to face Rearcross Saturday night for the floodlit game with both sides craving three points from their final game to ensure their First Division status in a tightly congested lower half of the league table. And it was a superb Michael O’Gorman strike four minutes from time which secures the homes sides’ status for next season. The Thurles side went ahead on eleven minutes when David McGuire got on the score sheet. It was all square shortly after when James Deegan scored with a smashing effort from just inside the box. The all-important goal came four minutes from time when Michael O’Gorman broke through the centre to send a cracking effort from all of thirty yards whizzing to the roof of the net to leave both sides now level on 18 points apiece after their last league game of the season. With Ardcroney losing 2 nil to second placed Moneygall, they now anxiously await the outcome of Roscrea United and Arra Rovers final league games to see who will be relegated from the division as all three now sit on 13 points each. Roscrea United who have a number of games in hand were away to league champions Borrisokane who didn’t appear to have a hangover from confirming their status as champions the week previous as they won out 3 – 1 with goals from Andy Austin (2) and Gordon Harding. Afterwards Borrisokane captain Andrew Nevin received the First Division league trophy to cap a fine domestic season for his side that will relish top flight soccer next season and will undoubtedly give a good account of themselves as they return to the premier league after a number of close attempts in recent years.
Potumna Town now move into second place and the automatic promotion spot thanks to a hard fought 1 nil victory over Gurtagarry in a thrilling game where the only goal came in the 70th minute when Sean O’Meara headed home from a perfectly taken Dave Fogarty corner. Gurtagarry threw the kitchen sink at their hosts but Portumna held firm with confidence and travel to Drombane next Sunday to face Clodiagh Rangers, knowing that another three points will put them firmly in the driving seat towards promotion. Nenagh Celtic confirmed their status as Second Division champions with a 2 – 2 draw with visiting Clodiagh Rangers. Clodiagh took the lead in this tie thanks to a Brian Hanrahan free kick and kept ahead until Celtic both drew level and took the lead in the second half, only to be pegged back by a late Alan Tierney free kick to leave it honours even on the day. A remarkable league campaign for Nenagh Celtic as they still maintain a 100% league record. They have not dropped any points and confirmed the league title with two games to spare leaving them as the only side unbeaten in NTDL league action this season.
Ballywilliam United confirmed their status as league champions on their final league game of the season as they overcame bottom side Sallypark with a convincing 5 – 1 victory. It was all over as a contest at half time thanks to the home side coasting into a 3 nil lead and they added two more in the second half, with Damien O’Brien capping a fine individual season with a well taken hat trick in addition to strikes from Keith Nealon and Danny Ryan. An impressive season for Ballywilliam United who reformed in 2014 and have gone from strength to strength in recent seasons and have been present at the top end of the table all season and will look back at important results against nearest title rivals Ballymackey and Holycross which ensured their success. Ballywilliam will now look to make it a league and cup double next Sunday as they face Holycross in the Fast Food Cup Final. It should make for a highly entertaining game with Holycross looking to extract revenge for narrowly missing out on league honours and promotion thanks to Ballywillliam’s late title charge.
Ballywilliam United – NTDL Third Division Champions 2015/2016