North Tipperary & District League Weekly Review
The second round of fixtures in the NT&DL league season played out over the bank holiday weekend.
In the Premier Division, last year’s champions Killavilla United were twice pegged back by Portumna Town with the game eventually ending in a 3-3 draw. The sides cancelled each other out in the opening half with match scoreless at the break. Villa took the lead early in the second half through Roddy Teehan but Portumna pulled level with a strike from Ronnie Forde on the hour mark. Villa stepped up a gear after this and pulled two clear with a second goal from Teehan and a Conor Nolan finish. Portumna weren’t about to give up however, Malcolm Flannery reduced the deficit thirteen minutes from the end before Ciaran Haugh snatched a final equaliser five minutes from time. A tight game that may indicate that a very competitive league season lies ahead.
Elsewhere in the Premier Division, Thurles Town secured a 2-0 away win over newly promoted Moneygall FC. Town took a narrow one goal lead and held onto it until late in the game. As Moneygall piled forward in search of an equaliser, Thurles pounced with a goal of their own to double the advantage and secure a valuable three points.
On a wet and windy Tuesday night in Thurles, Borroway Rovers produced something of an upset with a 3-2 comeback win at home to Nenagh Celtic. Celtic took a 2-1 lead into the break with two goals from star striker Jimmy Hynes either side of a Jake Moore finish for Borroway. Rovers didn’t let their heads drop however, first equalising and then taking the lead midway through the second half after a tidy brace from last season’s top scorer Calum O’Connor. Celtic pushed hard for the remaining twenty minutes but couldn’t find an equaliser and the win for Borroway sees Paul Gould’s side enjoy a dream start to their league campaign.
In Division 1, Cloughjordan and Ballymackey played out a thrilling 3-3 draw last Thursday. Ballymackey scored through Terry Delaney, John Pio Fitzpatrick and Steven Delaney while Clough’s efforts came from Paul Lake and a brace from Joe Callaghan, the second a twenty yard bullet to secure a share of the spoils.
Clough got back to winning ways on Sunday with a 4-0 rout of Holycross FC. Paul Lake scored once more for Clough with Kevein Kennedy, Dean O’Meara and Matthew Moyles also netted.
Ballymackey also secured three points at the weekend with a 3-2 win over Clodagh Rangers FC. The game was level at 1-1 going in to half time with James Murray scoring for Clodagh after John Fitzpatrick had given Ballymackey the lead. The Ballinree side pulled ahead in the second half with goals from John O’Connor and Terry Delaney to put them 3-1 up. A late strike from Greg Fewer proved to be only a consolation for Clodagh who are enduring a more difficult than expected start to life in Division 1.
One side that is thriving in the second tier is Lough Derg FC and they continued their fine start to the campaign with a 2-1 win over Rearcross on Friday evening. Jason Comley and Alex Lawlor were the goal-scorers for Lough Derg and manager Peader Lyons will be hoping his side can continue this fine early run of form in the weeks ahead. Michael O’Gorman scored for a Rearcross side that are still trying to find their rhythm this season.
In Division 2, Borrisokane kept their perfect start going with a 4-3 win away to Moneygall B while Clough B secured a 2-1 win away at Clodagh. Arra Rovers produced the performance of the weekend with a 7-2 rout of Silvermines FC.
The NT&DL 2019 league season kicked off at the weekend with nine games across the three divisions.
In the Premier Division games Moneygall FC travelled to Portumna Town for their first top division game for a number of years but came away on the wrong side of a seven goal thriller. Portumna dominated the opening half and toom a 3-1 lead into the break thanks to goals from Ronan O’Meara, Kevin Brummell and a David Nee penalty. Paul Costello had drawn the game level midway through the half but Moneygall found the initial pace of the game difficult to master. In the second half Moneygall produced a far better performance with two goals from Jack O’Brien either side of another Portumna goal from Ryan Hanrahan. The away side pushed hard for the last quarter of an hour but couldn’t find the equaliser and Portumna could celebrate a successful start to their season.
Elsewhere, last year’s champions Killavilla United continued where they left off with a 3-0 win at home to Borroway Rovers.
Division 1 saw two games on Friday night, the first of which saw the two relegated sides from last year’s Premier division pitted against each other. Clodagh Rangers and Holycross both experienced challenging campaigns in the top division last season but will be looking to secure an immediate return. On Friday night the two evenly matched sides produced a cracking game that ended honours even at 2-2. Jojo O’Meara had netted from the spot to put Holycross in front on the half hour before Paul Hanley scored to make it all square heading into the break. Holycross retook the lead on the hour but again were pegged back by Clodagh ten minutes from time through a James Murray strike.
An under strength Rearcross FC played host to Sallypark on Friday evening and again the game ended in a 2-2 draw. Alvis Danko scored twice for Sallypark either side of a Gary Ryan strike to leave the score at 2-1 with 20 minutes remaining. Paddy Ronan thought he had given Sallypark a two goal lead with a diving header 15 minutes from the end but the referee awarded a goal kick. The away side argued that the ball had gone through a hole in the net but the referee was unmoved and minutes later Sallypark’s misery was compounded when Rearcross were awarded a penalty. Last year’s top scorer Michael O’Gorman stepped up to convert the spot kick and the game ended all square at 2-2.
On Sunday, Lough Derg FC travelled to Ardcroney and secured a super 3-2 win. Three Derg stalwarts, Jason Comley, Kieran Larkin and Damien McCarthy, all found the net in a huge first win for the newly promoted side.
In Division 2, Moneygall B laid down a marker with a 4-0 win over last year cup champions Birdhill FC. Newly signed Nistor Tordeci and Rian McLoughlin, both formerly of Shinrone United, grabbed a brace apiece to secure a comfortable win for their side.
Borrisokane FC also secured a welcome 2-0 win over Arra Rovers to get their season off to a perfect start. Conor Gavin gave Borris the lead after 11 minutes and they dominated proceedings before securing the win with a Llewellyn Mooney goal five minutes from the end.
Elsewhere, Clodagh Rangers won 5-1 away to Templetuohy while Cloughjordan B beat Silvermines 4-1.