Compiled by Adrian Cooke
FAI Junior Cup – 3rd Round
A number North Tipperary clubs were looking to maintain their interest in this year’s FAI Junior Cup and reach the penultimate round before the nationwide open draw. Nenagh Celtic ‘A’ welcomed TSDL Division 1 pace setters Old Bridge to the VEC and edged out their opponents in a seven goal thriller with a 4 – 3 victory. The first half was incident packed with both sides going in level with all to play at 2 all after Mark Walsh and Danny Ryan scored for the home side. The Clonmel side were very much up for the contest and tested their hosts throughout but second half strikes from Dylan Walsh and the ever impressive Jimmy Hynes saw off their opponents and booked the Hoops spot in the fourth round draw. Streamstown Celtic ‘A’ were also up against a TSDL Division 1 side in the shape of Cullen/Lattin and progress to the fourth round of this competition for the first time in their club history. The NT&DL started brightly and their cause was helped no end as the home side had a man sent off early in the game. Paul Doyle, one of Streamstown’s star players this season set up the first goal as he cleverly played through Shane Moloney to finish from close range and take a deserved lead after 36 minutes. The visitors defence stood strong throughout the second half with Ray McNicholas excelling throughout. The Roscrea side made sure of the victory with only minutes remaining as Paul Doyle capped his fine performance with a well taken goal to ensure they are deserved contenders in the fourth round draw, a challenge which they will relish and savour as the club continues to make history. The only all North Tipperary match left in the competition this weekend pitted Division 1 side Borrisokane against Premier League high fliers BT Harps with the Division 1 side going against recent form and upsetting the odds to overcome the Templemore side with a slender 1 nil victory. Both sides were thankful for the woodwork intervening to keep matters all square at the break, but it was John Doyle who was the difference on the day as he latched on to a perfect through ball from Colm Larkin and slot home under the advancing keeper. The home side held out for the win, whose task was made all the easier when Harp’s were reduced to ten men midway through the second half as they produced one of the results of the weekend.
The weekends glamour tie saw Roscrea United ‘A’ welcome Nenagh AFC ‘A’ to Kennedy Park where the home side ran out comfortable 4 nil winners to move up to second in the Premier League. A number of eyebrows were raised at the result, but Roscrea will feel they were deserved winners on the day as they signalled their intent to upset the Nenagh based dominance in the top flight of the NT&DL. Nenagh’s recent injury woes were compounded by two early first half substitutions enforced by further injuries which meant they were facing an uphill battle in front of a large home support. Roscrea’s first goal came from a well taken free kick in the tenth minute from the boot of Brian Moloney, albeit with the help of a deflection. It was soon 2 nil as Moloney grabbed his second goal when he was quickest to react to a parried save by Aaron Savage in the Nenagh goal. The Premier League’s runaway top scorer and arguably player of the season so far, Paul Kirwan was on the mark with a trademark header to make it 3 nil. The Brickfields side were further put to the sword as Darren O’Connor volleyed home his sides fourth with only minutes remaining to send the Kennedy Park into outright second place and put pressure on Nenagh Celtic ‘A’ who have 2 games in hand. Lough Derg ‘A’ were on the road for the second week running and this time had something to show for their days endeavours as they drew 1 all with Thurles Town. Both sides started the game with no points on the board this season and were keen to kick start their campaign and it was the home side who thought they had made sure of the valuable three points thanks to a fourth minute strike from Darren Connor, only to be outdone by a late strike from Tom Grace for the visitors. Town will feel they left points behind them on the day but Lough Derg will argue they defended well and earned this hard fought point.
Holycross continue their impressive run of form and made it 8 wins from 8 games as they move further clear of second placed Streamstown Celtic who were out in cup action this weekend. Rearcross ‘A’ were the hosts this time round and it was Davy O’Toole who gave them the lead in the opening minutes but they could not hold out until half time as Holycross levelled just before the break with a strike. Rearcross will feel they played well but will be keen to erase the last ten minutes of the game from their minds as the high flying Glenbane side struck 3 times to ensure all the points. Jo Jo O’Meara continues to score with ease for Holycross but it was man of the match Kyle Dennehy who stole the headlines with three goals. An under strength Moneygall side continue to struggle to find their feet in the first division as they fell to a heavy defeat by Borroway Rovers at the Greyhound Stadium in Thurles. The game as a contest was over at half time as David Bourke notched up a first half hat trick, and the visitors had Tadhg Kennedy to thank for saving a penalty to ensure it wasn’t 4 nil at the break. Borroway did make it 4 nil after the break as Dave McGuire struck home from distance. Moneygall did get on the score sheet courtesy of Michael Parlon, but that goal was soon after cancelled out thanks to a strike from Seamus Woodlock for the Thurles side as they close in on Borrisokane in the push for fourth place. Nenagh AFC ‘B’ entertained bottom side Ardcroney and will consider themselves very lucky to come away with all three points after winning out 1 nil. Ardcroney did not show any signs of their poor form of late as they matched Nenagh across the park leaving it all to play for in the second half as it remained 0 – 0 at the interval. The deadlock was broken in the 73rd minute when Willie Darcy found Mikey Duff with a clever pass who in turn made no mistake in front of goal. The full time whistle was a welcome sound for the hosts, as Ardcroney pressed hard for the equaliser and will rightly feel aggrieved not to have something to show for their efforts as they hit the woodwork twice in the later stages of the game.
There was plenty of movement at the top end of the second division to ensure there is a sense of drama as the season unfolds with 5 teams still in contention for silverware and promotion. BT Harps ‘B’ drop from joint first to joint second as they lost out to championship rivals Ballymackey ‘A’ on a 3 – 1 score line. The first half was a cagey affair with neither side committing men forward as was seen with the score being nil all at the break. However, the second half was a different game with the hosts racing into a three nil lead thanks to a brace from Timmy Fleming and a third from Martin Flynn. Harps got a late consolation goal through Willie Kavanagh and will be keen to get back to winning ways away to Nenagh Celtic ‘B’ next Sunday who themselves turned in another impressive display on the road as they overcame Portumna Town to knock them off the top spot in the league. Celtic dominated proceedings from an early stage and were two nil up at the break. The home side halved the deficit early in the second half through Gary Lynch but could not gain a further foothold in the game as the Hoops tagged on another three goals, one of which was an unfortunate own goal to add to the Galway sides woes on the day. On the mark for Celtic were Darren McGrath with a double, Tadgh McCarthy and Keith Langton. Roscrea United ‘B’ emerged joint leaders in the division after they overcame Nenagh AFC ‘C’ in the second Roscrea versus Nenagh match in the town last Sunday. It was the Brickfield side who struck first with free kick rifled home by Stevie Daly. The visitors didn’t even have time to reflect on their lead as Roscrea scored straight from the resulting kick off as Marc Woods slotted home after some clever play by the hosts. It remained 1 all at the break with both sides guilty of being wasteful in front of goal. Barry Loughnane put Roscrea ahead with a stunning volley from all of 30 yards five minutes before Woods added his second and Roscrea’s third. Nenagh did manage to get a second with Daly again on the mark to cause some concern for the hosts, who eventually made sure of the points with a late strike from the free scoring Joe Callaghan. Nenagh will take little consolation from their good performance as they didn’t capitalise on a number of guilt edged chances, especially when it was 3 – 2 with only 6 minutes to play. Joint bottom clubs in the division, Cloughjordan ‘B’ and Clodiagh Rangers ‘B’ played out an entertaining 4 all draw when it was an outright victory both teams were craving to gain some momentum and lift themselves from the oncoming relegation battle. The visitors were 3 – 1 to the good at half time and were good value for their lead but credit must be given to Cloughjordan who refused to let the tie get away from them and pegged the Drombane side back with strikes from Andrew Brennan, Dean O’Meara and Colin Browne. On the mark for Clodiagh was Ailbe O’Donoghue with his first brace of the season, Ger Grant and Rory Ryan. All things considered the visitors were glad to leave with a point after Cloughjordan hit the post with a late penalty to deny themselves all three points.
Lough Derg ‘B’ continue their rise up the table and moved into outright second place with a convincing 6 nil win over Clodiagh Rangers ‘C’. The Drombane side will be left to ponder on a second half spell of 15 minutes where they conceded 5 goals which came courtesy of Jamie Stuart, Eric Monaghan and Noel McInerney. Monaghan completed his hat trick on the day with a late goal to leave Clodiagh without a win in their last 4 outings. Gurtagarry continue to sweep away all that comes before them in this division with another comprehensive win with Shannon Rangers being the hapless victims this time round. Paddy O’Rourke and Billy Corcoran both netted a hat tricks as their side ran out comfortable 6 – 2 winners to see them move 8 points clear at the summit. O’Rourke and Corcoran continue to score with ease and are in contention to be the division’s top scorers with O’Rourke edging it at present with an impressive 17 goals so far. Streamstown Celtic ‘B’ returned to winning ways as they overcame an injury stricken Ballymackey ‘B’ in Roscrea last Sunday with a convincing 4 – 2 win. The hosts took an early lead through an own goal after a Joey Touhy cross mistakenly found the net. Touhy made it two nil minutes later as he latched on to a pass from Kevin King to slot home. Despite being reduced to ten men for a handball infringement by the Streamstown keeper, they still managed to go three nil ahead after the impressive Touhy found Murty Grimes in space to tap home from close range. Ballymackey tagged one back from the penalty spot thanks to Marty Flynn to make it 3 – 1 but Grimes then bagged his second to see off any further come back from the visitors, who did get a late second consolation goal through Damien Walsh. Sallypark ‘B’ continue to stay in touch with mid table rivals Borrisokane ‘B’ as they won out 2 – 1 and remain unbeaten in their last three league matches. Eugen Foley and Robert Fitzpatrick were both on the mark for the home side as they move into fourth position and right back in the promotion race.
League newcomers, Birdhill Youths made it two wins from two games as they overcame Holycross Youths in an entertaining game which finished in favour of the visitors. Birdhill took the lead through from the penalty spot in the tenth minute but matters were soon level when Tossy Ryan scored for Holycross. Again the visitors went ahead only to be pulled level again through Simon Byrne to leave it all square at the break. In keeping with the first half, Birdhill took the lead for the third time, but back came the hosts again thanks to Phillip Fogarty. Holycross then took the lead after Aaron Ryan finished well inside the area, but it was Birdhill’s turn to level it at 4 all and with a share of the spoils being a fair result for both sides, back came the visitors to snatch the win on the final whistle. Daniel Delaney was on the mark for Birdhill, but it was man of the match Jack Delahunty who won the game with an impressive four goals.
Munster Youths Cup
Nenagh Celtic Youths made short work of guests Ardcroney Youths last Saturday afternoon in the second round of the Munster Youths Cup with an impressive 6 – 1 victory. As a contest the game was well finished at half time as Celtic ran in to a commanding four nil lead by half time with Jamie Kelly, Paul Walsh, Sean O’Meara and Eddie Shoer all scoring. O’Meara netted his second along with Connie O’Reilly contributing a goal late in the second half to see the VEC side into the third round draw. Jason McKenna provided to the solitary response for Ardcroney in a game they will be keen to forget.