Munster Junior Cup
The first round of this year’s Munster Junior Cup saw its usual number of upsets with both league form and position counting for nothing in a number of games. The result of the weekend saw Nenagh AFC ‘C’ take yet another worthy scalp in this competition as they overcame Rearcross ‘A’ with a resounding 5 – 1 victory. Rearcross took the lead in this tie through an early strike from Micheal O’Gorman but they couldn’t hold on to the lead for long as Stevie Daly levelled the game to leave it 1 – 1 at the break. Nenagh exploded into the second half and hit their opponents for four unanswered goals with Daly getting his second helped by Dylan Kennedy, Dylan Sheehan and Casey Finn to set up a home fixture with Cloughjordan who themselves overcame an in form Streamstown Celtic ‘A’ in a thrilling game which went in favour of the visitors with a 6 – 4 score line. The hosts took the lead in the 24th minute after Wally Kirwan tapped home after some impressive build up play. It was 2 nil just before the break as Paul Doyle was set up by Craig Phelan to slot home. Cloughjordan grabbed an important lifeline just on the stroke of halftime with a well taken penalty. It was soon 2 all but Streamstown were awarded a penalty to make it 3 – 2 after Phelan converted. The hosts couldn’t hold on to their hard earned lead and conceded two more before Wally Kirwan netted from a free kick to make 4 all, but once again the Premier League side hit their opponents with another two goals to see themselves through an enthralling game. On the mark for Cloughjordan were Dean O’Meara and Kevin Kennedy who both bagged a double with further strikes from Michael Cleary and Adrian Browne. Holycross continue to impress at Glenbane and overcame Premier League high fliers Roscrea United ‘A’ in one of two games which went to penalties this weekend. Roscrea took the lead with another goal from the head of Paul Kirwan who saw his goal cancelled out with a stunning free kick from Kyle Denny. Not to be outdone, Kirwan restored his sides lead after he placed the ball home from 15 yards. Holycross would not yield to their high flying opponents as Denny turned provider as he set up Calum O’Connor to slot home from the edge of the area to leave it 2 – 2 at the break. It remained level for the remainder of the game and extra time ensued where O’Connor grabbed his second after converting a penalty in the first period of extra time. Roscrea grabbed their third via Brian Kealy in the second period of extra time to bring the game to penalties where Holycross emerged victorious after slotting home 4 penalties against Roscrea’s one. Clodiagh Rangers ‘A’ needed penalties to overcome a spirited performance from Second Division side Ballymackey ‘A’ in Drombane Sunday afternoon. The visitors took the lead after 5 minutes when Ballymackey stalwart Timmy Fleming cleverly lobbed the advancing Cooke in the Clodiagh goal. Paul Doyle was shortly afterwards on the score sheet after he was set up by Colm Breen to level matters. Once again, the Premier League side were behind when Robbie O’Gorman struck a well-placed shot to restore the visitors lead. Not to be outdone, Paul Doyle decided to have an effort from distance, which went beyond the reach of the visiting keeper into the top corner to level the game. The home side were once again behind after some neat build up play by Shane Gibbons who squared for Gearoid Murphy to tap home and leave 3 – 2 to the visitors at the break. Clodiagh welcomed both the half time break and break in poor weather conditions to regroup and upped the tempo in the second half and were rewarded when Colm Breen headed home a Mark Quinlan cross. As the game progressed, both sides were guilty of failing to convert in front of goal and the home side’s chances were dealt a blow when Paul Doyle received his marching orders with a second yellow. Ballymackey pushed hard for the winner but found John Leahy and Greg Fewer in no mood to concede another and penalties ensued where Adrian Cooke in the home goal saved twice to set up a second round encounter with Nenagh Celtic ‘A’ who themselves needed extra time to overcome Lough Derg ‘A’ in this all Premier League encounter. Lough Derg put their poor form of late in the league aside and took the lead in this game through Brian McKeogh, a lead they held until the break. Celtic levelled from the spot when Danny Ryan converted. The poor conditions didn’t help matter and extra time ensued where Celtic raced into a 3 – 1 thanks to strikes from Mark Walsh and Jimmy Hynes. Lough Derg reduced the deficit through Jason Monaghan to spark the nerves of their guests, but time was against the Clarisford side that will look to this good performance as a platform to kick start their league campaign. BT Harps ‘A’ also progress as they overcame an understrength Thurles Town in Templemore with a 4 nil victory. Harps were a goal to the good at the break and added another three without reply in the second half to see them through to face Holycross in the next round. On the mark for Harps were Mikey Greed with a brace, Christy Moore and Sam Van Dam. Borrisokane ‘A’ set up a second round tie with Nenagh AFC ‘A’ after they overcame Lough Derg ‘B’ in Clarisford after a 3 nil victory with goals from John Doyle and Shane Stapleton. Nenagh AFC ‘A’ continue to march on in the competition as they made short work of hosts Moneygall by hitting them for five unanswered goals. The home side’s efforts were not helped on the day after they lost their keeper through injury in the first half. Nenagh were three goals to the good at the break and tagged on another two in the second half. Goals on the day came from Jordan Lewis, a Dan Dalton double, Thomas Sheppard and Nathan Kelly.
There were only two games in the first division this weekend and both winning sides managed to climb the table with their victories. Nenagh AFC ‘B’ were comfortable 4 nil winners over Borroway Rovers at Islandbawn to move back into second place in the league. It was one nil at the break thanks Mikey Duffy and in the second half, Adam Mitchell, Damien Carey and Willie Darcy all found the back of the net. Borroway will feel they could have featured in the game, but could find no way past the impressive Cillian Fitzpatrick in the host’s goal. Ardcroney lifted themselves from the foot of the table as they recorded their first win of the season over fellow relegation fighters Arra Rovers. In a game which could be well considered the proverbial ‘six pointer’ it was the hosts who edged it out with a 2 – 1 win. Alan Darcy and Mark O’Meara were both in fine form as they both scored to put Arra Rovers bottom of the first division with 8 games played.
Clodiagh Rangers ‘B’ lifted themselves out of the relegation zone with a hard fought 6 – 4 win over hosts Portumna Town and put a dent in the Galway sides title hopes. The home side took an early lead after just three minutes when Sean O’Meara netted. It was soon level when Clodiagh were awarded a penalty which was converted by Paul Ryan and not long after, it was advantage to the Drombane side when they notched up their second goal. However, it was all going to be uphill for Clodiagh as Alan Tierney picked up his second yellow. Portumna pressed to grab the equaliser but were hit for a third goal, which sparked the home side into life as they levelled the game with strikes from Oisin Royston and Garry Curran. Royston then bagged his second with 13 minutes remaining to put the hosts in the lead, but Clodiagh turned in an impressive final ten minutes by netting three times to grab a vital three points. Scorers for Clodiagh were Paul Shanahan, L.J. Ryan and a hat trick from Ailbe O’Donoghue. Roscrea United ‘B’ had too much firepower for an under strength Kilcommon side as the Kennedy Park side returned to the summit of the Second Division with an emphatic victory. On the mark for Roscrea in the one sided match were Shane Murphy and Joe Callaghan with a hat trick each in addition to a brace from Richard Brosnan and further strikes from Aidan Moloney and Josh Wynne. BT Harps ‘B’ returned to winning ways away to Nenagh Celtic ‘B’ and keep the pressure on first place Roscrea United ‘B’ and remain in second place, with only a single point between the teams. Harps raced in to two nil lead in this game with a brace from the prolific Willie Kavanagh. Celtic got back into the game and levelled matters with strikes from Keith Langton and Lee Mitchell. However, Harps took the upper hand in the 70th minute when Keith Nolan lobbed the keeper with a stylish finish. Harps made sure of the points with a late strike from Stefan Leahy in the 85th minute.
Clodiagh Rangers ‘C’ delightedly returned to winning ways with a comprehensive 7 nil win over visitors Templetouhy. The hosts took a two nil advantage into the second half thanks to goals from Niall Shanahan and Dominik Pastorik. Clodiagh’s task was made all the more easier as Templetouhy were reduced to ten men early in the second half and the home side took full advantage as they scored 5 more goals with David Considine returning to scoring ways with a hat trick. Also on the mark was Pa O’Dwyer with a brace. Rearcross ‘B’ earned a vital 3 points to lift them from the foot of the table as they overcame Ballymackey ‘B’ on a 3 – 1 score line. The home side led throughout this fixture after they look the lead through Tommy Lyons. Ballymackey were back on level terms just before the break thanks to Kevin Mounsey. The second half saw a host of chances for both sides, but it was Rearcross who proved more clinical with efforts from Kieran Devitt and Joey Nolan making sure of the more than welcome victory. Gurtagarry remain both unbeaten and top of the league with a hard fought 3 – 2 over Barnane who were unlucky not to get something from this game as they put their league position aside to threaten the top sides 100% record. Paddy Pio O’Rourke continues to show his prowess in front of goal with a crucial brace, and helped no end with a strike from teammate Nicky Ryan. David Collins was also on the mark for Barnane with well taken brace but it wasn’t enough to topple the division pace setters. Borrisokane ‘B’ took advantage of the fact that Lough Derg ‘B’ were out in cup competition this weekend to move into second place by overcoming Streamstown Celtic ‘B’ at Fanure last Sunday. The hosts found themselves three goals down as Borrisokane exploded into the game and completely dominated the first half. Streamstown to their credit improved in the second half and got on the score sheet when Colm Ryan latched on to a low cross from Mikey Kirwan. However, all the home sides good work was undone when the visitors added a fourth late in the second half. Both Matt Power and Neil Kennedy bagged a brace each for Borrisokane as they have the unenvious task of trying to catch the leagues dominant leaders Gurtagarry. Sallypark ‘B’ remain in contention for promotion with a solid 3 – 1 away victory over the leagues bottom side Ballywilliam United. The hosts were two nil down after two early first half strikes from Dylan Reid and David Young. The hosts got back in the side thanks to Danny Wisnaewski who finished in style from the edge of the area. Sallypark made sure of the victory with a well taken free kick from Young for his second of the game. Wisnaewski grabbed his second in the form of late consolation goal after he reacted first to a deflected free kick.
Nenagh AFC Youths commenced their league campaign with an emphatic win over an understrength Arra Rovers who could do nothing to stem the tide against a free scoring Nenagh side who have signalled their intent as they look to retain their Division 1 crown. On the mark for the Brickfield side were Stevie Daly with a hat trick, Dylan Sheahan with a brace, Dylan Power, Ross Hughes, Paddy O’Sullivan and Josh McCarthy. Birdhill Youths fell to their first defeat of the season as they couldn’t match an impressive Ballymackey Youths side who won out comfortable 7 – 2 winners. Scorers for the home side were Kevin Connolly and Daniel Delaney, but they were no match for the Ballymackey side who won their first game of the season with style. Cloughjordan Youths notched up their first win of the season as they overcame Lough Derg in with a narrow 2 – 1 victory. The home side were two goals to the good with thanks to well taken goals from Luke Dervan and Steve Lynch. The visitors got on the score sheet late into in injury time, but it was a case of too little too late. BT Harps Youths had too much fire power for Holycross Youths as they ran out impressive 5 – 1 winners to go clear at the summit of the Youths Division. Niall Condon scored a late consolation goal for the home side after Jordan Moloney, Luke Quinlan, Mikey Greed and a Stevie Quinlan made sure of all three points.