Nenagh AFC ‘A’ finished their league campaign thanks to a dominant second half display against already relegated Thurles Town. Thurles travelled to Brickfields, and were looking to cause an upset at the venue which has not been a happy hunting ground in recent years. Thurles took the lead when Christy Burke struck first and Thurles were unlucky not to see themselves 2 goals to the good, but for a last ditch off the line clearance from the home defence. However, Roy Creagh managed to grab the equaliser not long before the break to see the sides go in level. However, the second was a different game with Thurles having to soak up a lot of pressure and eventually Nenagh broke through thanks to another goal from Creagh and Mark McKenna also scoring. Another impressive league campaign from Nenagh who remain in first place as they await the outcome of second placed Nenagh Celtic ‘A’ game against Thurles Town, where a win for Celtic will see a playoff between the top two sides for Premier League honours. Having only lost the one game all season, Nenagh’s main talisman this season was Dan Dalton who scored an impressive 15 goals, to match the tally of Paul Kirwan for Roscrea United and with the inclusion of some of the clubs young stars like Francis Munsterberg in addition to the experience of Mark Cahill and Thomas Sheppard, Nenagh AFC ‘A’ were formidable opposition all season long having reached the quarter final stage of the Munster Junior Cup.
Premier League Ricky Fogarty Cup
Nenagh Celtic ‘A’ made it two finals in the space of two weeks as they had to dig deep for the second week running as they needed a penalty shootout to edge past a determined Cloughjordan ‘A’ side at the VEC venue Saturday evening. In an eventful game, it was Celtic who took the lead thanks to a converted Danny Ryan penalty, but this was after Cloughjordan had a goal disallowed moments beforehand. Not to be deterred by their high flying hosts, Cloughjordan drew level thanks to Kevin Kennedy who forced home ball from close range after a well delivered corner. As the game progressed both sides had a number of opportunities to take the lead, and it was Celtic who once again hit the front thanks to a late Craig Connolly goal. A trademark of Cloughjordan over the years was their ability to grab late goals, and again this was the case as Kennedy grabbed his second with a well-placed header to force extra tine. Neither side scored in extra time, but Cloughjordan did hit the woodwork before the inevitable penalty shootout in which Celtic narrowly won through to the cup final with Jimmy Hynes grabbing the all-important winner, after his own keeper Aidan Herlihy saved a penalty in the shootout. Lough Derg ‘A’ welcomed a resurgent Roscrea United ‘A’ to Clarisford in the quarter final stage of this cup and were thankful to top marksman Paul Kirwan who bagged a brace, with the second being a last minute goal to book his sides place in the semi-final. Kirwan kick started the scoring midway through the first half before Chris Monaghan levelled matters with a deserved goal just before the break to see the level at half time. An evenly contested second half with both sides playing attacking football but neither scored to force additional time, but it was the Kennedy Park side who progressed to face Nenagh AFC ‘A’ in the semi-final when Kirwan found the net with a well-placed free kick with only two minutes remaining in extra time
First Division Barry Cup Final
League champions Streamstown Celtic ‘A’ were looking to make it a cup and league double as the faced Borrisokane ‘A’ at the Ballymackey F.C. grounds Saturday and it was the Streamstown side who made sure that for the second season running that the First Division league and cup titles remain in Roscrea repeating Roscrea United’s double the previous season. In a free flowing game from the outset, it was the champions who opened the games scoring when Craig Phealan fired home a wonder goal from outside of the area to give Streamstown the lead. Ballymackey were getting a foothold in the game but couldn’t convert any of their possession into goals, but where thankful to their keeper Jamie Donnelly as he saved a penalty not long before half time to make sure his side were still in the game as the second half progressed. However, Streamstown were not to be denied and Paul Doyle managed to add to his impressive tally this season as he bagged his side’s second goal to seal the victory with ten minutes remaining. Streamstown captain Wally Kirwan gratefully received the Barry Cup from NT&DL Treasurer Gerry Larkin to bring the curtain down on a successful season as they look to continue their recent successes in the Premier League next season.
Ballymackey Youths were crowned Division 2 champions last Saturday as the saw off a spirited Lough Derg side in a high scoring encounter by winning 4 – 3. The free scoring Ballymackey needed their top marksman Gearoid Murphy to be on form to overcome Lough Derg and he didn’t disappoint as he bagged yet another hat trick for his side. Also on the mark for the new champions was Darragh McDonnell. Scorers for Lough Derg were Lucas Trocewicz, Alex Lawlor and Ethan Boyle but they couldn’t outdo the high flying Ballinree side who only lost the two league games and amassed an incredible 30 points. Captain Denis Haverty was on hand to receive the Division 2 league trophy and he will be doing his best to ensure his side will make it a double when they Nenagh AFC Youths in the upcoming cup final.
Munster Youths Cup Final
Nenagh AFC Youths had to suffer the heartache of conceding a late extra time goal to the well fancied Clonmel Town at Cooke Park last Saturday evening in a thrilling Munster Youths Cup final. Nenagh had gone into the game as underdogs, but there was little between the two sides on the night as Clonmel Town edged matters on a 2 – 1 score line. With both sides having limited chances in front of goal in normal time, mostly in part to a number of impressive defensive displays and fine goal keeping, it became soon apparent that neither side were going to sun away with the game. In front of a large crowd, the game went to extra time and it was Clonmel Town who took the lead on the stroke of half time when Jack Kennedy finished well to look like he had won the game. As we have seen all season, this impressive Nenagh side didn’t back down and managed to score a well-deserved equaliser when the captain Josh McCarthy forced the ball home during a goal mouth scramble after a well-placed corner wasn’t cleared. With penalties looking inevitable, Clonmel Town grabbed the winner from a well-placed free kick minutes before full time when Ryan Lambe found the bottom right hand corner despite the efforts of Adam Healy in the Nenagh goal. Always a tough way to lose a game, but there was no doubting the talent on display on both sides in this all Tipperary final with Josh McCarthy, Dan O’Meara and Dylan Kennedy all turning in man of the match performances.