North Tipperary & District League Weekly Review 30th November 2014
Brickfields was the venue for the weekends glamour tie between league leaders Nenagh AFC ‘A’ and local rivals Nenagh Celtic ‘A’ in a game which will no doubt have a significant bearing on this year’s title destination. Celtic were looking to maintain their unbeaten league record but got off to the worst possible start after Mark Cahill headed home after just three minutes.
Both sides had chances in the remainder of the half as Celtic were finding it hard to break down a well drilled home defence and it remained 1 nil at the break. The hosts played a fast paced game in the second half and looked threatening every time they moved into the Celtic half which ultimately saw Thomas Sheppard doubling the league leader’s advantage when he finished off a well worked move mid-way through the second half. Celtic couldn’t find a foothold in the game as Nenagh AFC ran out comfortable winners despite missing a number of good chances in front of goal.
This win sees Nenagh AFC create a 9 point lead over second placed Roscrea United ‘A’ who were beaten 2 nil by Clodiagh Rangers ‘A’ at the Roscrea C.B.S. venue. Roscrea were looking to reignite their title challenge and they shaded the early exchanges in this game with Paul Kirwan being the focal point of all their good play. Clodiagh had the better of the chances with Matt Ryan, Paul Doyle and Mark Quinlan all testing Bryan O’Lone in the home goal. With matters level at the break, it was Clodiagh who took an early lead in the second when Joe Cullagh hammered home a shot from inside the box after being played through by Matt Ryan. Roscrea changed their formation by putting three up front to find an equaliser, but this allowed Clodiagh the opportunity to counter attack. Paul Doyle made it two nil with a fine individual goal with twenty minutes remaining. Clodiagh weathered the Roscrea onslaught for a merited victory to push them back up to third in the division.
Cloughjordan ‘A’ and BT Harps ‘A’ played out a 1 all draw in a tight encounter, a result which neither team wanted as three points would have lifted them clear of the relegation battle unfolding beneath them in the table. The game was level at the break; however Dean O’Meara broke the deadlock early in the second half with a stunning free kick to put the home side ahead. With only ten minutes remaining, Harps drew level with a deflected free kick from Sean McCormack to ensure the points were shared.
Thurles Town were on their travels to Kilaloe to face a resurgent Lough Derg in this basement battle, and it was the home side that made it two wins in a row as Thurles Town now face an uphill battle to retain their Premier Division status. Thurles took an early lead through a fine Padraig Fogarty strike, but they couldn’t hold out until half time as Lough Derg equalised through Jason Comley. Lough Derg made sure of another important three points with a second strike from the impressive Comley and Chris Monaghan to see the game finish 3 – 1.
Holycross remain unbeaten as they made it 11 wins from 11 league games win an away win over Moneygall, a result which sees the club promoted to the Premier Division for the first time in the clubs history. It was 1 nil to league leaders after 12 minutes when Seanie Comerford poked home from five yards. Twenty minutes later it was 2 nil as James King expertly headed home a Comerford cross. It was 3 nil just before the break after Calum O’Connor drove at the Moneygall defence from midfield before rifling home a fine effort from distance. The second half was more of the same as Holycross pressed for a fourth but couldn’t find the net, but the damage was done in the first half for the Glenbane side who are now odds on to win the first division title.
Outside of the top three teams in this division, there is a real battle unfolding to avoid relegation, as only four points separate fourth and last place. Arra Rovers earned a well needed three points as they overcame Borrisokane ‘A’ by the odd goal in seven. Arra, who have had a number of good performances of late, managed to earn the points with goals from James Ryan, Dermot O’Halloran and a Kevin O’Halloran brace. Borrisokane’s goals came from Gary Power, Daniel Butler and Gordon Harding.
Borroway Rovers hosted Ardcroney who recorded their second win of the campaign with a 3 – 2 victory for the guests to Loughtagalla. Ian McSherry got Ardcroney off to a flying start with a well taken brace to see them lead at the break. With Borroway reduced to ten, their chances of getting anything from this game were slim; however it was the Thurles side that scored first in the second half with a super strike from David Bourke. Mark Spain quelled the nerves of the guests with Ardcroney’s third after he volleyed home. Borroway managed to grab a late consolation goal with Bourke’s second, but it was Ardcroney’s day as they ran out comfortable winners.
The battle for Second Division honours is promising to have an eventful conclusion with Roscrea United ‘B’ and BT Harps ‘B’ level on 29 points each. Roscrea United had to dig deep to overcome a spirited Kilcommon side who pushed their guests all the way. Kilcommon took the lead after ten minutes when Eamon Naughton headed home. Roscrea managed to go in at the break leading 2 – 1 thanks to efforts from Stephen Murphy, who completed his hat trick mid-way through the second half when he converted from the penalty spot. Leo Ryan made it 3 – 2 with ten minutes remaining, and despite some strong pressure from Kilcommon, Roscrea held out for another important victory.
BT Harps ‘B’ could only draw with Nenagh AFC ‘C’ in Templemore, a result which allowed Roscrea to draw level with them at the summit of the table. Harps took the lead thanks to Cathal Leahy, but will rue a momentary lapse of concentration in the area which allowed Patrick McInerney to poke home. Harps threw everything at Nenagh in the later stages of the match and hit the woodwork on three occasions, but Nenagh held out for a merited draw.
Nenagh Celtic ‘B’ put in an impressive second performance against Clodiagh Rangers ‘B’ as they came back from being 3 nil down at half time to win out 4 – 3. Clodiagh raced into the an early lead with goals from Paul Ryan and two from Patrick Purcell, but four second half goals from Keith Langton, Brian Duffy and Darren McGrath saw Celtic take record an unlikely victory.
Ballymackey ‘A’ still remain in the promotion hunt with a comprehensive 7 – 1 win over a depleted Portumna Town. The game as a contest was over by half time with Ballymackey four goals to the good thanks to a double from John O’Connor, Mark Casey and Denis Haverty. Portumna were first to score in the second half when a deflected effort from Ciaran Hough found its way home. However, O’Connor notched up another two goals in addition to a Robbie O’Gorman strike to ensure no way back for the Galway side.
Gurtagarry left it late to keep their unbeaten league record intact as they overcame Sallypark ‘B’ in dramatic fashion. Sallypark were 1 nil leaders at the break thanks to a converted penalty from Dan Bergin. Gurtagarry then levelled the game when Billy Corcoran also scored from the penalty spot only to see that effort cancelled by a well taken David Young goal for Sallypark with ten minutes remaining. With only minutes left in the game, Dinny Corcoran levelled the game and with honours evens looking inevitable, up stepped Paul Ryan in injury time to grab all three points to send his side eight points clear at the top of Division 3.
Barnane travelled to Drombane for the first time as they faced Clodiagh Rangers ‘C’, and were liveliest in the opening stages of the game and took a deserved lead when Michael Everard reacted quickest to an effort which had rebounded off the crossbar. It was soon level after Shane Kinane cleverly headed home a long throw from David Considine. Both sides had chances in the second half, but neither defence could be breached to see game finish all square.
Streamstown Celtic ‘B’ claimed all three points with a hard earned 2 – 1 victory over the recently free scoring Lough Derg ‘B’ in Fanure last Sunday. Streamstown had a two goal lead at half time thanks to two well taken free kicks from the feet of Adrian Elbert and Mike Kirwan. Lough Derg managed to score through Alex Lawlor, but that was after they saw a penalty go the wrong side of the post. The home side were reduced to ten men with 15 minutes remaining, but held on despite some late pressure from Lough Derg who still have hopes of promotion despite the loss.
It was honours even at the Ballinderry venue when hosts Shannon Rangers drew 2 -2 with second placed Borrisokane ‘B’. Matty Power and John Doyle were on the mark for Borrisokane, but their efforts were cancelled out by strikes from Keith Kelly and Cathal Whelan for Shannon Rangers who took valuable points from their guests, opening the door for third placed Lough Derg to gain some ground. Rearcross ‘B’ recorded a well needed 2 nil victory over Ballywilliam with strikes from Liam Nolan and Sean Harte either side of half time to move them clear of the bottom two teams in the division.
Ballymackey ‘B’ travelled to Templetouhy and ran one nil winners thanks to Conor O’Meara who headed home an Alan Sweeney cross. The hosts were reduced to ten men in the second half and that dented any chance of getting something from this game as Ballymackey held out for all three points.
Holycross Youths welcomed Nenagh Celtic Youths to Glenbane and lost out by the odd goal in five in this entertaining game. Sean O’Meara scored twice to put Celtic ahead but Holycross rallied and levelled the game thanks to a double from Stephen Flanagan. With five minutes remaining, Jamie Kelly scored the winner to see his side move second in the league behind BT Harps Youths, who themselves had a comprehensive 3 nil victory over Cloughjordan Youths. It was 1 nil at the break thanks to a well worked move finished off by Shane Fogarty Luke Quinlan and Mikey Greed made sure of the points with second half strikes to leave the Templemore side in pole position on the league table.
Munster Youths Cup
Nenagh AFC Youths progress to the next round as they overcame Ballymackey Youths 3 – 1 last Saturday afternoon. On the mark for the away side were Francis Munsterberg, Paddy O’Sullivan and Adam Healy. Ballymackey got on the score sheet thanks to John O’Connor, but there was no beating Nenagh who will have plenty of confidence as they continue in the competition.