Combined Counties Football League Roundup Week 16
The big game of the day in the CCFL fixture list was the FAI Junior Cup 4th round game in Wexford where C.K United travelled to play Ferns United and they did not disappoint. The Tullamore men put out the third Wexford team in a row with a 4-0 success to move very much into the business end of the competition. Niall Kearns hit two goals while Brendan Bracken and Eddie Keenahan also found the range in a very satisfying day for C.K.
In local action the Combined Counties Shield was on the agenda with several teams successfully navigating their way into the last 16 of the competition.
In an outstanding first round game, Monksland United second team came from behind to knock out Division 4B leaders Raharney B. It finished 3-2 after extra time. Andrew Evans scored both of Raharney’s goals, but it was not enough as Owen Connaughton bagged the winner in extra time after Alex Reddington and Sean Scorr had forced extra time for the Athlone men. They will now meet Newtown in the second round after the Longford side knocked out Horseleap United also by three goals to two.
In the second round, the big hitters on the day were Raheen who fired seven past St Carthages Athletic to advance to the third round. Veteran striker Eddie Dunne was the main contributor to the Laois mens victory, but twin brothers Mikey and Dan Dalton also contributed with a brace of goals each while Tony Dunne and Greg Sullivan were also impressive. Killoe FC are also safely into the last 16 following a comprehensive victory over Clonown Rovers, with Downes (2), Smith and Jennings all on target for the Longford men. Division 3A side Ballybrittas are surely one of the favourites to go all the way in this competition. On Sunday they made light work of their trip to Birr, coming away with a 5-1 triumph over Eagles. Darren Finlay, Shane Mullins and Paul Lynch all scored for Ballybrittas while man of the match Ian Murphy rowed in with a double. Dermot Daly was without question the hero for Gallen United seconds in their Shield game against neighbours Banagher. He scored the equalising goal in the game and then donned the goalkeepers jersey for the subsequent penalty shootout where he saved two of Banagher’s efforts and scored his one himself. Dermot Kenny and Wesley Greer were also on target for Gallen in the shootout.
In the Senior Division, Clara Town went top of the table following a 2-0 win over Gallen United. While they will have a tough job holding on to the top position, Clara are doing very well of late and are now certainly well in the hunt and cannot be ruled out. Killavilla United’s brave challenge looks to be running out of steam fast however. They were soundly beaten by a rejuvenated Monksland side on Saturday night, with Kevin Gaylard, Matt Scally (2) and John Stapleton getting the goals for the Athlone outfit in a 4-0 triumph.
In the Premier Division, Rosenallis moved away from the relegation area with a well deserved 2-0 win over Edenderry Town, while Abbeyleix also consolidated their position with a great 1-0 success in Birr. Adrian Stynes was the hero of the day for Abbeyleix when he cracked home the only goal of the game.
The Division 1 title race is turning out to be one of the most interesting in the whoile league with only four points separating the top six teams. Temple Villa went top of the table at the weekend thanks to their 4-0 hammering of neighbours Ballinahown. Gavin Byrne, Anthony Allen, Paul O’brien and Padraig Cosgrove all scored for the Mount Temple based side. Clonaslee United have also built up a head of steam and their 4-0 win over Highfield keeps that going. Tullamore Town are certainly not out of it either following their 2-0 victory over Clonmore United. Meanwhile the games involving Clonbonny, Shinrone and Gracefield were all victims of the weather, but all three are very much in the race at the moment and an interesting schedule of games lie ahead for all these teams.
In Division 3B, Ericssons look to have turned their season completely around. On Sunday they accounted for Lawrencetown 2-1 in Ballinasloe to ease into a mid table position. Goals from Cathal Cranney and Danny Seery settled it in favour of the Athlone men.
One of the most exciting games of the day took place in Division 4A where two of the contenders for honours, Portarlington Town and Rosenallis B shared eight goals in a thriller. The Port men will be most disappointed. They led 4-1 going into the last 10 minutes, but a determined fightback from Rosenallis saw them get a valuable point from the game. Colin Lennon, Stephen Terry, Willie Dowling and Pauric Duffy saw Town take the initiative, but they did not count on a spirited fightback from Rosenallis. Joe Dooley kept Rosenallis in the game with a goal before the interval and then Eugene Conroy sparked off the comeback with a stunning 35 yard effort, before Alan Conroy set up Alan Herbert to make it 4-3 with time running out. Herbert duly obliged with his second and the equaliser on the brink to the delight of his team mates.