Combined Counties Football league Roundup Week 29
Divisional Cup action dominated the CCFL fixture list at the weekend with several quarter and semi final places decided.
In the Paddy Cotter Cup Stradbally Town belied their lowly position in the Premier Division to knock out Senior Division side Melville United in an eight-goal thriller. It finished 5-3 in favour of the Laois men. In fact Stradbally had to come from behind in this game as the visiytors took the lead with a fine headed goal early on. Jody Dillon and Colin Beale then put Stradbally ahead before Melville scored again before the break to leave it two all at the turnaround. Derek Beale fired Stradbally in front again soon after the restart with a good header. Two further goals from the very impressive Jody Byrne put the issue beyond doubt even if Melville scored a consolation in injury time. Conor Delaney was another to have a fine game for the victors.
In the Division 1 Cup Clonaslee advanced to the quarter final where they will travel to meet Boro Celtic following a well deserved three nil success over Clonbonny. Meanwhile Longford town side Camlin United and holders Tullamore Town qualified for the semi finals with good wins over Shinrone and Highfield respectively.
In the Division 2 Cup there was quarter final success for Walsh Island Noreside Celtic and Dynamoe Town, while the game between Raharney and Coolraine was a victim of a waterlogged pitch.
Melville Celtic B, Colmcille Celtic and Clonown Rovers have all made it into the semi finals of the Division 3 Cup where they will be joined by either Clara Town B or Frankford United.
In the Division 4 Cup St Carthages Athletic were too good for Clonmore United B and Killoe edged out Clara Town C in the two quarter finals that were played.
There was also plenty of League action over the weekend with Willow Park making good use of one of their games in hand over leaders Mullingar Athletic when they defeated local rivals Monksland United 2-1 away from home.
In Division 1 Saturday Boro Celtic are now within touching distance of taking the title following a crucial 2-1 win over Mullingar Town B. The league leaders hit the woodwork and missed a penalty in this game before they took the lead when Mike Morrissey forced the ball home from close range following a Clem McCormack corner. Derek Murray then put Boro two up when he latched on to a fine through ball from James Hanley. They then hit the post again and missed another gilt edged opening before Mullingar Town got one back to make it a nervy finish for the Lanesboro men. However with Barry Clarke in inspirational form they held out for three precious points.
In Division 1 Sunday Moate Celtic and Gracefield Athletic played out an entertaining two all draw in the Dandywell. Richie Porter and Dean Broughton scored for the Gracefield men who have dropped off the pace in recent weeks and will not be involved in the fantastic five way title race that is developing here.
In Division 4A Sunday proved to be a red letter day for new boys Towerhill Rovers who after clinging on to the coat tails of long time pace setters Rosenallis and Abbeyleix now find themselves on the cusp of glory following their terrific 2-1 win over Rosenallis in their penultimate game. Goals by Larry Maguire in the first half and Adrian Kelly in the second has set the Portlaoise lads up for their final game where victory will guarantee them the title. Ronan O’Gorman was the star turn for Rovers as they edged it in a game that was in the balance all through.
In the same division Stradbally Town B team edged out Portarlington Town 3-2. Stradbally staged a wonderful scond half comeback in this game after being behind 2-0 at he interval. Goals from Paddy Robbins, Ra Mullally and an OG gave Stradbally the win their second half if not their first deserved. Damien Fitzpatrick, John Clancy, Daithi Mulhall and Jamie Kinsella were best for Stradbally.
In Underage action the highlight of the weekend was in the Under 17 Division where Longford Town secured runners up spot courtesy of a narrow 3-2 victory over a plucky Emo side at City Calling Stadium. Jason Nevin, Joe Lawrence and Lamin Saidy were on target for the young Longford men who have steadily improved all season.