Combined Counties Football League Roundup Week 31
What a weekend for Combined Counties Football League teams in outside Cup competitions with Willow Park first team advancing in the Leinster Junior Cup and Edenderry Town Youths making history by becoming the first underage team from the league to make the last four of a national competition.
Edenderry went into their game in Fr Paul Park against crack Galway side Mervue United in confident mood following their push to the top of a very strong CCFL Under 18 Division and their last 16 FAI victory in Limerick over Fairview Rangers. Cian McGonagle gave them a tonic start in this game when he played a lovely one two with CCFL Youths Interleague player Mikey Cleere. However Mervue then scored two goals either side of half time to take the lead before McGonagle equalised from the penalty spot. The same player then completed his hat-trick to put his team in front and Rory McNamee scored the insurance goal to leave it 4-2 in favour of the outstanding Edenderry lads at the end to set up a home semi final against Castleview from Cork.
Meanwhile in Leah Victoria Park, Willow Park eased into the fifth round of the LFA Junior Cup following a fine 3-0 win over Tullamore. There was another hat-trick hero in this game when Kevin Murray scored one in the first half and added two more in the second period to round off a perfect day for himself and his team who now face FAI Junior Cup Semi Finalists Kilbarrack Utd in the next round.
In domestic Cup action there was further joy for Willow Park as their side advanced to the semi final of the Combined Counties Youths Cup following a 3-1 extra time victory over Newbridge Town.
In the Paddy Cotter Cup three of the four quarter finals took place over the weekend with Mullingar Athletic and Arlington getting past Mountmellick and Clara respectively to set up a semi final clash that will be a repeat of last years final. Goal scorers for Arlington were Daryl Foy (2) and Brian Mahony and they could afford the luxury of a missed penalty in the second half as the Clara challenge died away.
Rosenallis also made it into the last four courtesy of a good 4-0 home win over Derry Rovers. Two more goals from the prolific James Jackson and further strikes from John McLoughlin and Conor Dowling saw them through. They await the winner of Willow Park and Stradbally Town in the semi final.
In the Combined Counties Shield a brave effort from Ericssons fell just short against a very strong Clara Town side who made it through to their second semi final of the season as they try again this year to win all before them.
In the Division 4 Cup Quarter Finals St James and Abbeyleix Athletic had good wins over St Aengus and Monksland to set up a semi final against each other in a couple of weeks time.
In League action there was one very important game in the Under 19 Division where Tullamore emerged 3-1 winners over Clongowes Wood. Following a scoreless first halt, the game sprang into life in the second period when Dylan Melia fired home a penalty kick. Clongowes equalised however with less than 10 minutes remaining, but a determined finish from the Tullamore lads with fine goals from Ted Conway and Matty Hynes in the closing minutes earned them the vital three points.
In the senior Division St Peter’s continue to climb the table following a good 3-1 win away to Monksland, while Melville gave their survival chances a lift with a deserved 3-0 home win over Killavilla.
Its now advantage Tullamore in the battle for Division 1 supremacy! They defeated Highfield United 2-0 in Birr to move into the lead on their own, but with vital away games against Shinrone and Temple Villa still to come it is still wide open. Clonbonny reminded everyone that they are certainly not out of it yet either following a narrow one nil success at home to Gracefield Athletic.
In Division 3A Raheen got over their recent Cup disappointments as they were too good for Kilcormac at home where it finished 4-2 in favour of the hosts. Dan Dalton added yet another two goals to his tally for the season with veteran Eddie Dunne and John Shiel getting the others as the Laois men look to climb the table.