Combined Counties Football League Roundup week 33
There were several big games both in the League and the various Cup and Shield competitions played in the C.C.F.L over the weekend
On Saturday three of the four semi finalists were decided in the Under 19 Cup and there will be an under 18 team in the final after Tullamore 18’s were too good for Mountmellick, and Abbeyleix Athletic shocked LFA semi finalists Tullamore 19’s by a goal to nil with the outstanding Leigh Bergin hitting the winning goal for Abbeyleix. Ballinahown however ensured that a third Under 18 team would not make the semi finals, as they were far too strong for Newbridge Town. They now await the winner of Mullingar Athletic and Clongowes Wood in the other penultimate game.
Willow Park Under 17’s meanwhile completed their League campaign with a big win over Mullingar Athletic to make it 14 wins out of 14 for this fine Athlone side. They will play Portlaoise in the semi final of the Under 17 Cup next Saturday as they push for a double.
Boro Celtic are Division 1 Saturday champions following a good 5-0 victory over Melville Celtic in Lanesboro. After some early pressure David Rooney eventually put Boro in front on 25 minutes following good approach play from Clem McCormack. Ten minutes later Rooney latched on to a through ball from James Hanley to make it two to nil. Derek Murray then scored a brilliant individual third when he audaciously lobbed the keeper with his back to goal. Rooney then turned provider when he crossed from the right for David Harrison to finish. Conor Casey and Clem McCormack then combined well for Casey to make it 5-0 before Eamon Brady of the C.C.F.L presented Boro captain Jason Tarmey with the trophy, the first for the club in the C.C.F.L.
On Sunday, Killavilla United, who have won the Counties Cup on more occasions than any other club made it to the last four of this seasons competition after a goal from Paul Kirwan in extra time gave them the vital advantage over Melville United in a very tight encounter. They will now meet Mullingar Athletic in the semi final.
The semi finals of the Combined Counties Shield took place on Sunday with Melville United defeating Newtown with a single goal scored in extra time; and Portlaoise ending the treble hopes of Clara Town B following a 3-2 win in Mountmellick. Portlaoise raced into a three nil first half lead with two goals from Paul Sutton and a third from Shane Collins. Clara made a real game of it in the second half as Keith Coughlan and Gary Devine reduced the deficit to the minimum, but Portlaoise held on for the victory.
In the Division 4 Cup Semi Finals Abbeyleix were too strong for St James in Roscrea where it finished 3-1 to the Laois men. Daithi Brennan, Philip Walton and Cathal Fitzpatrick were on target for an experienced Abbeyleix side.
Meanwhile St Carthages Athletic made it to their first final ever following a good 2-0 win over Longford side Killoe. Killoe were on top for much of the first half, but they were twice denied the lead as Cathages goalkeeper Adrian Keenehan made two outstanding saves.
In the second half Carthages came much more into the game and went in front just after the hour mark when Declan Kelly headed in a Packie Walsh free kick. Fifteen minutes later it was all over when Kelly scored almost a carbon copy of the first goal as he finished off another good delivery from Walsh.
In League action on Sunday C.K United went within touching distance of the Premier Division title following a big 5-1 win over Rosenallis where Trevor Wright (2), Eddie Keenehan, Jody Duffy and Niall Kearns all scored in an impressive display by the league leaders.
The destination of the Division 1 title is still far from certain following Sunday’s results. A hat-trick from the experienced Darren Hogan inspired Clonaslee to a 7-1 victory over bottom side Clonmore to keep them in the hunt, but Clonbonny’s hopes were dealt possibly a fatal blow as they fell to a 2-1 home defeat to Ballinahown.
In Division 3A Raheen finished off their season in fine style with a 1-0 victory over fellow Laois side Ballybrittas. The outstanding Craig Moore hit the only goal of the game as Raheen moved away from the bottom of the table with a strong finish to the season. Ballybrittas on the other hand have found the going tough in the run in and could end up missing out on runners up spot depending on other results. Greg O’Sullivan, Eddie Dunne and Wayne Carter were others to shine for Raheen in this game.