Week 16 Roundup
Gracefield Athletic continued their outstanding for in the Under 17 Division with a well deserved 4-0 win away to Portlaoise. The prolific Jamie Evans bagged another brace with Nigel Murphy and Mark Kirwan also chipping in with goals to keep the Portarlington based outfit top of the table.
Gallen United recorded a good result in the Under 18 Division with Andy Wynne, Shane Mooney and a stunning hatrick from Dean Hogan paving the way for a comprehensive 5-1 win at home to Rochfortbridge. However it is Athlone side Monksland who continue to set the pace in this Division. On Saturday last they entertained Tullamore and ended up on the right side of a 6-1 scoreline. Ultan Harney was again the talisman for the Monksland boys with another hatrick.
In the under 19 Division,AthyTown continue to climb the table after they accounted for Mountmellick by six goals to one. Nathan Robinson fired home a hatrick in this game, and Mark Robinson and Dylan Leigh also found the net.
In Division 3 Saturday Melville Celtic second string consolidated their position at the top of the table after they defeated Grange United seconds by two goals to one. Chris Conlon was the hero of the day for the Athlone lads with a well taken brace of goals.
The match of the day on Sunday was the FAI Junior Cup 4th round game between Senior Division rivals Clara Town andWillowPark. The Athlone outfit just edged this one on a 2-1 scoreline. Brian Cauldwell and Fergus Mooney scored the goals to sendWillow into round 5.
In the Senior Division,Arlington moved well away from the danger area thanks to another very good home win. Monksland were the team to fall this time inCastleParkwhere it finished 3-2. A double from David Thorpe and a third from James Gallagher did the business forArlington. Jamie Keegan and Ned Browne replied for Monksland.
In Division 1 a very strong Tullamore side kept up their recent good run when they accounted for Noreside Celtic. Mattie Carragher, Brian Francis (2) and Martin O’Halloran were on the mark for Tullamore as they keep pace with leaders Abbeyleix Athletic. Abbeyleix themselves are in no mood to relinquish their position at the top of the table following a routine 7-2 win away to Highfield. A hatrick from Stephen Hawkins and two more from Niall Wallace did most of the damage for the Laois men.
Cloneygowan Celtic are in pole position in Division 3A thanks to a solid 3-0 win against neighbours Arlington B. The goals for Cloneygowan came from MJ Pierce, Ernie Bolan and Darren Monagher.
In Division 4A the leaders Midlands Celtic were beaten 2-1 by Mountmellick B. Robbie Ryan and Pauric Goodwin were on the mark for the Mountmellick men who are now back in with a shout. Emo and Maryborough also made up ground however. Maryborough won a seven goal thriller in Abbeyleix thanks to goals from Sean O’Driscoll, Willie Bland and Edward Conroy. Veterans Anthony Coffey and Brian Bergin replied for Abbeyleix. Raheen lost their 100% record after being held to a one all draw by Frankford. They still have games in hand however and are well placed in what could turn out to be a very interesting second half to the season in this division.
In Cup action there were games in the early rounds of the Counties Cup. The pick of the first round games played saw Ballinahown enjoy a sound 2-1 win over Walsh Island Shamrocks. Cian Brady and the evergreen Philly Hogan set Ballinahown up for a second round clash with neighbours Milnore Rovers.
In the second round action the highlight was Derry Rovers 5-1 win over Shinrone in an all Premier Division battle. Keith Hickey, Jason Mooney, John Dunne and Colin Slevin scored the goals as Rovers cruised safely into the last 32.