Combined Counties Football League Roundup Week 7
There were an incredible total of 60 games played by teams in the CCFL at the weekend with tremendous action at all levels.
However it is to the previous weekend that we begin our roundup where the accomplishment of Mullingar Town’s over 35’s completing a League and Cup double is very worthy of a mention.Town had already won the Combined Counties Over 35’s Cup with a 3-1 win over Clara Town in the final where Fergus Murphy, Andrew Maslin and Mark Gaye scored for the victors. The league title also proved to be a shootout between the same two sides when they finished level on points at the end of the campaign to necessitate playoff between them. This turned out to be a very evenly contested affair with both sides well organised throughout. In the end it took a goal in the last minute of normal time from Enda Lamden to give Town a fantastic 1-0 victory to complete the double. This was a great achievement considering that standard of football in the over 35’s league is very high.
Back to this weekend where plenty of FAI and LFA Cup action took place and produced an overall good return for the local teams.
The result of the day on Saturday was that of the Rosenallis Under 17 team who travelled to Tipperary Town for an FAI Cup match and defeated St Michaels by four goals to nil. Goals from Jordan Williamson, Ethan Lawlor and Cillian Killally with two together with a great all round team performance secured their passage into the next round where they have another difficult task away to Clonmel Town in a few weeks time.
In the LFA Youths Cup there was an all CCFL contest in Abbeyleix where the local outfit took on Birr Town and came out on the right side of a 5-2 scoreline. The highlight of the game was a well taken hat-trick from Philip Walton with Conal Egan and Darragh Cripps also chipping in with goals for a strong looking home team.
In League action Daingean Town continued their good early season form in the Under 17 Division with a 2-0 success over Emo Celtic to stay clear at the top of the table. Paddy Downey and Ryan Cleary were on the mark for a Daingean side that will be no pushover for anyone in this division.
In the Under 18 Division Newbridge Town moved to the top of the table following a strong performance away to Gallen United. It finished 7-1 in favour of the Kildare men with Jamie Evans bagging four more goals to bring his tally to an incredible nine in three games this season. Joe Darcy, Sean Rooney and Dylan McDermott also got on the score-sheet for a confident looking Newbridge side.
In the LFA Junior Cup there were some big wins for the CCFL teams, none more so than that of Arlington who came from two goals down against Stamullen to win 10-2. A hat-trick from David Thorpe was complimented with goals from Joe Gorman and Barry Kenny with two. Perhaps the most satisfying thing about this game from an Arlington point of view was the performances of some of their fringe players especially Declan Horlick and Seanie McMahon who both scored on their debuts for the first team. C.K United travelled to south Laois to take on the Durrow Lions and were somewhat unlucky to come out on the wrong end five goal thriller. Damien Bracken and Mark Dunne scored for the Tullamore men.
League action saw Gallen United win their first game of the season in the Senior Division when they prevailed 3-1 against Monksland United. Mountmellick United are now propping up the division in spite of a spirited one all draw with Melville United.
In the Premier Division Stradbally Town earned their first win of the season when they surprised their neighbours Abbeyleix by four goals to three. This result is a huge blow to Asbbeyleix’s promotion aspirations although goalscorers Joe Bergin and Stephen Hawkins with two can be happy with their days work.
Boro Celtic got back to winning ways in Division 1 Saturday. A 4-2 success over Ballymahon keeps the Lanesborough men in the hunt for ultimate honours. Ballymahon took the lead when their goalkeeper slammed home a penalty kick, but Boro were soon in front thanks to goals from David Harrison and the impressive David Rooney. With Derek Murray in great form Boro completed the job in the second half through James Hanley with a header and David Harrison with his second, this one a lovely lob over the advancing keeper.
In Division 2, last years Division 3B champions Raharney showed again they will be in the mix for more honours this season after a very convincing 4-1 win over Coolraine on Sunday. Joey Broderick was the star man for Raharney with two of their goals.
Ballybrittas got back on the winning trail in Division 3A on Sunday when they defeated Brosna 2-1 with goals from Paul Lynch and Colin Keogh. This result keeps the Laois men well in the hunt in this division where any one of six teams could still prevail.
Division 4A action saw Abbeyleix continue to set the pace after a hard fought 1-0 win over a determined Stradbally side in Abbeyleix. Adrian Stynes scored the goal that keeps the Abbeyleix men in pole position.
Maryborough produced their best performance of the season to date with an emphatic 5-1 win over neighbours Portlaoise Shamrocks. Inspired by Seamus Lawless, Maryborough’s goals came from a Sean O’Driscoll hat-trick with the consistent Adam Mulhall and Danny Bland also getting in on the act.
In another entertaining Division 4A encounter Portarlington Town were held to a two all draw by Tower Hill Rovers in Portarlington. Chris Booth gave the Port men the lead before the visitors replied with two of their own to take the lead, but Portarlington equalised before the break from an Alan Glass free kick.
In Division 4B Raharney’s second team are also going very well here. They enjoyed a very convincing victory over Kilcormac seconds on Sunday where Darren Lynam, Liam Keenan, Brian Faughnan and Andy Evans took the limelight with goals for the Westmeath lads.
Last but certainly not least, in the womens division there were three games played on Sunday afternoon. Perhaps the pick of these was the game between last years champions Mullingar Athletic and Tullamore Town in Leah Victoria Park. This one finished in a two all draw that could have gone either way, but Tullamore will perhaps be the more disappointed having led 2-0 at one stage. Ciara Neville and Jenna Cornally had given Tullamore the advantage, but Mullingar pulled one back before the interval and got another early in the second half. In a great final 20 minutes it could have gone either way, but in the end it finished with honours shared.