Combined Counties Football League Roundup Week 9
League action again dominated the weekends action almost everywhere in the CCFL at the weekend. The only notable exception to this was in the FAI Under 17 Cup where there was mixed fortunes for the CCFL teams in action.
On Sunday Mullingar Athletic secured their first win of the season when they accounted for divisional rivals Portlaoise by three goals to two in an outstanding game. However Longford Town were knocked out of the competition by Templemore side BT Harps on a 3-1 score-line.
Most of the excitement had already happened on Saturday however when two CCFL sides made the journey and both came home with penalty shootout victories after nerve wracking games. Rosenallis were in Clonmel and after a tight game where both defences were excellently organised it finished scoreless after extra time. Rosenallis goalkeeper Stephen Conroy proved to be the hero for the Laois men then when he saved one of the Clonmel Town spotkicks, and then he fired home the decisive kick. Willow Park were in Nenagh and it looked good for the Athlone lads when they led 4-1 with 10 minutes to go. Nenagh rallied however and scored three to force extra time and penalties. But Willow Park emerged victorious 3-1 in the shootout.
In what is turning out to be a very interesting Under 18 division, Newbridge Town remain top of the table following a comprehensive 4-1 win away to Portlaoise. Jamie Evans was the one who claimed the spotlight again with yet another hat-trick for the Portarlington boy. Joe Darcy added the fourth for Newbridge for whom Paddy Kavanagh had another outstanding game.
Two of the other hopefuls in the Under 18 division Mullingar Athletic and Abbeyleix Athletic both went down to rather surprising defeats, both losing by three goals to two. Birr Town taking the scalp of Mullingar and Tullamore defeating Abbeyleix in spit of two well take goals from Aaron Carroll and Leigh Bergin for the Abbeyleix boys.
In the Under 19 Division, league leaders St peters were beaten 5-3 away to Ballinahown, which allowed Mullingar Athletic to reclain top spot after they defeated bottom side Mountmellick 3-0.
In the Senior Division Willow Park remain top of the table, but they had to be happy with a one all draw away to Mullingar Athletic on Saturday night. Clara Town remain second after they defeated Melville United 1-0 with the winner coming with 87 minutes on the clock. Arlington kept their unbeaten run going, but they had to be happy with a scoreless draw at home to St Peters. Killavilla United kept up their recent good form with a narrow 2-1 win over Gallen United while Monksland went some way to stopping the rot with a one all draw against Mountmellick United. A powerful header from Paul McGovern had given Monksland the lead in that game.
In the Premier Division, there is no stopping C.K United. Goals from Paul Kinnearney and Mark Dunne secured a 2-0 win away to Rosenallis.
In the East Offaly derby Derry Rovers emerged with a 1-0 victory over their near rivals Edenderry Town to ease the pressure on them at the bottom, while Abbeyleix ground out a point from their visit to Mullingar Athletic. Joe Bergin, Stephen Hawkins and Ger Fennelly all scored in a three all draw. Willow Park look the most likely to make a fight of it with C.K following their routine 3-0 win at home to bottom side Stradbally Town on Friday night.
Division 1 is still very much up in the air following Sundays results. Highfield continue to show good form with a 5-2 win over Clonmore, but Shinrone remain in pole position and look to be the team to beat at this stage.
In Division 1 Saturday Mostrim won again to maintain their position at the top of the division, but Mullingar Town and Grange United are both coming into a good vein of form and cannot be ruled out yet. Boro Celtic and Inny FC both of whom were not in action at the weekend will also have a big say in the final destination of the title.
Dynamoe Town continue to set the pace in Division 2. A narrow 3-2 win at home to Killeigh Ramblers keeps them in pole position. Noreside Celtic moved off the bottom with a solid 4-1 home success over Gentex. Meanwhile Raharney lost vital ground when they fell to a 3-2 defeat at home to Edenderry Town seconds.
Daingean Town got back into contention in Division 3A after crushing bottom side Raheen by four goals to one, the goals coming from Ian Dunne, Wayne Carter, James Brewer and Paul O’Rourke.
Kilcormac United and Emo Celtic kept their outside chances alive with narrow victories over Clonminch and Brosna respectively.
In Division 3B Clara Town made their move with a resounding 5-1 victory over Ericssons. John McIntyre heading home the Ericssons consolation. Gallen United seconds moved away from the bottom of the table courtesy of a their 3-1 win over Clonown with a goal from Eddie Healey and two from Wesley Greer.
Division 4A has been thrown wide open again following the shock home defeat of Abbeyleix at the hands of a rapidly improving Maryborough outfit. It finished 4-2 in favour of the Portlaoise men with man of the match Keith Bray, Sean O’Driscoll and Dan Langan getting on the scoresheet. Christy Lawlor and Daithi Brennan replied for the Abbeyleix men.
Tower Hill Rovers season received a massive shot in the arm when they won 4-2 at home to bottom side C.R Forest. Shane McManus was the hero of the day for Rovers with a stunning hat-trick while Sean Egan also got in on the act. Other good performances for Towers were Paddy Downey and Sean Cotter.
Portarlington Town gave their chances a massive boost when goals from Alan Glass (pen), Chris Floody and a second from Glass secured a 3-1 win on their tricky trip to Mountrath against St Aengus.
Rosenallis are another side to make the most of Abbeyleix’s slip when they won 3-1 away to local rivals Mountmellick. John Hughes gave the visitors a one nil lead at the interval from the penalty spot. Ian O’Callaghan and Alan Herbert completed the job for Rosenallis in the second half where Eugene Conroy, Fint Gorman, Robbie Malone and Podge Gorman stood out.
Division 4B sees Killoe and Raharney go head to head at the top of the table. Raharney had a comfortable 3-0 win away to Clonmore at Boora Community centre while Killoe were made to fight hard for their 1-0 win at home to Eagles FC. A fantastic second half volleyed goal from 20 yards by Barry Downes gave the Longford men all three points and keep them well in the hunt at this point in the season.