Combined Counties Football League Roundup Week 17
There were games in all of the underage divisions of the C.C.F.L on Saturday with several excellent performances worth mentioning.
Willow Park and Rosenallis both geared up for their big Under 17 FAI Cup match next weekend with home wins.Willow kept their one hundred per cent record in tact with a 5-1 win over Portlaoise, while Rosenallis moved up the table following a narrow 3-2 win over St Aengus.
In the Under 18 Division, Newbridge Town continue to set the pace after they overcame one of their strongest rivals Abbeyleix Athletic 3-0. Jamie Evans added another two to his collection this year and Darragh McHugh scored the third.
This win moves Newbridge further ahead as Edenderry Town their nearest challengers were in FAI Cup action where they advanced to the third round courtesy of a 4-1 win over Ratoath.
There were a small number of back games played in the Combined Counties Cup at the weekend. Portlaoise got the better of Moate Celtic to advance to the second round where they will meet Boro Celtic.
Meanwhile in the second round, Birr Town, Grange United and C.K United all advanced to the last 32. C.K were most impressive when they showed no mercy to Division 4B side St James. Brendan Bracken, Stephen Kinnearney, Ger Ward all hit doubles for C.K and Damien Bracken, Stephen Weir and Paul Kinnearney also found the target.
In the Senior Division Mullingar Athletic went top of the table thanks to a narrow 2-1 win over St Peters in Athlone.
Abbeyleix Athletic dampened Derry Rovers hopes of at least runners up spot in the premier Division when they brought home a point from their Saturday night trip to Edenderry. Niall Wallace and Willie Bowen were the score getters for the Laois men.
Clonaslee United were the real winners in Division 1 on Sunday. Three out of the four games played ended in three all draws, but Clonaslee were the only winners on the day with a 2-1 success over Shinrone. Darren Hogan gave Clonaslee the lead in the first half, but this was cancelled out by a Derek McLoughlin effort. The winner for Clonaslee was a beauty from the boot of John Rigney with 10 minutes remaining. Glen McEvoy and Paddy Dunne were others to do well for Clonaslee while Shinrone had good performers in Michael Cordial and JP Fitzpatrick.
Gracefield travelled to Mount Temple on Sunday hoping to keep their name in the pot for honours and they just about achieved this with a 3-3 draw against another title aspirant Temple Villa. Two goals from Anthony Allen and a third from Simon Lawless always had Temple Villa with the lead hand, but Gracefield replied with goals from Eamon Kelly, Johnny Keogh and Clifford Nolan in a fine game of football. In the same division Ballinahown probably ended Tullamore’s interest in the destination of the title when they held them to another three all draw. Damo Fox scored two for a very determined Ballinahown side and the evergreen Philly Hogan bagged the other.
Boro Celtic continue to put it up to all opponents in the quest for Division 1 Saturday supremacy. On Saturday they put a luckless Inny side to the sword by five goals to one to keep their noses in front. Henry Kenny fired Boro ahead after 20 minutes, but Inney equalised straight from the restart. Boro were not to be denied however and two goals in quick succession just before the break David Rooney and Barry Clarke seriously dented the Inny resistance. The impressive Derek Murray added another midway through the second half thanks to unselfish play from Keelan O’Grady, and Ben Hussy then set up Paul Rooney for the fifth near the finish.
It is advantage Killeigh Ramblers in Division 2 as they took the significant scalp of long time leaders Dynamoe Town on a 2-1 scoreline. Padraig Horan and Nigel Cunningham had given Killeigh a two goal advantage, but Dynamoe halved this soon after the break to make it a very exciting finale to the game, but Killeigh had enough in reserve to hold their advantage to the end.
Ballybrittas are still very much in contention for Division 3A honours. On Sunday they accounted for neighbours Emo Celtic 3-1 with Colin Keogh, Paul Lynch and Pauric Dunne all scoring. Craig Langford replied for Emo.
None of the contenders were in action in Division 3B, but Ericssons and Clonown played out an entertaining two all draw in a derby game played in Tormey Villas. Ericssons scorers were Cathal Cranney and Ronan Keogh as they extended their unbeaten run by another game.
For the second week in succession the game of the day in Division 4A involved Portarlington Town when they encountered leaders Abbeyleix in Fr Breen Park. This time however it was the Port men who came from behind to snatch a draw. Abbeyleix led 2-0 after only 20 minutes thanks to two well taken efforts from Daithi Brennan. Abbeyleix then shot themselves in the foot and had two players sent off as Port replied with goals from Willie Dowling and a Pauric Duffy header. Port with their numerical advantage dominated the closing stages, but Abbeyleix dug deep to hold out for a draw. In another Division 4A game, Stradbally and C.R Forest also played out a competitive two all draw on the Lawn. The visitors took an early lead, but Stradbally equalised and took the lead with the Ramsbottom twins, Sean and Mick both scoring. To their credit Forest kept on battling and forced an equaliser late on.
In Division 4B Killoe and Derry Rovers also drew two all as they both try to get back in touch with leaders Raharney or at least take the advantage in the race for runners up. In another game played in very bad weather both sides gave it everything. Breslin and Bolton were on the mark for Killoe who are doing very well in this their first season back in the league.