Combined Counties Football League Roundup Week 23
Once again the C.C.F.L only managed to get 16 of their scheduled programme of games played over the weekend as the torrential rain paid havoc with the fixture list
However there were some very significant results in the games that were played and none more so than in the Senior Division where Arlington did it again when they defeated leaders Mullingar Athletic by three goals to two and while putting a huge dent in the Mullingar sides title ambitions, it also moves the Port men away from the relegation worries that had crept into view. Having already taken the scalp of Willow Park this season Arlington have proven that on their day they can match any team in the league.
In Division 2 Walsh Islands title challenge ended after they fell to a one nil home defeat to Gentex, but Noreside continue to show excellent form when they put five past Coolraine without reply to keep their slim chances alive.
In Division 3B Banagher are now certainly the team to catch following their 3-0 home win over neighbours Gallen United. While Frankford and Clara Town seconds will fight all the way to the end it is now Banagher’s to loose.
Only one game survived the weather in Division 4A where Maryborough and C.R Forest played out a well contested three all draw. Two goals from Sean O’Driscoll and another from Seamus Lawless gave the Portlaoise outfit the advantage until a late goal forced a share of the spoils for Cool Raven as Maryborough were left to rue several missed chances in the first half.
In underage action it is hats off to Ballinahown Under 19’s who forced their way into the second round of the Leinster Under 19 Cup courtesy of a penalty shootout victory over a strong looking Swords Celtic side in a game played on the excellent all weather pitch in the AIT.
No such luck up the road however for Willow Park Under 17’s who missed out on a place in the quarter finals of the FAI Under 17 Cup following a 4-3 heartbreaking defeat to Newbridge Town. Willow were in fact leading 3-1 going into the last 15 minutes and Newbridge had their first choice goalkeeper sent off. However the replacement keeper made two incredible saves after coming on and inspired his side to an unlikely comeback.
In underage League action Newbridge Town’s Under 18’s made it a day to remember for the club when they accounted for Portlaoise by four goals to no reply. Two more strikes from the profilic Jamie Evans along with efforts from Joe Darcy and Dylan McDermott made it comfortable for the Under 18 Divisional leaders.
The Division 1 Cup got underway at the weekend and in spite of the weather three games were played. The highlight of these must be Shinrone’s 3-1 win away to a good Mullingar Town second team. Shinrone made the long journey worth their while as goals from Philip Murphy, Derek McLoughlin and Ray Cordial earned the south Offaly men a place in the second round where they will have a home game against Gracefield Athletic.
In the Division 4 Cup Portarlington Town qualified for a second round meeting with Saint Aengus following their easy five nil success over Mountmellick United seconds. John Ricard put Port in front after 15 minutes. The same player doubled their advantage before the break when he turned in a centre from Willie Dowling. Chris Booth made it 3-0 early in the second half with man of the match Dowling again supplying the crucial pass. Although Mountmellick tried hard to get back into the game Town were always dangerous on the break and they punished Mountmellick again when Pauric Duffy slotted home after being sent through by Brendan McNair. In the closing minutes Town emptied their bench and two of the replacements Will Moore and Seanchaill O’Reilly combined for the latter to fire home the fifth and final goal.