Compiled by Adrian Cooke
With a change in the schedule due to an All-Ireland Final weekend which featured Tipperary, last Friday night saw a number of third division fixtures whereby Gurtagarry pulled clear at the summit with a hard earned three points away to Rearcross ‘B’. The home side flew into an early lead with a strike from Sean Harte on the five minute mark, a lead which was held until the 58th minute when Pio O’Rourke levelled. Gurtagarry matched their current league form in the 75th minute when they grabbed the winner through Dinny Corcoran to guarantee three points and put clear daylight between themselves and Borrisokane ‘B’ in second place who themselves also won on the road away to Templetuohy. Matt Power continues to show his prowess in front of goal with another brace. David Hogan and Jamie Heffernan also got in on the action for the visitors whilst Lee Tierney and Paddy Clavin replied for the home side. Sallypark ‘B’ travelled to Ballinree to face an inform Ballymackey ‘B’ but lost out by the odd goal in seven as the home side continues to climb up the table. Ballymackey took the lead early on with a quality strike from Willie Seymour. The lead was soon doubled when Marty Flynn grabbed his first of the game. The visitors replied almost immediately with a good team effort finished off by Eoin Ryan. Sallypark were caught with a quick counter attack as they pushed looking to reduce the deficit but were behind by two goals again when Kevin Mounsey slotted home. Flynn capped a fine individual performance in the 72nd minute when he completed his hat trick. Sallypark replied twice after that with Eoin Ryan grabbing his second and Padraig Ryan helping to reduce the score line to the minimum, but it was to be the Ballinree lad’s day as they held out despite Sallypark hitting the cross bar twice. Lough Derg ‘B’ heaped pressure on Streamstown ‘B’ with a resounding 5 nil victory in Clarisford. Jamie Stuart did his part by bagging a brace and was ably assisted on the score sheet by Peader Lyons, Emmet Lyons and Eric Monaghan. Clodiagh Rangers ‘C’ were good value for the 4 – 0 victory over Ballywilliam United in Drombane. David Considine continues to impress with a well taken goal, but it was Darragh Brennan who was man of the match with a superbly taken hat trick.
Roscrea United ‘B’ continue their surge up the divisions with a convincing 6 – 1 win over a weakened Portumna side. The Kennedy Park side were keen to avenge their defeat to the Galway in the recent Shield final and got off the mark with Stephen Murphy. It was soon two nil when Paul Brussels headed home at the back post. Joe Callaghan netted Roscrea’s third before Cormac Houlahan got Portumna off the mark from the penalty spot. This goal seemed to spur the Roscrea outfit into renewed action as they hit their visitors with another treble from John Pio assisted by Callaghan and Murphy each completing their braces. Clodiagh Rangers ‘B’ travelled to Kilcommon to renew this derby clash of old and ran out comfortable 4 – 2 winners to obtain a welcome three points. Despite the visitors having the dominant share of play in the first half, it was the hosts who took the lead through Garry Ryan. The visitors soon levelled through Loughlin Ryan and sailed into a three goal lead with further strikes from Alan Tierney, Diarmuid Grant and player manager Mark Conway. Long serving stalwart for the hosts, Tom Keane reduced the deficit but it was a case of too little, too late for the boys in red from Kilcommon. Ballymackey continue to stay in touch with league pace setters Roscrea United ‘B’ as they overcame Cloughjordan ‘B’ and were thankful for a well taken brace from their talisman Timmy Fleming to guarantee all three points in an entertaining affair. The visitors took the lead through a Collie Brown strike in the 29th minute but they couldn’t hold out until half time as Fleming bagged his quick fire goals within four minutes of each other just before the half time whistle. The second half saw no goals but some entertaining football as Ballymackey endured some late pressure from Cloughjordan to move level at the top of the second division.
More misery was compounded on a considerably weakened Ardcroney side as they lost out to visitors Moneygall on a 2 – 1 score line. Mark Walsh and Dwaine Collison ensured all three points for Moneygall as they move out of the relegation zone, and Alan Darcy was on the mark for Ardcroney. Newly promoted Streamstown Celtic continue to blitz all before them as they overcame Nenagh AFC ‘B’ on a 4 – 2 score line. The Roscrea side went into an early lead with a strike from Shabby Loughnane after just seven minutes and remained in the lead until the 41st minute when the hosts levelled through Willie Darcy, who ten minutes later put the Nenagh side ahead with a class finish. Not to be outdone, the first division’s new boys hit their hosts for three goals to guarantee all three points. Jason Moloney levelled the game in the 72nd minute and with honours even on the cards, up popped Paul Doyle and Brian Franks for Streamstown to bag two very late, but valuable goals. Holycross continue to match the form of their promotion partners from last season with a 2 nil win away to Borrisokane and in turn go three points clear at the top of the first division. Calum O’Connor capped a fine individual performance with a well taken brace to send the Glenbane outfit ahead of second place Streamstown. It was honours even in Loughtagalla as hosts Borroway Rovers and Rearcross ‘A’ played out a 1 – 1 draw. Jake Moore was on the mark for the Thurles side and Rearcross were thankful for a Robbie Harrington strike to ensure they didn’t leave empty handed.
Friday evening saw the first of the weekends top tier fixtures when Thurles Town travelled to face BT Harps looking to breathe life into their league campaign but were put to the sword by the Templemore side who proved to clinical in front of goal to run out 3 – 1 winners. The home side raced in to a 2 nil lead with strikes from Stefan Leahy and Mikey Greed. Town got back in the game with a well taken goal from Darren Connor after being set up by Padraig Fogarty to make it 2 – 1 at the break. Town pushed for the equaliser but were undone with a late strike by Christy Moore to seal the match.
Clodiagh Rangers ‘A’ renewed acquaintances with Roscrea United ‘A’ in Drombane last Saturday afternoon and will rue a number of missed second half chances as the visitors ran out winners with a 3 – 0 victory. The hosts were on the back foot for most of the first half and were behind at the break thanks to a well taken strike from Paul Kirwan ten minutes before half time. Clodiagh began to get a foothold in the game and were unlucky not to have drawn level through Mark Quinlan and Paul Doyle. The Roscrea side withstood the home side’s pressure and struck on the counter attack through John ‘Pio’ Fitzpatrick who slotted home from close range. The home side paid a heavy price for pushing forward trying to get something from the game as man of the match Kirwan notched up his second with a well taken finish. Nenagh Celtic ‘A’ made it three wins from three with a comprehensive 3 nil win away to Lough Derg ‘A’. The Hoops were 2 nil to the good at half time with strikes from Jimmy Hynes and Benny Sheehan. Hynes continues his fine form of late with his second goal after being set up with a pin point cross from Eddie Shoer to see their side go top of the premier, as their neighbours Nenagh AFC ‘A’ were not in league action this weekend. Cloughjordan ‘A’ got back in winning ways with a 3 – 1 victory over visitors Sallypark ‘A’. A trio of strikes for the home side from PJ O’Brien, Javier Gomez and Mick Costello was enough to outdo the efforts and solitary reply from Eugen Foley to ensure Cloughjordan’s first league points of the campaign.
Munster Champions Trophy
Nenagh AFC ‘A’ welcomed St. Michael’s from TSDL to Brickfields last Friday and were keen to undo the recent outcome of the John Delaney Cup Final where it took extra time to separate NT&DL’s current Premier League Champions and last seasons all conquering Tipperary Town outfit. The game itself was slow to get going with both sides well able to move the ball across the impressive playing surface. The best of the first half chances fell to the visitors, but Nenagh defended well to see the game level at half time. They say a team is only as good as the quality it has on the bench, and this was shown to be true as substitute for St. Michael’s, Russell Quirke scored with his first touch of the game when he was introduced in to the action in the 64th minute. Nenagh had their opportunities too, most notably in the shape of an effort from John Mitchell which was deflected narrowly wide for a corner. St. Michaels guaranteed their safe passage through to the next round with an 89th minute strike from another substitute Darren McGrath.