Champions Crettyard took a huge step towards retaining the title after this win in Baltinglass coupled with Hanover’s loss at New Oak sees them six points clear at the top with just three games to play.
United were on the front foot from the start with Lee Salter and Adam O’Rourke looking dangerous every time they linked up. It was little surprise when Salter opened the scoring on 15 minutes, sprinting clear of the chasing Baltinglass back line before the deftest of touches beat the ‘keeper for a 1-0 lead. Crettyard kept up the pressure and O’Rourke doubled the lead ten minutes later, having seen his header saved the striker reacted quickest to the loose ball to make it 2-0. Paddy Cronin and Paddy Barry were battling manfully for the hosts but United preserved their advantage into the break.
Baltinglass started the second period well but Crettyard looked dangerous on the break and after a couple of close offside calls slowed the visitors down the third goal eventually arrived 20 minutes from time, O’Rourke netting his second of the game after creating the space for himself to get the shot off with some neat footwork. Baltinglass threw men forward in an effort to get something from the game but Terrance Haughney and Jason Enright were in mean mood at the heart of the United defence as the champions took a huge step towards a third title in a row.
Keith Nolan and Mikey Byrne also impressed for United, while Paddy Cronin, Paddy Barry and Dan O’Brien were best for Baltinglass.
New Oak Boys 3
Hanover Harps 1
New Oak got the better of town rivals Hanover for the second weekend in a row as Hanover’s chances of the title all but disappeared on Sunday.
The result means Hanover are six points behind Crettyard with New Oak a further five points back in third. Hanover started well but failed to trouble Robbie Moore in the New Oak goal and as the hosts began to settle they really should have got their noses in front. Max Mattos cracked his shot off the post after a mix up in the Harps back line let him through on 25 minutes before Conaill Dunne and Lee Walker both miscued in front of goal. Despite all the New Oak pressure the best chance of the half fell to Hanover when Simon O’Shea crossed brilliantly from the right wing but Kevin Power headed wide from six yards as the teams went into the break goalless. The early exchanges in the second half were scrappy with too many misplaced passes from both sides but on 65 minutes the deadlock was broken, the Harps defence switched off at a throw in and this allowed Walker the time and space to pick out Lee Murphy who powered home a back post header to give New Oak the lead. Ten minutes later it was 2-0 when Dean Kelly collected the ball just outside the penalty area, the midfielder shifting the ball onto his right foot and then his left before curling it in beautifully off the inside of the post. The game was finished as a contest with five minutes left when Walker set up Darren Crooks to make it 3-0. Hanover got a late consolation from the penalty spot, Phil Neenan getting on the scoresheet after Majid Omeara was fouled.
Cian Dowling, Lee Walker and Ken Lacey were impressive for the hosts while Hanover will be disappointed with their overall display.
St Fiacc’s 1
St Fiacc’s struck two minutes from time to claim the points in this battle between the divisions bottom two teams. The result means the Killeshin will finish bottom.
There was very little in the way of clear scoring chances early on as both teams struggled to create anything meaningful in front of goal. It took 20 minutes for Killeshin to threaten the Saints goal when Ian Brennan struck a 25 yards’ volley that brought a great save from the Fiacc’s keeper. Brian Lawler had another good chance for the hosts on the stroke of half time after good work by Barry Ryan but he couldn’t keep his header down and the teams went into the break at 0-0.
Killeshin started the better in the early stages of the second half but failed to turn their possession into goals and with two minutes remaining Killeshin failed to clear a long ball into their box and Fiaccs capitalised on poor defending to net the winner and claim the points. Best for Killeshin were Niall O’Rourke, Gavin Brennan and Joe Travers.
Douglas Jewellers’ Carlow Cup
Parkville United 1
St Patrick’s Boys 2
St Pat’s booked their place in the quarter finals of the Carlow Cup after edging Premier Division rivals Parkville on Sunday.
The hosts left cursing their luck and the crossbar as the visitors took their chances and they couldn’t. Ronan Byrne had the first sight of goal for United early on as Pat’s were happy to contain and hit on the break, his effort well saved on 20 minutes. The opening goal arrived shortly afterwards as St Pat’s struck for the lead, Conor Clack and Dominic Byrne setting up Martin Brigett to head home on the half hour. The lead was short lived however as the Boys conceded a free kick on the edge of the area which Graham Byrne rifled to the net to ensure parity at the break.
The pattern for the second period was much the same as the first with lots of possession for the hosts but St Pat’s absorbed it with ease and on 70 minutes the visitors hit on the break for the winner. Kelvin Corcoran picked out Dominic Byrne on the edge of the box, Byrne still had a lot to do but he waved away the attentions of two defenders before unleashing an unstoppable shot to the top corner. A flurry of unconverted chances followed for United. Will Doran had a hat trick of headers in the space of ten minutes. His first effort cleared off the line then followed by two headers which rebounded off the crossbar as Boys held on for the win thanks to the efforts of Martin Brigett, Brian Maguire and Michael Calvey.
Best for United were Graham Byrne, Conor McCarney and will Doran.
HERALD STRIKER DIVISION ONE
Crettyard United 2
Palatine Celtic 2
An entertaining tie ended all square on Sunday.
Crettyard had the better start without troubling stand in keeper Odlan Duff, until they went ahead after 24 minutes when John Graham flicked a header beyond Duff to put United ahead. Pal responded well and Jason Kane levelled matters seven minutes before half-time.
The second half was a lively affair as both sides went in search of goals although Pal came close with efforts from Conor Clonan and Darragh Fitzpatrick. It was the Laois side went ahead with a neat strike from Cormac Murphy after 62 minutes. But again Celtic responded and a brilliant volley from Darragh Fitzpatrick had the sides level again. Crettyard missed a couple of late sitters and with them their chances of picking up maximum points.
For Pal Odlan Duff, Conor Clonan, Darragh Fitzpatrick and man of the match Dillon Cottor were outstanding. While for United Shane Renwick, Eoin O’Shea and Philip Brennan were best.
WHITE’S PHARMACY DIVISION
Ballymurphy Celtic 5
Kilree Celtic 1
Ballymurphy kept their challenge for Division 2 honours alive with a comfortable enough win at home.
Kilree were at a disadvantage right from the start as they could only muster ten players and the visitors had to defend strongly to stay in the contest. The Bally boys after a few missed chances went ahead on 22 minutes with a fine solo goal from Kevin Foley and were 1-0 up at half-time.
With Kilree tiring from the efforts of playing with a man less, the home side piled on the pressure and Kevin Foley scored twice to complete a hat trick. Tom O’Neill with a great header made it 4-0. Veteran defender Ger Foley with a fine goal put Ballymurphy 5-0 up, before Blaine Dwyer managed to get a late consolation for the visitors to wrap up the scoring.
Mark Maloney, Davy Lennon and Kevin Foley shone for Ballymurphy. While all ten Kilree men put up a brave show.
Burrin Celtic 2
St. Joseph’s 0
Burrin had their first league win of the season in Ballon on Sunday and in the process inflicted a body blow to Joseph’s hopes of league honours.
The game ebbed and flowed in the first half without any goal scoring chances created at either end as the half ended scoreless.
The second half started brightly for the visitors and it was against the run of play that saw Burrin go ahead with a Johnny Brennan goal. Boosted by this Celtic poured forward and were rewarded with a second goal scored by Micky Barcoe. Burrin never looked in trouble after this and should have added another goal only for James Hickey to miss a sitter in injury time.
Excellent for the winners were Matty Dowling, Conor Quinn and James Hickey. For Joey’s Conor Dooley, John Paul Moore and Brian Mullin tried hard.
Parkville United 1
Hacketstown United 1
Hacketstown’s title hopes stuttered as they could only take a point from this encounter in Tullow against second from bottom Parkville.
Hacketstown had most of the first half possession, but were denied by some excellent goal keeping from man of the match Paddy Lynch. In a rare first half attack from Parkville they were awarded a penalty kick, but James Lonergan failed to convert from the spot as the half ended scoreless.
Again in the second half Hacketstown looked the most likely to score, but Lynch in the Parkville goal denied them with some neat saves. He was finally beaten on 70 minutes when Jason Hobson struck a shot from inside the box which Lynch parried only for Con Murphy to put away the rebound. Parkville did not drop their heads and when Opi Bolarin advanced into the penalty area on 81 minutes he was fouled and this time Paul Earle slotted home the spot kick and earn his side a share of the spoils.
Paddy Lynch, Dan O’Connor, Jamie Curran and Opi Bolarin excelled for Parkville. With Jordan Kane, Con Murphy and Niall Humphries best for United.
BURGER KING CARLOW DIVISION THREE
Hanover Harps 2
Killeshin FC 2
A battling show from Killeshin saw them get a draw in The Plots on Sunday.
The Town side dominated possession all through, but Killeshin stuck to their guns and earned a point. Hanover were on top in the opening quarter, but the visitors were to go ahead after 23 minutes when Glenn Howard poked home following a goalmouth scramble and they were 0-1 ahead at half-time.
A determined Hanover came out strong in the second half and they were to go 2-1 up with a Kuba Dobosz header and a perfect volley from Martin Phelan. The home side looked winners at this stage, but a lapse of concentration in defence let in Killeshin and the ball fell kindly for Glenn Howard to net the equaliser. Hanover had a late chance to win as Martin Phelan bore down on goal, but the Killeshin keeper smothered his effort and the game ended all square.
Gavin Glover, Jack Ryan and Martin Phelan were excellent for Hanover. With Aaron Dempsey, Danny McFeely and Declan Bolton stars for Killeshin.
Mill Celtic 8
Slaney Rovers 1
The Ballitore side had a comfortable win at home on Sunday and moved into second place in the Division 3 league table.
Wesley Mackey opened the scoring for the home side and then a quick fire hat trick from ace attacker Sean Higgins put Celtic 4-0 up at half-time.
Andy Horan increased the Co. Kildare sides lead early in the second half before Slaney got a goal back when Regan Murphy scored from close range after good work from Donal Smith in the buildup. Celtic were not finished however and goals from James Corcoran and Jack Nolan (2) rounded off the scoring.
Shane O’Neill, Wesley Mackey and Sean Higgins were stars for Mill. With Kevin McCall and James Tobin best for Rovers.
Village FC 5
Vale Wanderers 1
Village’s march to the top of Division 3 continued with a comfortable home win.
David Dowling got the home side off to a flying start with a goal on four minutes and ten minutes later John Ryan added a second for the boys from the hill to put them in the driving seat. Vale managed to get a goal back before half-time.
The Old Leighlin side always looked comfortable and a brace of goals from Thomas Lynch had them 4-1 up after an hour’s play. To round off things Paddy Deevy advanced from his defensive position to score goal No. 5 on 82 minutes as Village motor on towards the title.
Jerry Walsh, Paddy Deevy and Thomas Lynch were their top performers on Sunday.
MED BAR CUP (e.t./pens)
Hanover Harps ‘B’ 1
Celtic Stars 1 aet
(Hanover win 4-2 on penalties)
Hanover qualified for a semifinal meeting with Vale Wanderers after edging out Celtic Stars on penalties.
There was very little between the sides all through the contest, Hanover had the better start and Shane Kelly forced a fine save out of the Stars keeper early on. However, it was the visitors who were to open the scoring on 28 minutes when Darren Coleman crossed the ball and Pauric Hickey flicked it on for Mark Egan to slot home the lead goal.
It was 0-1 at the break, but five minutes into the second half Hanover levelled with a great volley from Johnny Waters. The game ebbed and flowed for the remainder of the 90 minutes and extra time with goal scoring chances created at both ends, but neither side could find the net and so it went to a shootout and the home side prevailed to advance to the semi’s.
Shane Kelly, Popa Dowling and Johnny Waters shone for Hanover. With Larry Keating, Alan Nolan and Keith Gallagher the pick for Stars.
Division 2/3 Cup
Slaney Rovers ‘A’ 3
Nurney Villa ‘B’ 1
Slaney put Nurney under a lot of early pressure and had shots that went high, wide and not very handsome and Slaney also forced two corners, but they came to nothing. Nurney were gradually working their way into the game through good passing and interplay and on eight minutes, after good play between Colin Townsend and Dean Brennan, it left Adam Kenny unmarked in front of the goal and he finished smartly to give Nurney a 0-1 lead, somewhat against the run of play. Nurney were then put under more severe pressure by Slaney and it was only good handling by Nurney’s keeper Chris Kearney and some stout defending by the Nurney backline that kept Nurney’s lead intact, as Slaney upped the tempo and a great cross from Aaron Broughall, was just missed by the incoming Dean Kelly. Crosses and corners seemed to be ‘raining in’ on the Nurney defence, but they put their bodies on the line to block, tackle and head clear, in what was a typical cup tie and they were definitely ‘riding their luck’ as a fierce shot from the edge of the area hit the post and was cleared over the bar by Dermot Maher. Slaney’s Owen Curran who was having a great game, shot from the edge of the box and it just grazed the bar and he and Daryl Kelly, playing out of position at left – back, were having a real tussle, as Kelly really stuck to his task, against an opponent who was really on top form. Ten minutes before half time, Slaney’s centre-back Mark Ryan, did what his forwards couldn’t, when he got on the end of an Aaron Broughall corner and flicked home for a 1-1 score -line that both sides took to the interval.
Early in the second half, Nurney started to put some pressure on the Slaney defenders, with some really good passing and movement, with Adam Kenny, Colin Townsend and Anthony Hogan most prominent. A great free-kick by Dermot Maher, was only half cleared and Dean Brennan latched on to the ball at the edge of the box and hit a thunderbolt, that was blocked by a Slaney defender, as both sides sought a goal. Chris Kearney in Nurney’s goal then made a great double save to thwart Slaney’s Conor O’Brien who had really started to show his prowess up front, as he seemed to be on the end of everything.
On 60 minutes, Keith Curran did all the spadework to set up Conor O’Brien and he finished to the corner to give Slaney a 2-1 advantage, but Nurney upped their game and a double substitution and a line-up change gave Nurney more of the game and whilst they did have a few half-chances, they couldn’t get past the Slaney defence and they were beginning to get caught on the break. On 70 minutes Slaney added another goal for 3-1, when Dean Kelly finished from close range and whilst Nurney never gave up, the game ended with a deserved win for Slaney who progress to the semi-finals.
Best for Slaney were Conor O’Brien, Michael Foley and Owen Curran, whilst for Nurney standing out were Colin Townsend, Anthony Hogan and Eoin Doyle, in what was an exciting game, played in a very sporting spirit.
SuperValu U18 Youths Division
Nurney Villa AFC 2
Vale Wanderers 4
This was a ‘spicy’ local derby, with no quarter given or asked and initially it was a very close game with both sides playing the long direct ball and there were chances for both sides in goalmouth scrambles, but they were all cleared off the line, to leave it all square.
After 20 minutes Nurney were convinced that they had won a penalty but the referee waved their pleas away and then just afterwards on 25 minutes a Nurney player was dismissed when he kicked a Vale midfielder and Nurney were reduced to ten men. With strong tackles being put in all over the pitch the game was threatening to boil over but things settled down and on 40 minutes two goals in two minutes from Dylan Bradley enabled Vale to take a 0-2 lead to the interval.
Ten men Nurney came out in the second-half and threw everything at Vale and they pulled the score back to 2-2 through a Christian O’Riordan free-kick that went straight through the Vale keeper and the equaliser came from a Jamie McCabe header from a Brian Carroll free-kick and Nurney were ‘bossing’ the game. However, playing one man short took its toll and Vale started to dominate proceedings and with 15 minutes to go another long ball out of defence released Ronan McAllister who beat Nurney’s full-back and crossed it to Ceilum Darcy who fired home for 2-3. Ronan McAllister nearly scored but his shot struck the underside of the crossbar and was cleared. Nurney still tried hard to get back into the game but their efforts left them vulnerable at the back and right at the end Dylan Bradley completed his hat-trick with a tidy finish and Vale ended up 2-4 winners.
It was a strong team effort from Vale but Bradley Dylan was ‘man of the match’ for his scoring feats, whilst standing out for a depleted Nurney were Jack Rowan, Dean Brennan, Neil Martin and Michael Murphy.
Parkville Utd 11
St Fiacc’s FC 1
High-flying Parkville entertained lowly St Fiacc’s and the hosts started off at a frantic pace and went 1-0 up after one minute when an Eoin Brennan free-kick was smartly headed home by Ryan Clarke. St Fiacc’s got back on level terms at 1-1 when they surprised Parkville with an equaliser. Eoin Brennan was again the provider and this time it was Tom Piggott who finished at the near post for 2-1 to Parkville. On 20 minutes St Fiacc’s were attacking down their right wing when Ross Hanley made a great tackle to win the ball and he then made a 50-yard break towards the box and crossed to John Byrne who made the score 3-1 with a neat finish. Moments later Ross Hanley scored for 4-1 from a Tom Piggott assist and on 35 minutes he scored another for his brace after great work by John Byrne on the wing. Then on the cusp of half-time John Byrne caused havoc in the St Fiacc’s box and he was brought down for a penalty which Emre Yilmaz dispatched with real conviction for a 6-1 lead at the interval.
The second half started with John Byrne scoring two goals within five minutes to complete his hat-trick with assists from Bob Gahan and Rory O’Connor respectively. Having made all three substitutions, an injury to Bob Gahan on 70 minutes meant that he had to go in goal and keeper Alan Maher came out to try and grab a goal and score he did as he danced through the Fiacc’s defence and buried his shot in the bottom corner for a quality finish and a 9-1 lead. Parkville new boy Aaron Morris was credited with an assist as he set up Jack Simpson to shoot across the Fiacc’s keeper to the net and a 10-1 score line. Then on 80 minutes Cormac Flynn completed the scoring with a fine shot and an 11-1 final result in a dominant Parkville performance and they leap-frog Nurney Villa into second place with games in hand.
Standing out for Parkville were John Byrne, Sam Meanie and Alan Maher, whilst St Fiacc’s tried hard, but were just simply outclassed, on the day.
St Anne’s FC 0
Mill Celtic 4
Both sides started the game well, with some nice football being played, but chances were few and far between as the both defences stood strong.
Mill finally got their breakthrough on the stroke of half time when Scott Henry scored for 0-1 interval lead.
After the break Kevin Kelly slotted home for 0-2 and then a spectacular volley by Jack Nolan made it 0-3. Shane Quirke completed the scoring with a really tidy finish.
Best for the winners were Brian Mackey, Kevin Kelly and Adam Byrne, whilst it was hard working team effort from St Anne’s for whom Evan Maher stood out.
Mill Celtic 1
Hanover Harps 2
Hanover came out on top of this very entertaining game in Ballytore on Sunday.
The home side opened brightly and Aisling Woods was unlucky not to open the scoring when her shot cannoned off the crossbar. The visitors came more into the game and Becky Walsh’s deflected effort put Hanover one up. A stunning strike from Lorraine Bowes levelled things just before the break.
Both sides went for it in the second half and Mill were unlucky when a Bowes shot hit both posts and Hanover broke away to get the winner through Becky Walsh.
Best for Mill were Lorraine Bowes, Carol Cullen and Pamela Grufferty. For Hanover Steph Walsh, Becky Walsh and Mel Walker stood out.