Athea United seal Division One title; crucial results at top and bottom of Desmond League Premier Division

There was the second of four Divisional League titles sealed on Sunday afternoon, as Athea United eventually jumped over the finishing line, after a stuttering few months which saw Shannonside creep up on them. However a team gets there, the important thing is they get there, and Athea’s rebuilding efforts after a lean few seasons have been achieved. They will enter a competitive and exciting looking eight-team Premier Division for 2023/24.

Weekly Observer Premier Division
Glin Rovers 2-0 Abbeyfeale Utd
Goals from Shane Culhane and Zak Behan gave Glin a much welcomed three points on Friday evening. With the Desmond Cup final approaching, Rovers are hoping to pick up a run of form ahead of their clash with Dromore United. Abbeyfeale’s title defence has been a disappointing one, with the loss of some top talent prior to the season making it a tough task for John Kelliher’s men. With three games to go, Abbeyfeale are just four clear of the relegation play-offs, though Creeves provide an extra cushion between themselves and Ballingarry.

Ballingarry AFC 1-1 Rathkeale
There was a last gasp penalty, from the boot of Dean Clancy, to deny Rathkeale an important extra couple of points in the title race. For Ballingarry, it moves them to within one point of Creeves, who they will visit in the closing rounds. Timmy Hogan had Rathkeale in front but there was no killer second. Ballingarry, despite creating little in the closing stages, fashioned an opening, which saw Clancy upended before sending the keeper the wrong way. Rathkeale may rue their failure to take one of a handful of openings they created.

Breska Rovers 0-0 Broadford Utd
Somehow, Broadford United were also held to a draw this weekend. Despite creating near double digit openings to get the breakthrough against 3rd placed Breska, they were unable to hit the net. This was thanks, in no small part, to James Purcell, who make save after save to deny the visitors. There was also a late chance cleared off the line with any variety of players having guilt-edged openings. With Breska effectively out of the title race coming into this now, Broadford will be hoping the Clarina side can afford them some form of favour – as Rathkeale will face Breska on the very last day.

Glin Rovers 4-0 Kilcornan – Kilcornan are relegated
Kilcornan’s return to the second-tier came at the hands of Glin Rovers – any outside chance of a super survival effort lost for Gary Manning’s men. The breakthrough, in the opening half-time came from a penalty, with Gary Culhane converting. There was further strikes from Zak Behan (2) and Tadgh Culhane. Kilcornan came-up as runners up to neighbours to Adare in 2018/19, and must be credited for perhaps punching above their weight for a few years. They’ll return to a competitive looking Division One looking to rebuild, from an area with a very small pick of players. Glin move up to fourth with three games remaining.

Weekly Observer Division 1
Athea Utd 6-1 Rathkeale B – Athea United are Champions
There was joy and relief in equal measure as Athea secured the Division One League title, thanks to an emphatic victory over Rathkeale B. A Kevin Murphy treble, as well as strikes from Andrew O’Riordan, Mark Hogan and Darren Murphy did the damage here. This seals back-to-back promotions and a welcome return to the top table for Athea. They were deserving winners of the Division, having exploded out of the blocks in the early stages of the season. Rathkeale will face Dromore United next weekend, now slipping into sixth, the final relegation spot.

St. Itas 1-0 Shannonside
With Athea strolling to their win, at the same time, Shannonside needed pick up the three points but were turned over against St. Ita’s who were looking to maintain their place in Division One. A win for Shannonside would have pushed the title race to the last game, but Mike Aherne’s men ran out of luck and time. A goal in the second half from St. Ita’s put them in control, while Adam Bennett smacked the cross bar from distance for the visitors.

Askeaton AFC 6-3 Shountrade
This games was 3-2 to the hosts at-half time but they stretched clear in the second-half to  Jeff Duggan netted twice, Matt Moane, Sam Duggan, Cian Smith and Niall Barry.

Dromore Utd – Newcastle West Town Reserves
Dromore United received a walkover.

Richard Hogan Cup 1
st Round
Glantine 3-0 Knockaderry
Cameron Carey, Chris Scannell and Brian Sheahan were on target for Glantine who forgot their league form and progressed to a quarter-final meeting away to Broadford United B.

Ballingarry B 7-0 Dromore Utd B
Ballingarry B were far too strong for Dromore United B and eased into the last eight. Jamie Ryan netted a hat-trick, Darren Geary scored twice while Brian Fitzgerald and Francis Kiely were also on target. They host Carrig Celtic.  

Glin Rovers B 5-0 Shannonside B
James Broderick, Ger Riordan, Edmond Horan and Cian Culhane all found the net for Division Two title chasing, Glin. Darragh McKenna concluded the scoring late in the second half. Shannonside’s season is now over.

Carrig Celtic V Feenagh
Carrig Celtic received a walkover from Feenagh. Feenagh’s season is over.
Limerick Desmond U17s Cup Final
roadford Utd 1-0 Newcastle West Town
Turlough O’Neill netted the only goal of the game to bring silverware back to Broadford.

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