There was plenty of interesting clashes at the top and the bottom of the Limerick Desmond League junior divisions, with it now increasingly likely that Division One will go right to the wire, while Division Three may also go the same way. It is hotting up in the Premier Division, with Broadford claiming a crucial result on Saturday evening.
Since this reporter last penned, seven days ago, the Desmond Cup semi-final draw (see below) was made. There is still a possibility of an all Premier Division final, though the lower-tier sides will hope there is another upset in their arsenal.
Weekly Observer Desmond Cup Quarter Final
Newcastle West Reserves 0-4 Rathkeale
It was always going to be a tall order for a side relegated from Division One against the men top of the pile in Premier Division, and so it proved. Goals from Dean Maune and Eoin Barry had Rathkeale in firm control. Maune went on to net his second, before Patrick Wilmott got had the final say.
Desmond Cup Semi-Final draw: Rathkeale v Dromore United, Feenagh v Glin Rovers or Newcastle West Town. To be played on 28th/29th April, in Clounreask.
Weekly Observer Premier Division
Broadford Utd 2-1 Breska Rovers
A crucial game at the top end of the table saw Broadford United bounce back against now third-placed Breska. Having lost to Feenagh (Desmond Cup) and Creeves (League) on the road, there was some home comforts at Cove Park. However, they did trail to a Mark Moroney goal after 30 minutes. The winger pounced at the back post and had far too much time to nutmeg the goalkeeper with a low finish. In reply, came a Michael Brosnan penalty on 44 minutes to leave it 1-1 at the interval. The wining goal came in the third quarter, as Liam O’Shaughnessy pounced in the box, seeing his effort trickle over the line. Try as they might, the Division One champions weren’t able to find any equaliser in a tie spoiled be an extremely strong wind which went straight down the pitch.
Creeves Celtic 1-2 Newcastle West Town
Newcastle West were able to ease any fears of getting dragged into the relegation mire with an important victory away to inconsistent Creeves Celtic. All the goals were in opening half. Shane Stack netted an early penalty before Darren Lawlor made it 2-0 just after the half-hour. But Creeves replied to leave it 1-2 at the break. There was to be no more goals, which will please Kieran Shanahan’s side who put some daylight between them and the dreaded eight place on the table.
Kilcornan 0-3 Ballingarry
Another relegation six-pointer and this time it was the mean from near-Knockfierna who secured a precious win. Cian McGoey had them 1-0 to the good at the break. There was further strikes from Adam Hickey and Nessan Leahy to seal the result. Kilcornan’s lack of squad depth perhaps being highlighted again in recent weeks, with the relegation trap-door far too close. They are now eight-points from safety with just five games remaining. Ultimately, their early season draws needed to be wins.
The results over the weekend means that Rathkeale (P12, 28pts) lead the way. Broadford (P11, 26 pts) and Breska Rovers (P13, 26pts) are the top three. At the bottom, Ballingarry (P12, 17pts) are out of danger, for now, with Creeves (P14, 16pts) and Kilcornan (P13, 11pts) in trouble at present – but more twists and turns are almost guaranteed.
Weekly Observer Division 1
Athea Utd 0-0 Dromroe Utd
A vital result in the title race meant that Athea now move three points clear with two games remaining. However, the must face their nearest rivals, Shannonside away from home. At one point, they looked like uncatchable leaders but now look like been taken right to the wire for the league title. This clash saw Athea have the better of the chances, but Dromore stood firm. Dromore have a maiden Desmond Cup semi-final to come, and this was ideal preparation. Ciaran Galvin was their biggest threat but it remained goalless at The Vales.
Weekly Observer Division 2
Glin Rovers B 4-2 Knockaderry AFC
Glin Rovers got back on the winning beat, with a win at home to Knockaderry. Readers of this piece will hopefully forgive this reporter for ignoring that there is a third series of a games in last week’s piece. Therefore, Glin are in the driving seat before we start those final five games. Ger Riordan, Ger Lyons, Johnie O’Sullivan and Cian Culhane shared the load in attack to keep them top of the pile.
Ballingarry B 1-1 Mountcollins AFC
Captain James Brouder netted from the spot and it looked as though that might be enough for Mountcollins. But, 2nd placed Ballingarry had a late say, getting the equaliser with around 10 minutes remaining, through Alan Cronin.
Glantine 2-3 Abbeyfeale Utd B
Another west Limerick derby with Abbeyfeale adding another win, to put them up to 2nd in the table. They will have five games, including one against Glin Rovers to try and hunt them down and try to win the league.
Weekly Observer Division 3
Breska Rovers B 6-0 Broadford Utd B
Goals from Evan McGregor (2), Sean McGrath, Ben Adams (pen), Tom Clancy and goalkeeper Freddy Lynch gave Breska Rovers a welcomed three points against a depleted Broadford United second string.
Dromore Utd B 3-3 Feenagh
There was a significant result in the title race, which went in favour of leaders Ballysteen. A last minute goal from Alan O’Donnell meant this clash finished all level. Fennagh had strikes from Luke Ryan, who netted a brace and Ronan O’Connor. One of those Ryan efforts was a penalty. Ethan O’Brien and Darren O’Connell had also scored for the home side. Crucially, Feenagh are now one point behind Ballysteen. But they have only one game remaining. If Ballysteen can avoid defeat in their last two clashes, one of which is at home to Feenagh, they will win this division.