Desmond Cup race down to eight as Dromore United dump out holders Abbeyfeale United

It was Desmond Cup second round action this weekend, with the last 16 down for decision. With all eight ties now concluded, there are five from the Premier Division, two from the First Division, while Feenagh fly the flag from Division Three.

Weekly Observer Desmond Cup 2nd Round

Ballingarry AFC 1-2 Kilcornan
The first side into the hat for the quarter finals was Kilcornan, who shaded an all-Premier Division clash in the Paddocks. Mark Curran opened the scoring from the kick-off, after just 20 seconds. Curran also hit the crossbar, when looking for a crucial second. This didn’t unsettle Ballingarry who found a leveller thanks to Eoin Lynch around 10 minutes before half-time. The winning goal came from Conor Staff who scored a superb effort from outside the area. Both sides had been reduced to 10 men during the second half, with Kilcornan playing much of the second half a man light.

Abbeyfeale Utd 0-1 Dromore Utd
Teenager Tiernan Meaney proved the goalscoring hero as Division One Dromore United eliminated holders Abbeyfeale United at Riverside Park. They have now picked up three recent wins, which will help ease any woes of a potential relegation from Division One. This result too will give them firm belief that they are a capable outfit. Abbeyfeale ended this game with nine men, as they lost both their precious Desmond Cup crown and their discipline.

Shannonside FC B 0-6 Glin Rovers

A Gary Culhane brace as well as strikes from Paul Sheehan, Gary Kelly, Shane Culhane and Zach Behan saw Glin Rovers ease into the last four. Shannonside B had their day in the sun earlier in the competition, defeating Granagh United, but they were no match for a top half-Premier side on Sunday morning. Glin will be happy to progress, having lost out to then Division Two side Athea United 12 months ago.

Newcastle West Town 2-1 Breska Rovers (AET)
There was little to separate these sides in their two cup meetings earlier the season, a 2-2 draw in the league cup and a 5-5 draw in the Munster Junior Cup meant it was likely to be even once more. That said, NCW had gotten the better of Breska, 4-0, in the league in recent weeks. This was a tight and hard-fought affair, with Jamie Keane proving the match winner. He opened the scoring after four minutes, beautifully lobbing an effort from just outside the area. Keith McNicholas restored parity on 38 minutes, with a calm finish inside the penalty area. It remained deadlocked until early into extra-time. With Breska now down to 10 men, Keane arrived at the back post to fire to the net. The Rovers challenge wasn’t aided by a second dismissal, as Newcastle West held on. It now means that of the four semi-finalists last season, only Newcastle West remain.

Newcastle West Town Reserves 2-1 Shountrade
The ‘B’ team from Newcastle West were able to join their A team in the last eight, seeing off fellow Division One side, Shountrade in Woodfield Estate. It took a strike from Saoirse Joyce after to minutes to opening the scoring. A fine left-footed effort from Tony Quaid gave them an insurance goal, which was needed as Shountrade did pull a goal back.

Askeaton AFC 2-3 Broadford United
Broadford will have been well aware of the threat of an Askeaton side who know where the net is. The Division One side put it up to Jim Neenan’s side, but eventually United won through. The Askeaton goalkeeper was busy over the 90 minutes but turned in a fine display. Micheál Brosnan opened the scoring, but Askeaton made it 1-1 with a goal Jeff Duggan just before half-time. Brosnan turned provider for Jack Pierce entering the final 15 minutes, and they doubled their tally, as Pierce set-up Derry McCarthy. Not to let Broadford ease by, Askeaton found a second goal from a penalty which Stephen Smith buried. The more experienced visitors held on to seal a quarter-final spot.

Rathkeale AFC 2-1 Shannonside
There was to be no upset in Holycross, with another Division One side attempting to dump out Premier opposition. Both sides have been in overall decent form in 2023, but Rathkeale did enough to progress. A first half goal from Dean Maune had the home side in a good half-time position. Thomas Qulligan doubled the lead, but Mike Aherne’s Shannonside replied through Declan Lane but couldn’t find another to force extra-time. Their attention returns to Division One action, where they are still in the mix for title honours.

Feenagh 2-2 Abbeyfeale Utd B (Feenagh win on peanlties)
There was a Division Three versus Division Two clash in Feenagh, where the last side outside of the top two tiers progressed on penalties. Feenagh were first round winners via the same method, and that experience may have been important here. Jack Quinlivan accounted for the two Abbeyfeale United goals.

Weekly Observer Premier Division 
Creeves Celtic 5-1 Granagh Utd
The only Premier Division clash saw the bottom two sides go head-to-head in Newbridge. Eoin McEnery helped himself to four goals while the reliable Bryan Meade was also on target for the winners. The result will give Celtic some impetus for the second round of fixtures but they’ll need to build on this in the coming weeks. It is now a near impossible road back for Granagh United at the foot of the table.

Weekly Observer Division 1 
St. Itas 1-3 Athea Utd
Athea’s stuttering form has seen them exit the Reidy Cup, Desmond Cup and lose a Division One Cup final. It has also seen them concede considerable ground to Shannonside in the hunt for the title and promotion. They got back on their metaphorical horse away to St. Ita’s, with a 3-1 win. Goals from Ger and Andy Ahern, as well as Kevin Murphy moved them to potentially within one result of the title. They have clashes with Dromore United at home, and a trip to Shannonside. A win in either, or indeed a draw with Shannonside will be enough to return them to the top flight.

Weekly Observer Division 2 
Glantine v Knockaderry – TBC
Glin Rovers B v Mountcollins – OFF

Weekly Observer Division 3 
Broadford Utd B 3-4 Ballysteen AFC
There was another resurrection for Ballysteen on the road this Sunday, as they claimed a valuable three points away to Broadford United B. Goals from Pakie Neville, two from Colm O’Flaherty and another from Darragh Ranahan saw them shade a highly entertaining game in Cove Park. Paul Madigan, Timmy Brosnan and Damien Burke scored for Broadford United B, who’ve been competitive but haven’t put the points on the board in the bottom tier.

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