Desmond League: Tight at the top as Desmond Cup last four is confirmed

Premier Division
Athea United 2-2 Creeves Celtic

In a division devoid of draws, this result may prove costly to one or both for different reasons. Creeves Celtic are hunting a maiden title and while this result puts them top, it opens up the door for Rathkeale to move two ahead when they play their game in hand. For Athea, time is running out, now with just four games to play, United are two points off neighbours Abbeyfeale who are currently in the safety zone of 6th. Second half goals from Shane Mulvihill and Nigel O’Connor brought Athea level after James O’Connor and captain Tommy Dillane had given the visitors a commanding lead from set pieces.

Broadford United 3-2 Newcastle West Town
In another six-pointer of sorts, the champions edged a thrilling game thanks to a late Brian O’Sullivan winner. Newcastle West town were and still are in the title hunt but a result like this is a sting to their chances. A fast start from Broadford saw them two clear. Joe McAuliffe and Jack Pierce, the latter from a penalty, gave the visitors plenty to do. Adam Lacey halved the deficit before Noel Callanan’s deflected effort tied the game in the final quarter.  Then with stoppage time fast approaching, O’Sullivan netted what they’ll hope is a huge goal come the final weeks of the season.

Breska Rovers 1-2 Glin Rovers
Both of these sides needed the points for differing reasons, it was Glin who gave their title chances a significant boost with a narrow win in Clarina. The hosts remain rooted to the foot of the table, albeit with games in hand on the sides above them. Goalscoring has been their problem, and it proved again, as they struggled to breakdown a typically well organised Glin defence. John Wallace scored midway through the opening half, from a break away while it was the same player who scrambled home from a corner on the hour mark. While Darragh O’Sullivan set up a tense finish, Mike Stack wasn’t to be beaten for a second time, ensuring Glin are in the title race with a second win over Breska in as many weeks.

Desmond Cup quarter-finals
Granagh United 1-1 Dromore United A (AET) – Granagh United win 4-2 on penalties

The holders of the Desmond Cup, Dromore United were edged out on penalties by Granagh United. There is little doubt that Granagh were out of their depth in the Premier Division in recent times, and relegation has allowed a reset. This win is further proof that they are competitive with fellow Division One sides. It took a fine Damien O’Donovan free kick to level it after Anthony Dabrynets netted his second in as many outings for the visitors. Dromore were denied by a couple of tight offside calls and thus were forced all the way to penalties. The winners were flawless with their four shootout efforts, with debutant keeper Aaron Deane saving the fourth spot kick. This, coupled with an earlier miss off the woodwork, meant that Granagh advanced to a rare last four appearance.

Breska Rovers B 0-9 Rathkeale A
There was little doubt that Rathkeale meant business in Clarina on Sunday morning. After a couple of weekends without a game, the favourites eased into the last four with an emphatic win over a young Breska Rovers XI. The winners had a treble from Jack Hennessy, while Seamus O’Carroll, Gary Enright, Dean Maune, Alan O’Shea, Michael Mulcahy and Cathal Cummane also found the net.  They return to the last four, where they will meet Granagh Utd in Mick Hanley Park. Breska B most focus on more achievable targets from Division Three.

Desmond Cup semi-finals
Glin Rovers v Broadford United
Rathkeale AFC v Granagh United

Division One
Shannonside 0-5 Askeaton Kilcornan

A nieghbourly clash saw Askeaton Kilcornan make the short trip back the N69 to collect a needed three points. With games in hand on the leading sides, it is time to start picking off wins, and goals from Sean Whelan, Kenneth O’Donoghue, Matt Moane, Sam Duggan and an own goal saw them clear over an inconsistent Shannonside.

Glin Rovers B 7-0 Rathkeale B
With the bottom placings occupied by these two sides for much of the season, Glin Rovers B showed clear desire to get away from that, with an emphatic win on home turf. Ger Riordan showed his usual goalscoring prowess with two, while Cian Culhane (2), Johnny Sullivan, Billy Hogan and Alerrando Milico also found the target. It looks like relegation is a near certainty for Rathkeale’s second string.

Division Two
Abbeyfeale United B 0-3 Ballingarry B
Steven Browne opened the scoring and then turned provider to Davey Hanlon, which ensured that leaders Ballingarry B were firmly in the driving seat in this Division Two clash. The final goal arrived from Alan Cronin, but not before his defence ensured a clean sheet thanks to a penalty save just minutes into the second half. Ballingarry, like their A team, are extremely likely to be promoted, but will now look to sprint towards the league title.

Knockaderry 3-1 Newcastle West Town Reserves **(Abandoned due to injury on 75 mins)

Division Three
Dromore United B 2-0 Glantine
Goals from Michaél Cuddihy and Alan O’Donnell’s penalty, both of which arrived in the second half, ensured an even more congested Division Three. Six of the seven teams can still achieve promotion, with Dromore United B now looking upwards after this win over second-placed Glantine.

Askeaton Kilcornan B 2-2 Carrig Celtic
It took a late penalty to grab a point for Carrig Celtic – who had seen themselves trailing to goals from Thomas McCarthy and Anthony Cregan. The two dropped points look to be hurtful to Askeaton Kilcornan, who, as mentioned, are among a number of sides still in the hunt.

Riedy Cup 2nd Round
Shountrade 2-3 St. Ita’s

A stunning turnaround from St. Ita’s saw them reverse a 2-0 interval lead to progress to the quarter-finals of the long celebrated Riedy Cup. Martin Mullane’s penalty began the fight-back before Paul Fitzmaurice and TJ Kelly added a further two to stun an out of form Shountrade side desperate to collect a win of some sort. Ita’s host Breska Rovers B or Carrig Celtic in the next round.

Youths Division Two League Cup final
Feenagh 3-0 Glin Rovers

Three second half goals meant it was a memorable night for all connected with Feenagh AFC, who annexed a rare piece of silverware at Youths level. Indeed, they were deserving winners on the evening but had to be patient in finding the breakthrough. This came from Gary Donegan, who applied the finishing touch from a Billy O’Gorman free-kick.

The same player, who was only introduced as a sub doubled his tally on 85 minutes, finishing a Ben Jordan Reidy threaded ball The final saw went to Jack O’Kelly, who added a little more gloss in the final minute. Captain for the winners was Thomas Galvin while Gary Donegan’s match winning contribution earned him the Player of the Match award.

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