Glin Rovers into last four; Breska and Rathkeale win; Ballysteen secure double

Another key weekend of Desmond League action saw some crucial blows delivered in the destination for silverware. The first league title of the season has been annexed, while results at the top and bottom of the Premier Division went some bit along expected lines.

Weekly Observer Desmond Cup Quarter Final
Glin Rovers 1-0 Newcastle West Town
Glin Rovers will return to another Desmond Cup semi-final, a competition they’re regularly in the business end of. This, the last quarter-final, was a tie that Newcastle West will want to forget, after spurning a handful of delightful chances before being hit with a sucker punch. The breakthrough goal came on 73 minutes, as Paul Sheehan waited at the back-post. The ball went through a sea of Magpie defenders before the sharpshooter blasted home from all of four yards. Try as they might, the away side couldn’t bring the game to extra-time.

Glin Rovers A before their Desmond Cup quarter final clash with Newcastle West Town (23/04/2023). Glin won 1-0. Credit: Pat Mulvihill.

Desmond Cup semi-finals:
Dromore United v Rathkeale A, Saturday, 7pm (Mick Hanley Park, Clounreask)
Feenagh v Glin Rovers A
Friday, 7.30pm (Mick Hanley Park, Clounreask)

Weekly Observer Premier Division
Breska Rovers 2-1 Ballingarry
A late strike from captain TJ O’Connor gave Breska Rovers a vital three points against relegation threatened Ballingarry. The visitors will rue this result, particularly after holding a lead from the 12th minute until just before half-time. That opener, on 12 minutes, arrived through Eoin Lynch. He met a Dean Clancy corner first time after a strong start from the visitors. There was also goal correctly disallowed for offside which would have given Ballingarry a deserved two-goal buffer. Breska then replied, with Keith Punch bundling over the line from close range – despite the protests from the visitors. The winner, after a scrappy second-half arrived in the 90th minute. O’Connor controlled a Daniel Clancy cross and found the top corner. A first win in three for the Clarina side. Breska move back to second (26 points), but Broadford (3rd, 26 points) now have three games in hand. Ballingarry remain in the safety of 7th, but only a point clear of Creeves – the sides are due to meet next month.

Rathkeale AFC 5-2 Kilcornan
It was effectively top versus bottom in Holycross, as Rathkeale added another three points to their tally with an eventually comfortable win. But, that said, this tie wasn’t as straightforward as some would have predicted. Dean Maune had Rathkeale ahead, before Patrick Ivess equalised. Jack Hennessey made it 2-1 to the home side at half-time. Also on target was Thomas Qulligan, while a brace from Timmy Hogan helped them out of sight in the second half. With the game at 3-1, Kilcornan were off target with a penalty. A late strike from Paudie Ivess meant he had the novelty of joining his son on the scoresheet.

Rathkeale (31 points) hold a two-point lead but have a game less played than Breska. Those sides face off in Clarina on the final day. Kilcornan (9th, 11 points), have four games remaining to close a six-point gap against Ballingarry, who themselves have five outings remaining. Relegation looms for one for the Divisions smallest outfits.

Weekly Observer Division 1
Newcastle West Reserves 1-2 Shountrade
Two sides heading for Division Two played, with Shountrade picking up a morale boosting victory over Newcastle West’s experimental second XI. It helps Shountrade off the bottom, their second league success of a disappointing season.

Reidy Cup Quarter Final
Askeaton AFC 2-2 Glin Rovers B – Glin Rovers B win on penalties
Glin Rovers B, like their A side enjoyed some magic in the Cup, when advancing to a semi-final of their own. Johnie O’Sullivan had them 1-0 up a half-time but a Cian Smith effort forced extra-time. Matt Moane put the Division One outfit in the driving seat but a reply from John Wallace meant penalties. Glin held their nerve to add another day out to an already decent season.

Weekly Observer Division 2

Glantine 0-3 Ballingarry B
Ballingarry moved back into second spot, with a sixth win in 11 outings. Goals from David Hanlon (2) and Cuan Leahy did the damage. Glantine, with four points from their 11 games are now virtually guaranteed of relegation.
Abbeyfeale United B 0-0 Mountcollins
A stalemate between these neighbouring sides will do little for either sides’ league hopes. Abbeyfeale who are now three points behind leaders Glin Rovers B, with Mountcollins still in the relegation conversation. Both have four outings remaining while they will also clash in the Richard Hogan Cup.

Weekly Observer Division 3
Ballysteen AFC 3-3 Feenagh
Ballysteen secured themselves a rare League and Cup double, as the draw in Feenagh’s last game of the season means that Ballysteen hold a one-point advantage. Ballysteen would have needed a win over neighbours Dromore United B had they lost here. Feenagh led 1-0 early on before the returning David O’Shaughnessy levelled almost immediately. Tomás Sheahan put the hosts 2-1 up on 25 minutes from 12-yards. O’Shaughnessey put them in dreamland early in the second half but credit to Feenagh, they found two very quick goals to set up a tense conclusion. But there was to be no more goals, as Feenagh came up just short. Their attention turns to the Desmond Cup semi-final clash with Glin Rovers, while Ballysteen can be delighted with a double, having won the Division Three League Cup against Dromore United in January.

Carrig Celtic 1-2 Shannonside B
Strikes from Niall O’Connor and Alan Moroney gave Shannonside a second win of the season. They remain bottom but must be given credit for an improved second half of the season, after a terrible opening few months to the campaign. The League needs teams to continue to field teams in the competition and Shannonside have done well to keep the show on the road in the bottom tier.

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