Important wins for Creeves and Breska Rovers; as Granagh United withdraw

There was only two competitions of focus as a couple of games were lost to the weather. The notable game that was rained off was Abbeyfeale United v Broadford United, which was due to take place last Wednesday evening. These sides are in the top few places, as they look to have a strong second half to the season.

Weekly Observer Premier Division
Granagh United withdraw
Granagh United have withdrawn from the Premier Division. It has been a challenging few seasons and it could be argued that their time in the top flight has been prolonged by the demise of other sides. With no relegation last season, the pressure was off, but there was early warning signs when they gave a walkover in the first league cup game of the season against Broadford United. Disappointing results, together with unavailability of many players on a near full-time basis put paid to their hopes. Having lost 5-1 to Creeves Celtic a fortnight ago, the decision to withdraw was made – with Division One the destination for next season. Therefore, two remaining relegation places remain, before the league heads for eight-team divisions in each of the top three tiers. All remaining games are now credited as a 3-0 win for the opposition, with Kilcornan the only side who dropped points (1-1 draw) to Granagh United.

This does little for the prestige and integrity of the competition. There are clubs struggling but perhaps all need to review their situation in order to ensure they can and will fulfill at least nearly all of the season. The Premier Division has proven to be competitive this season, with the exception of Granagh. The 2023/24 season will be better for having eight sides, none of which are likely to withdraw during the season.

Newcastle West Town 1-1 Rathkeale
There was a share of the spoils in Newcastle West on Sunday morning, as the sides exchanged first half goals. Newcastle West’s inability to turn draws into wins will perhaps cost them an assault at the upper echelons, and they could have moved into the conversation at least with a win here. But Rathkeale, who’ve only conceded four times in around 900 league minutes, were able to extend their advantage at the top. But the draw leaves Broadford in a great position to strike, two points behind with two games in hand. Town’s Noel Callanan saw his goal cancelled out by Thomas Qulligan, who was playing against his hometown.

Kilcornan 1-7 Breska Rovers
Breska Rovers continued their decent league form, with a win over an out of sorts Kilcornan. Played in poor conditions, it was Breska who made virtually all the running, leading 3-1 at the interval. Kevin Foster opened the scoring before Anthony Cregan replied from close range. Strikers Karl Buckley and Bobby Smith put Rovers in a commanding position at half-time. Further strikes from TJ O’Connor, Smith, Darragh O’Sullivan and sub-Niall Quane helped the Clarina side stay in touch with the top two sides. Kilcornan are under more pressure to keep their top flight status after this result and a win for Creeves Celtic.

Glin Rovers 2-3 Creeves Celtic
Creeves Celtic gave their survival hopes a shot in the arm, with a fantastic away win against inconsistent Glin Rovers. The home side have now lost five, drawn won to go with their six wins. It was 2-0 at half time. Captain Tommy Dillane and Bryan Meade on target. Seamus Mangan made it 3-0 early in the second half.

There was still time for a Rovers revival, when two goals in a 10-minute period made it 2-3. Those strikes from Zak Behan and Tadgh Culhane had Creeves worried that they would led a three goal lead slip for the second time this season. But, the men in green and white held on, to move within two points of Ballingarry.

Riedy Cup 2
nd Round (last 16)
Dromore Utd 3-1 Rathkeale B
Dromore United continued their nice cup form, with a 3-1 win over Rathkeale in Pallaskenry. Shaun Barry had them 1-0 up at half time, while strikes from Ryan Kelly and Ciaran Deegan meant there was to be no way back for Rathkeale’s second XI.

Carrig Celtic 0-4 Ballingarry B
Darrn Geary, Jamie Ryan, Alan Cronin and Francis Kiely all scored in facile win for Division Two Ballingarry’s 4-0 win on the road against a side a division beneath them.

Mountcollins AFC 6-1 Shannonside FC B
It was back-to-back wins for Mountcollins, when accounting for lowly Shannonside B. Both sides are at the wrong end of their divisions, so it would be foolish to have predicted the outcome of this tie. Goals from Jamie Lenihan, Evan Lacey, Tom McCarthy, Seamus Murphy and a James Brouder brace was more than enough to book a quarter-final spot.

Shountrade AFC 3-3 Ballysteen (Shountrade win 4-3)
Shountrade made a superb comeback from 3-0 down to progress to round three, at the expense of Division Three league leaders, Ballysteen. Paul O’Shaughnessy’s brace and Colm O’Flaherty had the visitors in a strong position. However, this game, played on Manor Fields (Adare) Astro, was turned around when they tied this in 90 minutes, and won it in the extra 20. It was goals from Callum Hourigan, Evan Fitzgerald, Chris Carey and Stephen Conway who helped Shountrade advance. It is much needed after a difficult league season so far.

Glin Rovers B W/O Feenagh
Glin Rovers B advanced thanks to a walkover from Feenagh.

Weekly Observer Division 3
Dromore Utd B V Breska Rovers B – OFF – Pitch unplayable.

Youths – League titles awarded over the weekend.

There was silverware for Shannonside and Feenagh who secured the Youths titles over the weekend. The Foynes-Shanagolden combo sealed the Division Two title with a 1-1 draw with Kilcolman Rovers while Feenagh won Division Three thanks to a 4-0 away win against Glantine.

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