There was a highly significant weekend of Desmond League action, with huge games at both the top and bottom of the Premier Division. With all the League action set to be concluded by May 28th, it appears that the Cups may now run into June. Two games were postponed on Sunday with no referee available.
Weekly Observer Premier Division
Significant movement in Friday’s games
Rathkeale AFC 4-0 Broadford United
It was the top of the table clash on Friday evening, and it would have taken a very brave prediction to say that Rathkeale would run away with the points. That said, Rathkeale’s season had been built on a stern defence, and that aspect, doubled with a menacing attack on this occasion helped them to a huge three points against Broadford.
Pa Wilmott opened the scoring after a clever flick from Timmy Hogan. There was a second goal early in the second half, this from a Jack Hennessy volley, after a trademark delivery from Thomas Quilligan cross. Dean Maune then assisted Quilligan for the killer-bow of a third. Maune got in on the act himself, finishing after Eoin Barry squared for the long-serving Maune to seal a memorable night.
Creeves Celtic 3-2 Ballingarry
The relegation six-pointer went the way of Creeves Celtic, who look near certain to stay in the Division, after a decent first term at this campaign. Despite a brace from Cian McGoey, Ballingarry were unable to get the win to keep them in with a realistic shout. Four points behind with two games to go, Ballingarry are firmly up against it to prolong their stay in the top flight.
Newcastle West Town 1-2 Glin Rovers
Results elsewhere turned this into a bit of a dead rubber. But Glin, who have a Desmond Cup final on the horizon, next weekend, kept some momentum with another victory here. It appears Rovers will now finish in the top four, with a middle segment of the season proving costly to rising even higher. An early goal from Paul Sheahan and another from James Wallace had the away side 2-0 ahead. The result was in doubt when James Cussen scored with 15 minutes remaining, but Newcastle West couldn’t find the games fourth goal.
Sunday – Top three win, Rathkeale get closer
Breska Rovers 3-1 Glin Rovers
There was a low-key battle for third spot between Breska and Glin in Clarina, with the hosts sealing that spot, thanks to a decent overall display. Mark Moroney’s fine opening goal was cancelled out early in the second half by Tommy Culhane who fired in from 25-yards. The home side sealed the win through Keith McNicholas and Darragh O’Sullivan. Glin were happy with the result, as all focus is firmly on the Desmond Cup final next weekend.
Newcastle West Town 2-3 Broadford United
There was no shortage of drama in the Demesne on Sunday morning – with little to play for only pride for Newcastle West, they cannot be accused of raising the white flag against title chasing Broadford United. John Hayes opened the scoring, but Shane Stack equalised for the hosts on 46 minutes. Jamie Keane netted against his former club to put the Magpies ahead. But, Broadford dug deep, with Alan Fitzpatrick making it 2-2. The winner came shortly after, as Derry McCarthy netted the winner from a Sean Brosnan cross. There is still hope of another twist in the tail, but Broadford must win their two remaining games against Abbeyfeale United and Ballingarry and hope for a favour from elsewhere.
Rathkeale 5-1 Abbeyfeale United
The passing of the torch from champions Abbeyfeale to now-champions elect Rathkeale may not have taken place in Holycross on Sunday morning, but the home side did take a huge leap towards their ultimate goal. Strikes from Mickey Hickey and Gary Enright (penalty) had them in control. That, until the visitors netted a goal to cut the deficit. Further strikes from Eoin Kelly, Eoin Barry and another Enright penalty sealed the deal. This gave the Deelsiders a perfect weekend, with seven goals scored and two clean sheets. Alan Doyle’s men face Creeves and Breska Rovers in the final two games, with four points a minimum to force a play-off while two wins would seal the title.
A disappointing season for Abbeyfeale, who blighted by the loss of some key players, will likely finish in the bottom half.
Weekly Observer Division 1
Shannonside FC 5-2 Athea Utd
With Athea United safe in the knowledge that they had secured their League title seven days ago, it was perhaps no surprise that the boys in blue let this game slip against their nearest rivals, Shannonside. In any other year, Shannonside would be looking to promotion for finishing second, but with the League restructure, they are now staying put in the second tier. Adam Bennett helped himself to a treble, while Aaron Hanlon and Tony Doyle were also on target. Kevin Murphy and Mark Horgan had pulled back a two goal lead, but Shannonside took the spoils. John O’Donnell from the Limerick Desmond League presented Athea United with the new Division One trophy. Athea will hope to follow in the footsteps of Breska Rovers and Creeves who made an impact in the top tier this season.
Credit must goto Shane Mulvihill, team manager, who forgot his own injury woes, to take the charge of his local side at the start of the 2021/22 season – guiding Athea to promotion. They have now followed that success up with silverware – to return to the top tier.
Newcastle West Reserves 1-3 Askeaton
Askeaton took the win which pushed them clear of relegation worries. Newcastle West are already relegated and will try to rebuild in Division Two next term.
Shountrade AFC 2-2 St. Itas
A draw was not enough, just yet, for St. Ita’s to keep their place in Division One. Already relegated, Shountrade must be commended for respecting the competition and taking a result a home to bring to a close a really disappointing 12 months.
Rathkeale B v Dromore Utd – This game was off due to no referee. Rathkeale must win this clash when it is re-fixed to force a relegation play-off, with St. Ita’s. Dromore prepare themselves for a maiden Desmond Cup final next weekend without a game for a number of weeks.
Richard Hogan Cup 1st Round/Quarter Finals
Broadford Utd B 4-6 Glantine
There was a 10-goal triller at Cove Park on Sunday morning, with Glantine progressing to the semi-final, thanks in no small part to a hat-trick from Brian Sheehan, while there was two for Darragh O’Sullivan, with Chris Scannell also on target. In reply, Danny Mullane, Kenny Lynch, Brian Stack and Paddy Ryan netted for Broadford United B, with the result bringing an end to their season.
Ballingarry B 3-2 Carrig Celtic
Ballingarry B progressed to the last four, with a 3-2 victory over Carrig Celtic. Nathan Kirrane’s brace and an effort from Jamie Ryan helped the home side take the win – adding further to a decent season for the B’s. This tie was level, one-apiece at half-time.
Ballysteen 2-3 Glin Rovers B
Cian Culhane’s brace sandwiched an effort from Ger Lyons, to help Glin dump out treble chasing Ballysteen. Two-nil at half-time it was 3-1 early in the second half but strikes from Paul and Dave O’Shaughnessey made it a one goal game with five remaining – but Rovers held on to book a final four spot.
Richard Hogan Cup 1st Round
Mountcollins 1-6 Abbeyfeale Utd B
Abbeyfeale’s delayed opening round clash with Mountcollins was a routine victory, on Friday evening.
Breska Rovers B v Abbeyfeale Utd B – match off due to no referee, with the final quarter-final to be re-fixed.