The first Desmond League action in five weeks ensured that the extent of the Christmas indulgence was tested. There was a few games which fell foul of the weather, with pitches heavy and perhaps proving challenging. On the field of play, the four league leaders were all able to extend their advantage over the chasing park.
Who if anybody will be able to catch Rathkeale, Athea United, Ballingarry B and Ballysteen who started 2023 by continuing their good form with wins.
Weekly Observer Premier Division
Ballingarry 1-1 Newcastle West Town
There was late drama in The Paddocks as Ballingarry added to their growing points tally with a last gasp equaliser. Jamie Keane eventually broke the deadlock with the game in the final quarter, to put Newcastle West firmly in the driving seat. But deep, deep in stoppage time, Ballingarry came up with a reply, and Declan Nash added his second goal in as many games, to share the spoils. Newcastle West remain without a win in league action, with Ballingarry now sitting in third place, level with Breska Rovers.
Rathkeale 3-0 Glin Rovers
League leaders Rathkeale asserted their position at the top of the pile with a routine win over Glin Rovers. They were able to punish any mistakes made by Glin Rovers and goals from Patrick Wilmott and Mikey Wilmott in the final 10 minutes of the first half had them in a strong position. Their defence, which has gotten quite used to the clean sheet routine, shut out for another here, but Morrissey’s fine second half strike ensured no way back for Rovers. Rathkeale entertain Ballynanty Rovers in the Munster Junior Cup next weekend.
Breska Rovers 3-3 Creeves Celtic
These sides are familiar sparing partners from last seasons title race in Division One. It was Breska who just shaded that and for so long here, it looked like Creeves would get some revenge. They were clinical, leading 2-0 at the interval thanks to strikes from Andrew Meade and Adam Kearns. The former a superb volley from outside the area. Aaron Gillane netted their 3rd early in the second half, lobbing home from 30 yards.
Breska replied, with Mark Moroney, Darragh O’Sullivan and Kevin Foster’s tidy header levelling this contest – this all between the 59th and 70th minute. Both had chances to take the win but will have to be happy with a point.
Abbeyfeale United 0-0 Kilcornan
There was perhaps some Christmas cobwebs on show as these sides cancelled each other out in Riverside Park. It was largely defences on top. The result leaves Kilcornan in mid-table, with three draws from four games. Abbeyfeale are also still without a victory, from three games.
Granagh v Broadford – Postponed
Weekly Observer Division One
Askeaton 1-2 Athea United
Athea United cemented their place at the told of the pile, with a narrow win away to Askeaton. Brothers Darren and Kevin Murphy had the visitor’s goals, with Ray Kelly in reply for Askeaton. It was 2-1 at the interval with Athea able to hold on and extend their advantage to eight points, with more than half their games now played.
Shountrade 2-2 Rathkeale B
Goals from Michael Mulcahy and Keith Hartnett had Rathkeale in the driving seat, leading 2-1 in the second half, but the hosts replied to ensure this local derby ended all square. Tim Frawley and Thomas Wall were on target for the home team.
Newcastle West Town Reserves 1-1 Shannonside
In a day that had its fair share of draws, there was another in Newcastle West. Level at the interval, these sides traded goals in seven minutes. Josh Joyce cancelled out the opening goal from Eoin Tucker. Joyce’s effort was a tidy effort from outside the area. Shannonside couldn’t find the winning goal despite creating the better chances down the stretch.
Dromore United 1-0 St. Ita’s
These sides are looking to put a string of results together to affirm a spot in the top few places. It was Darren Walsh who found the winning goal. He converted a Shaun Barry cross with around 15 minutes to go to shade a very tight contest.
Weekly Observer Division Two
Mountcollins 1-4 Ballingarry B
Ballingarry B put themselves three points ahead at the top of the third tier with a win on the row. Francis Kiely, Dave Hanlon, Alan Cronin and James Storin were all on target to ensure an enjoyable trip home from Mountcollins.
Abbeyfeale B v Glantine – postponed
Weekly Observer Division Three
Ballysteen 3-1 Carrig Celtic
With a Cup final just around the corner, Ballysteen warmed up in good style with another win on home soil. Paul O’Shaughnessy’s brace and a Pakie Neville effort helped them to the win. Carrig had earlier levelled but found themselves behind at the short whistle.
Broadford United B 0-0 Breska Rovers B
Young keeper Freddie Lynch was the hero for the visitors as his string of fine saves ensured a draw, this culminated in a stoppage time penalty save to deny the hosts a win. Both sides had clear openings but were unable to find the net.
Feenagh v Dromore B – Postponed