Sadness for Desmond League with passing of Mike Hanley

There was sadness across Desmond League circles over the weekend with the news of the passing of former chairman Mike Hanley. A long serving member of football locally, Hanley was current Vice-Chairman of the Limerick Desmond Football League. He previously was Chairman for nearly 40 years.

In March 2019, the League owned ground, in Clounreask, Askeaton, was renamed in honour of him. With the then FAI Chief Executive John Delaney, as well as a host of local and national figures present, Hanley was a proud figure to have the home of Desmond League football re-named in his honour.

Desmond League Chairman from 1975 – 2012, Hanley was heavily involved as the League moved through the different eras with a host of clubs established in the 1970’s with the sport beginning to prosper.

He also served on the Munster FA as well being on the FAI board until 2019. Munster FA Chairman from 1990 – 1992, he was on that Council from 1980 – 2020. The Desmond League and the Munster FA were among those to pay tribute to the long-serving official.

As a result of Mike Hanley’s passing, there was a significantly curtailed programme of fixtures on Sunday. All domestic ties in both men’s and women’s were off, with just the Munster FA games being played.

Munster Champions Trophy
Drinagh Rangers 1-2 Abbeyfeale United (AET)

Abbeyfeale left it late to prolong their journey in the Munster Champions Trophy. Trailing 1-0 to the West Cork League champions from the 70th minute, it took a Pakie O’Connor strike in the 88th minute, after being found by Kieran Foley, to force an extra 20 minutes. The same player was the match winner, striking late once more, this time two minutes before a likely penalty shootout.

Earlier in this tie, Paddy Hartnett and Daniel Lyons went close for John Kelliher’s men, but they were also grateful for some saves from Shane O’Connell to keep the tie alive.

With no FAI Cup commitments, the Fealsiders have been able to attack this competition, having defeated Doolan’s Cow on penalties in the first round.  

The prize for winning is semi-final clash with St. Michael’s. The Tipperary outfit defeated Limerick District League, Pike Rovers, 1-0 on Saturday.

Munster Junior Cup
Second Round
Ballingarry 2-7 Breska Rovers

On Friday evening, The Paddocks played host to the first fixture under lights. The significant investment in facilities made by Ballingarry is something they must be commended for. A superb floodlight surface now boasts a near 200-seater stand and is the envy of all clubs in Limerick.

On the field of play, Ballingarry had a less than enjoyable evening. Breska Rovers were victors and cruised into the third-round after a dominant opening half. Into the lead inside three minutes, a brace from Karl Buckley and further efforts from Mark Moroney, Bobby Smith and Darragh O’Sullivan but the Clarina outfit 5-0 up at the short whistle. Subs Keith McNicholas and Evan McGregor also found the net, and in between those efforts there was consolations from Kevin Forde and Mark Danaher.

Kilcornan 0-3 Creeves Celtic

Creeves were able to back up their opening round triumph at home to Broadford United, as they saw off Kilcornan away from home. Goals came from Seamus Mangan, Andrew Meade and Tommy Dillane. Mangan had them ahead at the interval but it took two late strikes to seal the deal. Dillane powering to the net to cap a good day for the men in green and white.

The third round will see Breska Rovers entertain Glin Rovers or Abbeyfeale United, while Rathkeale host Creeves Celtic. The winners of those will enter the open draw for the fourth round.

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