The Weekly Observer Desmond Cup 1st Round took centre stage in West Limerick this weekend. There was action and goals aplenty, but only one notable shock. In all bar one case, the side ranked in the higher Division were successful. There was to be little joy for last season’s semi-finalist, Athea United, while the final pairing, Newcastle West Town and holders Abbeyfeale United avoided any early season hiccup.
Shannonside B 3-1 Granagh United
The only notable shock of the weekend was when Division Three basement boys, Shannonside B were 3-1 winners over Premier Division Granagh United. The visitors would have hoped that scoring four in defeat last weekend would have given them some confidence against a side who’ve won once all season. But instead, it was Shannonside who took the boost from their recent win, and knocked them out. Mike Behan, the wise, impressive striker, was on target here with a brace. AJ Moroney was also on target as the right mix of youth and experience won through. For Granagh, they’ve had a disappointing season. Premier Division points have proven difficult to gather and naturally confidence and belief will take another hit after this result. Their Premier Division survival is now the only target and getting a consistent squad together will be vital in rescuing that perilous situation.
Breska Rovers B 1-2 Dromore United
In one of a few games between sides two Divisions apart, it was Division One side Dromore United who edged past Breska Rovers in Clarina. Scoreless until near the hour mark, it took two quickfire goals from Evin Kelly and Eoin Mulvihill to put United in control. Sub Orin Garvey replied late for Breska, who like their opponents are in the bottom half of their division.
Ballysteen 1-4 Shannonside
These two sides are geographically near, but there is two divisions between them at present. It was the higher ranked Shannonside who were comfortable winners on the road. It was 2-0 after 45 minutes, with Adam Bennett and David McDaid on target. Jack Hartnett put more daylight between the sides before Paul Shaughnessy replied for Ballysteen. The final say went to Pedro Tavares who once more got his name on the scoresheet.
Ballingarry B 3-4 Shountrade
Shountrade edge the local derby, in a seven goal triller. David Hanlon’s brace and a Denis Hayes strike wasn’t enough for the home side, who will now turn attention back to their Division Two title challenge.
Broadford United B 1-6 Glin Rovers
This was always going to be a tough task for Broadford’s second team against top-tier Glin. It proved that way with Rovers easy winners in Cove Park. It took time for Glin to break down Broadford and it came through Zak Behan early in the second half. Jack Boland and Paul Sheehan (penalty) put the game to bed, before Behan doubled his tally. Broadford battle on and scored a consolation, but the final two strikes came from Boland and Behan, with the latter happy to finish with a treble.
Rathkeale B 0-3 Newcastle West Town
Goals from Jamie Keane, Darren Lawlor and an own goal were enough for Premier Division Newcastle West Town to advance against a normally difficult to navigate Rathkeale B. Last seasons runners up will be happy to get the win, which adds to seven points from nine in the Premier Division since the turn of the year.
Carrig Celtic 0-0 Feenagh (Feenagh won 3-1 on pens, AET)
Penalties were needed to separate two sides who are closely matched in Division Three. Penalties from Billy O’Sullivan, Cian O’Connor and Colm Daniels, together with a save from Dan Gayer, helped the away side through.
Glantine 1-3 Askeaton (AET)
Played in Templeglantine, under lights, on Saturday evening, it took Askeaton 110 to show their higher Division meant something. Perhaps the greater fitness and quality at the disposal of the visitors was enough. Glantine led but Caolan Rushe restored parity at half-time. It stayed the same until extra-time, when Jeff Duggan put Askeaton ahead. The final nail in the Glantine coffin came from Niall Barry.
Kilcornan 1-1 Athea United (AET – Kilcornan win 3-1 on penalties)
There is a possibility that these sides may swap Divisions at the end of the season, but for now, Kilcornan show why they are in the top flight. Once again, they prove difficult to get the better of, and turned around a losing position to prevail from the dreaded spot-kicks. Patrick Ivess’ penalty on 65 minutes cancelled out the opener which arrived from Steven McEnery. Keel Moloney was the hero in the shootout, saving three of the four he faced. Paudie Ivess took the decisive kick to send Kilcornan through. Athea’s focus turns to getting over the line in the Division One title race, and they’ll also fancy a shot at the Reidy Cup.
Rathkeale AFC 5-2 Dromore United B
Top of the pile Rathkeale against Division Three title chasing Dromore United B proved to be a stress-free monrning for the home side. Thomas Quilligan, Mikey Hickey and Eoin Barry were all on target, to leave them 3-1 up. Timmy Hogan was the fourth Rathkeale player to score, with Jack Hennessy netting their fifth, there was time for another consolation for Dromore, whose season won’t be defined by this result.
St. Ita’s 0-4 Broadford United
This was the first ever meeting of Broadford United ‘A’ and St. Ita’s. These sides are neighbours and Broadford made sure to be switched on from the first whistle. Sean Brosnan opened the scoring inside two minutes, with Derry McCarthy adding the second near the interval. Brosnan added a second before Alan Fitzpatrick rounded out the scoring.
Knockaderry AFC 0-3 Abbeyfeale United B
A run to the quarter-final last season was a welcome mid-season boost for Abbeyfeale’s second string. They started this cup campaign in perfect fashion, netting three without reply in Knockaderry. They came from Liam Horgan, Cathal McCoy and Jack Quinlivan.
Glin Rovers B 1-2 Abbeyfeale United
Along with Shannonside, Abbeyfeale have both sides still represented. The holders of this coveted silverware faced the banana skin away to Glin Rovers B. But strikes from Jamie O’Connor and Dylan Murphy gave United a much-needed victory after a challenging few weeks in the top tier. It was 1-1 at half time, with Glin pegging back United, temporarily.
Creeves Celtic 0-3 Ballingarry A
The only all-Premier clash was with Ballingarry and Creeves in Newbridge. The visitors have turned something of a corner in recent times and were comfortable winners here. Dean Clancy broke the deadlock from the penalty spot, before a free-kick from the same source made it 2-0. Declan Nash sealed the win with a fine strike right at the death. Attention for Creeves now turns to Premier Division survival, knowing that they’ll need points quickly to stay afloat in their maiden season.
The remaining Desmond Cup first round clash sees Breska Rovers A host Mountcollins in Clarina.