Portumna Town's Gary Hogan steps inside the challenge of Clodiagh Rangers Jack Kennedy in their NTDL Division 1 fixture. PHOTO: ODHRAN DUCIE

Moneygall strike late to earn point against Killavilla

SOCCER: North Tipperary & District League Review 


By Gary Culbert

Premier Division
Moneygall 3-3 Killavilla United

Moneygall left it late against ten-man Killavilla to rescue a crucial point on Sunday. After their humbling at the hands of Lough Derg the previous week, the hosts needed to earn their local rival’s respect early on, or risk Paul Kirwan and company running riot in Offaly. 
Moneygall had their manager’s pre-match words still ringing in their ears when they took the lead after ten minutes. Gearóid Larkin delivering an exquisite corner which Joe Callaghan glanced into the net. 
Both sides had good chances to score either side of the water break, however, it was Killavilla who equalised on 30 minutes, Paul Kirwan tapping home his fourth league-goal of the season after some calamitous defending from the hosts. 
The context of the game changed massively on the 35-minute mark, when ‘Villa had their centre-back, Roddy Teehan, sent off. The red card was the result of some superb pressing from Moneygall’s energetic striker, Josh Wynne, who was taken down in the box after winning the ball high up the pitch. Up stepped Joe Callaghan, who dispatched the resulting penalty with ease, bringing his tally to four this season.
Despite being down to ten men, Killavilla came out firing in the second half and put some serious pressure on Eddie Brady’s charges and it told when former Moneygall left-back Bordei Viorel was adjudged to have fouled a Killavilla player in the box. Up stepped Tom Aherne and the Roscrea man made no mistake, bringing the scores level.
Killavilla did not take much notice of being down a man, they pressed and hounded the men in red and black and were rewarded for their fine period of pressure when the ball fell to Ruairi Murphy in the middle, he burst through the Moneygall defence and found himself one-on-one with Dwayne Collison and the young forward made no mistake, calmly dispatching his fifth goal of the season.
With only seconds remaining, Gearóid Larkin popped up to score another crucial late goal to earn a point for Moneygall. A long ball from the keeper was cushioned down by Joe Callaghan into the path of Larkin, who rifled home a low drive into the bottom corner, leaving the keeper with no chance. 
Both sides will feel as though they should have got more from the game, but alas the points were shared.

Borroway Rovers 5-2 Thurles Town
Borroway Rovers comprehensively defeated their neighbours, Thurles Town FC. However, the result does not reflect how tight this game was, with Borroway only one goal to the good at half-time. The hosts really pulled away in the second half with goals from Shane Dunne, James King, Gary Dunne and Calum O’Conner were all on target for Rovers, whilst Christopher Brabston got a brace for Thurles.

Division 1
On Saturday night under the floodlights, a young Rearcross side played host to an experienced two-time Tipp Cup winning, Sallypark side and won 4-2. It was the visitors who struck first, Mark O’Dwyer forcing home a Paul Ryan cross from the left wing with ten minutes played. Leading goal-scorer, Michael O’Gorman, got his eighth of the season to level the match. After 23 minutes, Sallypark were ahead again, this time it was Sean Ryan who finished from a fine Paul Ryan cross from the left. Rearcross were level at half-time, equalising through James Rochford.
The second half belonged entirely to Rearcross, after a period of good pressure Michael O’Gorman scored his second. Patrick Dawson completed the scoring to secure all three points. The win puts Rearcross three points clear of third place Borrisokane, but they remain four points off front-runners Clodiagh Rangers ‘A’ who were held to a 1-1 draw away to Portumna Town who became the first team to take any points off Clodiagh Rangers ‘A’ this season. Paul Hanley had the visitors leading at half-time, but Graham Fogarty’s men did not let their heads drop and equalised in the second period through Paddy O’Sullivan.

Division 2
Birdhill knew heading into this crucial fixture against Holycross that a win would put them top of the league and they duly did so with a 4-3 win. 
Holycross stunned the home side, taking a two-goal lead into the break. Birdhill made some positional and personnel changes at half-time and were rewarded midway through the second half, scoring twice to level. Holycross responded positively, the away side forged ahead again with 15 minutes remaining. Anthony Floyd’s men did not throw in the towel, instead they rallied and hit Holycross for two late goals, securing all three points in a sensational fashion. Goals for the hosts were from Odhran Floyd, Sameer Salem, Frank Troy and Kealan Floyd. For Holycross, Ben Slattery got his eighth goal of the season and strikes from Luca Lacovara and Colin O’Meara rounded off the scoring.

Ballymackey ‘B’ defeated Nenagh Celtic ‘B’ 5-3 in Ballinree. The sides were deadlocked at 2-2 at the break. In the second half, the hosts pulled away. For Ballymackey the goal scorers were: Paidí Williams, Gary McCarthy, Joseph Connelly, Rory Mounsey and Leon Kennedy. Nenagh Celtics goals came courtesy of strikes from Lee Mitchell, William Duffy and Tadgh McCarthy.

Youths League
This year, the NT&DL under 18’s age-group will be contested over two divisions. In Division 1; Ballymackey ‘A’, BT Harps, Holycross and Moneygall will battle it out for the honours, while Whilst in Division 2; Ardcroney, Arra Rovers, Ballymackey ‘B’, Killavilla, Knigh United and Silvermines will compete for the title.

On Saturday, Moneygall got their Division 1 campaign off to a flying start in Holycross, with a hard fought 2-0 win. Mark Moroney’s side started fast, scoring twice inside the opening ten minutes from Darragh Murray and Jack Hassett. For the home side, Toby Lambe and Jamie Dwan were the best on the day.

BT Harps and Ballymackey ‘A’ played out a six-goal thriller in Templemore, with the points being shared at the end of the contest. The old cliché - a game of two halves - is quite fitting for this match, as Harps had a 3-1 lead at half-time. James Corcoran, Sean Duffe and Rhys Loughnane with the goals for Harps, whilst Conor Cadell and Eddie Ryan also impressed for the home side. However, the Balinree outfit came flying out of the traps in the second half, rescuing a point from what seemed like certain defeat. An Eamonn White brace, and a strike from Paidí Williams done the damage for the visitors.

Killavilla United made a real statement on the opening day of the division 2 season, scoring seven times on their way to claiming all three points against Ballymackey ‘B’ 7-2. The visitors to Balinree were 3-1 up at half-time. A hat-trick from man-of-the-match Darren Doyle and strikes from Josh Tynan, Dylan Buckley, Jamie Ryan and Jamie Boland completed the rout. It is a disappointing start for Brian Bergin’s young men, but the goals that Gary Spillane and Hogan Phelan scored show that they are a threat going forward.

The only other youths’ game that took place in this round involved Silvermines hosting Arra Rovers, the away side running out 4.2 winners. Arra were three up at the break, thanks to an Eoin Grace brace and a fine finish from Kiefer O’Brien. The hosts pulled two goals back in the second half, Morgan Connolly with the first and Sean Ryan Prendiville scoring the other. Arra secured all three points when Aodhan Ryan found the net in the second half. Best on the day were Eoin Moloney for Arra Rovers, whilst Adam Steed had a fine game for the ‘Mines.

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