Clodiagh Rangers ‘B’ who defeated Ballymackey ‘B’ in the Division 2 League at the weekend and who recently won the NT&DL Division 2 Shield

Munster Junior Cup takes centre stage

By Gary Culbert

After a brisk start to the league season, the Cup competitions got underway last weekend with the first round of the Munster Junior Cup, ahead of the opening round of the FAI Junior Cup next weekend.

Moneygall 3-0 Borroway Rovers

The action got underway on Friday night when Moneygall made it two home wins on the bounce with a comprehensive 3-0 victory over Division 1 league leaders Borroway Rovers.

Kian Fallon had the hosts one up at the break and in the second half Moneygall’s in-form midfield orchestrator, Jack O’Brien, got in on the act to double the lead. Tony O’Connor rounded off the scoring to complete a second successive three goal victory over Thurles based opposition in as many weeks.

The win sees Billy Hayes’ side book a home tie against the winners of Holycross and Thurles Town. Jack O’Brien was best for Moneygall, who will be out for revenge this Friday when they entertain Cloughjordan under the lights in the national cup.

BT Harps 2-7 Killavilla United

Killavilla United once again displayed that they are miles ahead of the competition in North Tipp, this time by defeating BT Harps 7-2 in Michael Fennell Park.

The visitors scored twice in the first half courtesy of a Ruairi Murphy penalty and an Eddie Simmons strike, whilst the hosts found the net through Ben Stapleton. Murphy was on target again after the interval before Brian Moloney got in on the act.

Harps responded through Stevie Quinlan, but a hat-trick from man of the match Gavin Clark ensured Villa comprehensively booked their place in the next round, where they face a difficult away trip to Latteragh to take on cup specialists Sallypark.

Shinrone United 2-3 Lough Derg ‘A’

Premier Division side Lough Derg ‘A’ just about came out the right end of a five-goal thriller when they made the long trip to take on Division 2 side Shinrone United on Sunday.

The sides went in level at the break at a goal apiece. Jason Comley was on target to give the visitors the lead inside the opening five minutes. Shinrone could have equalised from the spot, but the penalty was saved by the Derg keeper, but the underdogs eventually did equalise when Simon Hayes capitalised on a mistake in the Derg rear-guard.

Derg started the second half brightest but could not convert their ten-minute spell of pressure into a goal. Shinrone found their feet again and took an unlikely lead courtesy of a Jay Collins own goal early in the second half.

However, the Premier Division side made some tactical and personnel changes and went on to dominate the last thirty minutes; Dan Furey scored a sensational goal just five minutes after being introduced from the bench, and fellow substitute Cian Oakley completed the comeback with fifteen minutes left. Cian McAuley was brought on for the last ten minutes and helped the Shannonsiders see out the win.

The win sees Lough Derg book another difficult away day in the next round against high flying Division 1 side Ardcroney. On Sunday, this young Lough Derg side are in FAI Cup action where they will host Rosegreen Rangers, a side who sit bottom of the TSDL Division 2 table.

Borrisokane 3-2 Cloughjordan

Cloughjordan came out the wrong end of a 3-2 score line in Borrisokane on Sunday.

The visitors started the better and took an early lead through lone front ma, Dean O’Meara. Clough’s period of dominance would continue for the opening fifteen minutes, but Borris passed their way into the game and took complete control.

The hosts drew level midway through the first half when right winger Josh Chadwick capitalized on a defensive mix-up to head into an empty net at the back post following a cross from the left. Chadwick gave Borrisokane the lead just ten minutes later when he latched onto a first-time ball down the inside right channel before emphatically firing a first-time thunderbolt high into the net at the near post.

Chadwick completed his hat trick just after half time when he bundled home a free kick that was floated in from the half way line.

The Premier Division side went on to dominate the game until the 60th minute, at which point Eoin Killackey changed formation, which resulted in Clough taking control for twenty minutes. They pulled one back when Martin Grace squared the ball for Dean O’Meara to tap into an empty net.

Luke Quigley helped Borrisokane regain control of the midfield towards the end, and they thought they had done enough to comfortably see out the win. However, with the last kick of the game Dean O’Meara did have a chance to complete his own hat-trick, but his effort from eight yards bobbled agonizingly onto the post before trickling along the goal line and into the keeper’s grateful clutches.

Sallypark 2-0 Ballymackey

Cup specialists Sallypark defeated fierce local rivals Ballymackey 2-0 on Sunday in Latteragh.

Despite being a division below their guests, the home side were definitely not the underdogs in this fascinating cup affair. The game turned into a midfield battle early on and Sallypark reduced the visitors to long cross field passes.

Former Gurtagarry shot-stopper Brendan Hayes made a fine save to deny Jack Sanders on the half hour mark. Ballymackey did threaten through Cathal Delaney, but the local rivals would go in scoreless at the break.

The midfield three of Brian Duffy, Aaron Reid and Jack Sanders began to get the upper hand for the hosts, and they got their reward in the 55th minute when some fine play down the left from Tom McCutcheon ended in a cross for Ruaidhri O’Brien, who headed onto the post and over the line despite the best efforts of Brendan Hayes.

Brian Duffy was instrumental in Sally doubling their lead ten minutes later, the Sallypark captain slid a perfect ball through for McCutcheon who took a touch before finishing coolly into the bottom.

Thomas Sheppard is back in the Ballymackey set-up, and he almost dragged his team back into the game from a dead ball, but the effort was well saved by the fingertips of Damien Corcoran. Kieran Ryan had a fine game at left back for the home side but in truth it was once again the Paul Ryan show, this time the former Celtic man dominated from centre back instead of his usual central midfield role.

Next up for Sallypark is a truly difficult test as they welcome TSDL Premier Division side Bansha Celtic to Latteragh, in what is easily the pick of the FAI cup ties in North Tipp.

Division 2

League action continued on Sunday in Division 2 and the upsets kept on coming in what is turning out to be the most entertaining promotion battle in recent memory.

Borrisoleigh got their first clean sheet of the season when they comprehensively defeated high flying Birdhill 3-0. The away side were two up at the break thanks to a Dan Ryan brace, whilst Fintan Holland was on target in the second half to ensure the points.

Kevin Maher was the man of the match for this newly formed Borrisoleigh side, but credit must also go to Daniel Meehan in goals as he made a number of brilliant saves late in the second half to secure a first clean sheet of the campaign for Borris.

Clodiagh Rangers ‘B’ got their season back on track with a 5-2 win over Ballymackey ‘B’ in Drombane.

The visitors actually took the lead in this one through Josh Ryan, but it didn’t last long as Pat Ryan rattled the net with a screamer from well outside the box and he added another before the break to leave it 2-1 at half time.

On the resumption, Pat Ryan completed his hat-trick before Nathan Lynch pulled one back for Ballymackey. With twenty minutes to go, Conor Ryan found Loughie Ryan who hit the net from close range. Pat Ryan struck a sweet free kick from outside the penalty area late on to round off the scoring; a sweet strike which found the top corner and saw Clodiagh drag their season back on course.