THEY may still be at the top of the table, but Clover United’s recent results have been anything but the form of title contenders.
Following their 6-0 drubbing to Thomastown United before Christmas, a result which ended their 100% winning record and saw them suffer their first defeat of the season, Clover United have been on something of a slippery slope as they have lost three of their last five games.
On Sunday the Rathdowney table toppers suffered another defeat, losing 3-2 at home to Thomastown United A. Andy Kavanagh was the match-winner for the visitors, scoring a hat-trick of penalties as the Grennan men picked up a valuable win on the road.
Clover still have an eight point lead at the top of the division, but significantly Thomastown have two games in hand on the league leaders.
As things stand, Thomastown are one of the favourites to gain promotion back to the top flight. They’ve gone on a five-game unbeaten run themselves. They could be much closer to the top of the table, but played out three draws in their previous four games.
Clover United can count themselves fortunate that none of the remaining teams have made any inroads during their current slump. Despite their difficult spell, they still remain on course to be in the Premier Division next season.
Callan United meanwhile gave themselves some breathing space at the other end of the table as they beat Tullaroan at the Fair Green in Callan on Sunday afternoon.
That victory moves them up to 16 points and fifth position. Tullaroan remain rooted to the bottom with Freshford Town, with both sides on 11 points apiece. Both sides can still work their way out of trouble, however. In one of the tightest divisions, eight points separate the teams who occupy the remaining eight berths after Clover United.
There will be no league games this weekend as the quarter-finals of the Pat Maher Shield take centre-stage. There is a strong Division One representation in the competition, with five teams featuring among the last eight.
Stoneyford United are at home to Newpark United, while AC Kilkenny make the short trip to Scanlon Park to play Evergreen A. Freebooters A welcome Thomastown United to Fair Green in the last of the morning games, all of which kick-off at 11am. Clover United will take on Bridge United at 2pm in Rathdowney.