The good times have certainly returned to Freshford Town - and how!
Life in the North Kilkenny club hasn’t always been the best, but a string of top class performances has seen this year’s side put in one of the greatest runs ever produced by a Kilkenny & District League outfit.
On Sunday they booked their place in the next round of the McCalmont Cup, confidently sweeping aside the challenge of Ballacolla.
Town were quick off the mark, Eoin Vaughan finishing well after being played through into a one-on-one with the goalkeeper.
Vaughan was a thorn in Ballacolla’s side all afternoon, and helped double Freshford’s lead when he was taken down in the box. Danny Campion took on the penalty-taking duties and made no mistake from the spot.
Campion also had a strong say in the game, doubling his tally and extending Freshford’s lead when he grabbed his second with a header before half-time.
The leaders used the interval to mix things up, but making changes to their side didn’t slow them down. Campion rounded off a fine day when he completed his hat-trick from another penalty to seal a solid win for James Farrell’s side.
Sunday’s Cup success followed hot on the heels of a big league win over River Rangers on Tuesday evening.
The 5-2 win, recorded under lights at Scanlon Park, saw Freshford take their unbeaten record to 10 games in Division Two. Better yet, the result confirmed their elevation to Division One for the 2014/15 campaign.
Rangers made the better start, giving the league leaders a fright when Dara Murphy shot his side into a fifth minute lead, but once Freshford found their form they took control.
Inspired by Paul Guinan, Freshford worked hard to take the game by the scruff of the neck. Guinan helped himself to a hat-trick, including one from the spot after a foul on Danny Campion, to turn the game his side’s way.
Further goals from Eoin Vaughan and Jim Kenny completed the win, with Gearoid Murphy netting a late consolation strike for Rangers.
Tuesday’s win means that Freshford are now 12 points clear of second-placed Evergreen B, and with the cushion of two games in hand. One win for their last four games will see them go up as champions.
Those results leave Freshford in good stead for their Leinster Junior Cup clash with Glebe North in Woodview this Sunday (kick-off 2pm).
“It’s been a good week for us, but the big test is next weekend,” he said. “Glebe North are a big physical side and while we’re confident we can get a result we know they’re not in the last eight of this competition for nothing.
“The lads have been on a great run this season,” he added. “They’ve stepped up to the plate whenever we’ve asked them to. Hopefully they can deliver again on Sunday.”