Shocks and goals as Cup flows into serious and hectic action

THE GOALS continued to flow as the McCalmont Cup enjoyed a high-scoring first round at the weekend.

THE GOALS continued to flow as the McCalmont Cup enjoyed a high-scoring first round at the weekend.

In the battle of the top flight teams AC Kilkenny A went down at home to Freebooters B. The sides shared eight goals in their recent Premier Division draw, but there was nothing for AC to grab on Sunday, as strike pair Paddy Kiely and Eddie Culleton picked off a goal apiece in the 3-0 win, an own goal compounding the misery for Denis Dowd’s side.

Elsewhere in the competition East End United’s B team joined their A counterparts in the draw for the next round, but only after a penalty shootout. The Bennettsbridge men were locked at 2-2 with Highview Athletic B, before going through 4-3 on penalties.

A John Mark Egan goal was enough to help Callan United see off fellow Division One side Newpark United A while Freshford Town ensured their presence in the next round thanks to a 2-0 win over Clover United B. Liam Hickey and Graham O’Flaherty scored for the winners, who have enjoyed their return to local soccer.

The Cup proved to be a competition to forget for the two Evergreen teams in action. The ‘C’ team were beaten 4-2 by Bridge United’s B team after extra-time. The Evergreen B team’s game went on even longer, after goals from Mark Owens and Sam Johnson left them and Newpark United B locked at 1-1 after 110 minutes. However, the Division Three team created a shock when they held their nerve to win 4-2 on penalties.

Away from the McCalmont Cup Evergreen’s A team maintained their grip on the Premier Division title with a good win away to Fort Rangers. Wallslough has been a traditionally tough place to get points for Evergreen, but goals from Jamie Owens and Oisin Corr were enough to ensure they stayed clear of Freebooters A.

Another junior league title was secured on Sunday - but the winners didn’t have to kick a ball. Johnstown’s Spa United were crowned Division Two champions as their closest rivals, Lions B, went down 5-1 to Thomastown United B. The Durrow men needed to win their remaining games to have a hope of grabbing the silverware, but a Donnacha Brennan hat-trick helped United sign off their League campaign on a winning note. Other scorers for the winners were Mark Delahunty and Nathan Sherry.