APPROPRIATELY for this time of year, a little drop of Sherry has helped Thomastown United A celebrate the festive season in style.
A treble from Nathan Sherry means that the Grennan side will spend Christmas at the top of the Premier Division table.
United’s hitman was bang in form on Sunday morning, banging in a first half hat-trick as Thomastown beat Freebooters B 3-1 on the Fair Green. Stephen Quirke pulled a goal back for the hosts, who are still without a win in six games.
The win, Thomastown’s fifth of the campaign, also helped to exorcise the ghosts left by their last trip to the Fair Green. They were subjected to a bad beating on their last trip there, losing 7-1 to Freebooters A in September - their only league defeat to date.
The Lions also moved up in the table before the festive break, taking second spot thanks to a 1-0 win away to Bridge United A. Danny Lennon grabbed the goal that gave the Lions’ their fourth win of the season, and inflicted a third loss of the campaign on Bridge.
Southend United are still top of the pile in Division One, even without playing a game.
The Ballyhale men were the big winners of the weekend as they maintained pole position and increased the number of games in hand on their rivals. They lead by a point from AC Kilkenny, who have played three matches more than Southend.
Urlingford’s decision to give a walkover to East End United saw them miss out on the chance to go top. They are joint third with East End, both having played a game more than the leaders.
The walkover means East End have picked up nine points from their last three games, a run which has dragged them up to third in the table with 13 points. Relegated from the Premier Division last year, they started this campaign slowly. After an indifferent start they suffered back-to-back losses against Stoneyford and Urlingford before arresting the slide with a 2-1 win over Highview at the end of November.
AC Kilkenny A also missed the chance to retake top spot in Division One after they were held to a 1-1 draw by Spa United. That point was enough to move the Johnstown men into double figures for the season. The only teams below them are Callan (8), Stoneyford (7) and Highview Athletic (1).
Tullaroan’s great run in Division Two continued when they tamed the Lions B team in Durrow.
Led by in-form duo Brendan Burke and Ger Brennan they showed the hosts no mercy, hitting the Lions for six as they stormed their way to all three points on a 6-1 scoreline. Burke grabbed another brace, taking his tally to six in the last three games. Brennan is closing in on him, scoring his fourth goal in three games. Richie Guilfoyle, Tom Fitzgerald and Johnny Roche were also among the goals for the winners. A Ger Alley penalty was scant consolation for the hosts.
Tullaroan’s big win helped them extend their lead over Freshford Town to five points. Unbeaten in eight league games, Tullaroan’s top spot is cemented by the fact that they have also played three games less than Town and are seven points ahead of third-placed Thomastown United B.
Clifden United picked up their second win of the season and moved off the bottom of the table thanks to a 4-1 win over St John’s. The Clara men are now third from bottom, with the Saints and Lions below them.
There was no change in terms of leader in Division Three, as Bridge United B continue what seems to be a procession to the title. Marty Dalton’s goal was enough to beat East End United B and keep a big lead over the chasing pack. United are now eight points clear of the field in the division. Better yet, they still have their 100% record with maximum points from the nine games they have played.
St Anne’s are still in second place, keeping tabs on the leaders thanks to a 5-0 win over Orchard Rovers. There is an eight-point gap between them and Bridge B, slightly bigger than the cushion they have over East End United B in third place on 12 points.
Elsewhere AC Kilkenny B picked up their third win of the campaign, beating a still pointless St John’s B 6-1.