THE story of the McCalmont Cup has had plenty of shocks over the past few seasons, but another chapter was added to it over the weekend.
Division Two club Brookville knocked out top-flight opposition and booked their place in the semi-finals when they travelled to Wallslough and beat Fort Rangers 3-2 on Sunday morning.
John Doheny gave the visitors the lead inside the opening 20 minutes. The advantage wasn’t theirs for long, as Rangers levelled matters within three minutes David Forristal finished a loose ball from close range
57 minutes on the clock Alan Ruth shot Brookville back in front with a great shot from the edge of the box. The Ballyragget men were in dreamland when Doheny made it 3-1 with 10 minutes left on the clock. Rangers pulled a goal back from the penalty spot through Eddie Nugent in injury-time, but it wasn’t enough to stop them from crashing out of the Cup.
They might have had a miserable season in league terms, but Callan United have made sure to keep their hands on the McCalmont Cup. United extended the defence of their title, moving into the semi-finals with a 2-1 win over the Lions.
Matthew Houlihan and Joe Byrne grabbed the goals as the Cup holders beat the Durrow men for the second year in succession - they got the better of the Lions in last year’s semi-final.
Freebooters A made sure there would be some Premier Division presence in the semi-finals after they beat Thomastown United A 1-0 on Sunday. In a close game, Greg Morton grabbed the decisive goal as Anthony Hanney’s side booked their place in the final four.
Callan’s reward for beating the Lions is a meeting with Brookville in the semi-finals. The sides will play this Sunday morning in Derdimus at 11am. Freebooters A will play the winners of the last quarter-final between River Rangers and Newpark at 2pm that afternoon.
The race for the Premier Division title came to a close as Evergreen A finally got their hands on the spoils.
The Kells Road played host to the celebration party, but not before Evergreen B gave their club-mates some anxious moments. The game was deadlocked at 0-0 by half-time, but a David Grincell goal relieved the pressure on the ‘away’ team, who sealed the three points with further goals from Chris Whearty (penalty) and Robbie Quan.
The title was Evergreen’s fourth in succession, and the third won by the management team of Eddie McEvoy, Kevin Cashin and John Treacy.
While Evergreen A have wrapped up the spoils with a game to spare, the battle to beat the drop has gone right to the wire at the other end. Fort Rangers will take on Evergreen B this Sunday, knowing that a win in Wallslough is the only result that will see them survive at the expense of Clover United A. Draw, and Fort will be forced into a relegation play-off with the Rathdowney men.
The Division One league season came to a close for both AC Kilkenny A and Stoneyford United over the weekend. The sides shared the spoils in a 1-1 draw at the Waterbarracks on Friday, James Geoghegan scoring for the city side while James Moran hit the net for United.
While that was both side’s last league game, they haven’t finished with each other yet. Both will be back in the Waterbarracks on Sunday for their Division One Cup clash.
Finally, the race for the Division Two league title was completed on Sunday. Little over 12 hours after their women’s team lifted the Cup, Tullaroan’s men landed the league title with a 2-0 win over Evergreen C - the second title decided at the Kells Road that day.
Gerry O’Dea and Richie Guilfoyle grabbed the goals that finally sealed the title for Tullaroan. The front-runners for most of the season they collected 42 points over their 17 games to date, clocking up 13 wins and just one loss - that was against Freshford Town in March, their 13th league game of the season. Tullaroan also kept nine clean sheets in the process, leaking a miserly 12 goals.
Freshford Town are currently in the other promotion berth but third-placed Newpark B have two games in hand, the first of which will be played this weekend against champions Tullaroan. Win, and they will overtake Freshford Town and go up with a game to spare.
Finally River Rangers and Lions B took a point apiece in their clash, drawing 1-1 in Kilmanagh.