Thomastown United’s hopes of retaining their Premier Division title were dealt another blow as the Lions tamed the champs on Sunday.
United’s Premier Division form was weakened by their 3-1 defeat to Evergreen A, but their intentions to get back to winning ways suffered a setback when they lost 3-2 at home to the Durrow men on Sunday morning.
Their day didn’t start out that way; Steven Connolly and Mick O’Neill struck early on to send the hosts into a two-goal lead around the half hour, but the Lions still had time on their side. James Campion gave the visitors hope when he pulled a goal back before half-time, but it was late in the second half when the Lions really showed their teeth. Evan Dunne levelled matters seven minutes from time, before Michael Dooley’s 87th minute winner gave the Lions their first away triumph of the season
Elsewhere Freebooters A made it two wins in a week when they took all three points in their meeting with Freshford Town. Cian Loy and Andrew Wall hit the net for the Blues, who handed Freshford Town their third successive defeat and seventh of the season.
Clover United A maintained top spot in Division One, but had goalkeeper Johnny Browne to thank for their share of the spoils against Bridge United A.
Browne had a morning to remember in Goresbridge, frustrating the hosts as he helped his side earn a 0-0 draw. He made a number of great saves, the pick of them coming in the first half when he saved a Sean Murphy penalty.
Cup The Gap
Spa United have cut the gap down to four points though, as they beat Thomastown United B 3-1 in Johnstown. Eoghan Vaughan netted a double for Spa, one via the penalty spot, with James Whelan also on target for the hosts, who have four games in hand on Clover.
Tullaroan kept themselves in the promotion shake-up with a valuable 2-1 win away to Brookville. Helped on their way by an own goal, John O’Neill’s strike gave the visitors their first win of the year as they joined Spa in joint second place.
Freebooters B are behind Tullaroan and rescued a point with a 2-2 draw away to Fort Rangers. The home side went in front through Emmet Nugent, but were hauled back by an own goal. Jason Hennessy did shoot Rangers into the lead again, but Ger Hayes’s 75th minute strike gave the city side a point.
Division Two leaders Newpark B maintained their unbeaten start to the season when they saw off Deen Celtic A in Castlecomer. A single goal was enough to win all three points, the eighth straight win for the city side in this campaign and a third clean sheet to boot.
Highview Athletic are chasing hard for promotion too, staying five points behind the leaders thanks to a 6-1 win over Lions B. Sheamie Kavanagh (2), David Dunne (2), Murty Broaders and Graham O’Neill hit the net for Highview, who are the division’s top scorers with 29 goals.
Elsewhere Callan United B went third in the table when they beat East End United 3-1. A brace for Martin Cuddihy, with Dwayne Hanrahan also helping himself to a goal, was enough for the visitors to stay in contention, three points behind Highview but with a game in hand.
Evergreen C are in fourth place thanks to a 3-1 home win over River Rangers. Niall Brennan, Darby Fwamba and Eoghan Connolly grabbed the goals for the hosts.
Castlewarren Celtic are still the team to catch in Division Three as they moved six points clear of St John’s thanks to a 2-1 home win over Deen Celtic B.
Clover United B went third thanks to a 1-0 win over Ormonde Villa, while Thomastown United C beat Evergreen 46 1-0.
’Green March On
Away from the local leagues Evergreen kept their impressive start to 2016 in full flow when they marched into the fourth round of the Leinster Junior Cup.
Although their game against Dublin side Ayrfield had been delayed by the weather it took Evergreen just six minutes to storm in front through Chris Whearty. The advantage was shortlived, however, as Oisin Kelly drew Ayrfield level 10 minutes later after a searing breakaway move.
Back came Evergree, with Darragh Walshe shooting them back in front on 28 minutes. The visitors went on the assault in the second half but couldn’t force an equaliser.
The visitors were finally put away when Whearty netted his second with a free-kick almost on the stroke of full-time. Ayrfield did bag an injury-time consolation, but it wasn’t enough to deny Evergreen a fourth round clash away to Meath’s Kentstown Rovers. Incidentally, Thomastown United have been paired with the winners of the Howth Celtic and Knocklyon United game in round four also.