All to play for in race against relegation

The race for the Premier Division title might be down to two teams, but the battle to remain in the top flight has a lot more sides involved.

The race for the Premier Division title might be down to two teams, but the battle to remain in the top flight has a lot more sides involved.

The fight against relegation may yet go right to the wire before it is known who will be playing in Division One next season.

Deen Celtic A are currently occupying the last place in the table on five points, but any one of several sides could yet slip into the second automatic relegation spot as eight points separate five teams from fourth to second from bottom.

Evergreen B are the side presently in the unwanted berth on nine points, but with games in hand there is plenty left to play for before their fate is sealed. Fort Rangers’ loss to Bridge United A ensured they are not out of the woods yet. With four games to play, two against either Freebooters and Evergreen teams, they will be battling to get to safety before long.

Freebooters B are also in the mire, with Sunday’s 3-2 loss to the Lions A team not helping their cause. Goals from Liam Dowling, Lee Campion and David Freeman saw the Durrow men reinforce third place behind Evergreen A and Freebooters A.

With three games left, they have all but ensured their return to the top flight will continue for another season yet.

Bridge United, who were promoted along with the Lions, are two points outside the relegation zone thanks to James Bolger’s winner last Sunday. They have games in hand on Freebooters B (also on 11 points) and Fort Rangers (13 points), so could make a late dash for safety.

It’s all shaping up to be an interesting weekend in the top flight. Evergreen B are home to East End United A at 11, while Deen have a make-or-break game against Freebooters B in Castlecomer in the afternoon. With just four games left to play, defeat could see Celtic slide down to Division One.

McCalmont Cup

Meanwhile details of the opening round of this season’s McCalmont Cup will be announced shortly.

The 2012 offering of blue riband competition of the Kilkenny & District League will kick off in March. Details of the opening draw will be made known at the end of February.

It is expected that the opening games, which will be three preliminary round ties, will be played mid-March.

The Cup will become a regular on the fixture list after that, with the final pencilled in for Derdimus on the weekend of May 19/20.

Freebooters A will be hoping to win the Cup for the third successive time this season. Dessie Hayes their hero last time out, scoring both goals as they got the better of Evergreen A on a 2-1 scoreline last May. That win also saw Sean Doyle’s side move to the top of the Roll of Honour with 14 titles to their name.

Elsewhere the semi-final draw for the Maher Shield will be made this week. Evergreen A and Newpark United are the only sides assured of their places in the final four.

The two other quarter-finals, Freebooter A v Thomastown United and Clover United v Bridge United, were called off as local soccer took a beating from the weather two weeks ago. These games will be held this weekend.

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