Clover on a roll towards top flight

Division One wrap

Division One wrap

THE LEAGUE title may still be up for grabs, but one thing is certain - Clover United WILL be in the Premier Division next season.

Top-flight soccer will be back in Rathdowney when the new campaign kicks off after Clover United’s A team secured their second successive promotion at the weekend.

Ironically, all involved with the Quigley Park club were celebrating despite losing their game to Callan United last Sunday. In spite of goals by Damien and Willie Bowe, three from the visitors ensured that Callan made off with the points.

However, other results assured Clover of their promotion. Eamon Conway’s goal looked like pushing Newpark towards victory away to Freshford Town but Ger Doheny’s equaliser saw the hosts grab a precious share of the spoils. The result means that Newpark, who recorded their eighth league draw of the season, cannot win the title (something Newpark’s B team can do in Division Three).

Clover, who have one game left to play, have 30 points on the board. Newpark and Callan currently share second place with 23 points apiece and also have two games left to play - but both will be hoping that Thomastown United slip up before the end of the season. John Lancashire’s side have 22 points, but have two games in hand on the sides ahead of them and four in total left to play before the end of the campaign.

At the other end of the table Spa United earned a point in their last game of the league, but their 3-3 draw with AC Kilkenny has not given either side the security of Division One safety for season 2012/13. The Johnstown side are seven points clear of already-relegated Tullaroan, but should second from bottom Freshford Town win both of their last two games they will rise above Spa, something AC can also do with maximum points from their remaining two fixtures.

This weekend could well decide the fates of a number of teams. Clover will be doing their bit to tilt the title their way with an away win against Newpark ahead of their Maher Shield semi-finals against Evergreen A and Freebooters A respectively. Callan United will also be doing their best to stay in the hunt for the second promotion place when they travel to Southend United on Sunday afternoon.

Meanwhile a win for Thomastown, who are away to Freshford Town, will put them in the box seat to earn a return to the Premier Division while also relegating Freshford Town - proof that it’s still all to play for.