Vincent Brooks looks back on the weekend’s action in the Roscommon and District Football League and Cup, which included some surprises.
The Roscommon and District Football League Premier Division title is still up for grabs with Ballymoe, Castlerea Celtic, Moore United and Ballinasloe Town still in the race with just a few games in total to be played. Ballinasloe Town had their hopes slightly dented when they were held to a 1 – 1 draw at home to table toppers Ballymoe FC on Thursday night. Joe Woods headed a Shane Duffy corner kick to the Ballymoe net with just four minutes played. With thirty five played Cormack Clogher handled in the Ballinasloe penalty area and Keith Muldoon levelled the game. Both teams had chances to win the game in the second half before Ballymoe won a valuable point. Ballymoe are a point better off than Ballinasloe with just one game left to play.
Elsewhere in the Premier Division Ahascragh United beat Skyvalley Rovers 3 – 1. Michael Fogarty Lee Johnson and Darragh Cunningham scored for the winners and Vinnie Costello replied for Skyvalley Rovers.
St Johns Athletic drew with Ballaghaderreen in an eight goal thriller at Lecarrow. It turned out to be a contest between two strikers with Tommy Hurley scoring four for St Johns Athletic and Le Keenan scoring four for Ballaghaderreen.
The biggest shock of the day was the defeat of the fancied Ballinasloe Town side by Division 1 side Lough Harps at Ballinlough in the Quarter-Finals of the Roscommon and District Football League Challenge Cup. This game was a real thriller with Lough Harps eventually winning 4 – 3 in a penalty shootout after the game finished level at 2 – 2 after extra time. Ballinasloe took the lead through David Grehan after twenty five minutes. The young and talented Tiernan Murphy ploughed a lone furrow up front for Lough Harps and he levelled the game with twenty five played.
The game went to extra time and Ballinasloe were soon ahead thanks to David Cullen. Only some brilliant saves by Rory Mannion and excellent play from Gerry Cunningham and Gerry Gallagher kept the home side in the game. They were rewarded when Seamus Burke struck an equaliser near the end of extra time. In the resultant penalty shootout Lough Harps won 4 – 3. Michael Golden Gerry Cunningham Kelan Fitzmaurice and Seamus Burke scored for the winners in the resultant shootout. They play Ballymoe in the Semi-Finals
Roscommon and District Football League Challenge Cup holders Castlerea Celtic are safely through to this seasons Semi-Finals following a hard earned 3 – 2 win over Division 2 Champions Strokestown United at Strokestown. Darren Clabby and Derek Connellan gave Strokestown United a 2 – 0 lead. The experienced Ronan Curran scored two and David Fitzpatrick one to get Castlerea Celtic into the hat for the next round.
Division 2 side Moylough 79 defeated their second Premier Division opposition in succession when they beat Brazukas 3 – 0 at Roscommon. James Fahy scored the all-important first goal in the first half. With Brazukas pushing for an equaliser Adam Connolly broke clear to score a second for Moylough. Michael Kelly scored a third for an impressive Moylough side. They will play Castlerea Celtic in the Semi-Finals.
Cloonfad United are through to the First Division Cup Final following hard earned 2 – 0 win over Kilkerrin United at Kilkerrin. Cloonfad opened the scoring after eighteen minutes when a Conor Freely cut back was expertly finished to the net by Frank Ronane. Kilkerrin kept up the pressure but could not break down a solid Cloonfad defence. With fifteen minutes remaining Conor Flynn slid a perfect ball into the path of Shaun Kearney and the League’s leading goal scorer finished superbly.
Dysart will play Cloonfad in the Final following an extra time win over Ballinasloe Town’s second side at Dysart. The visitors took an early lead through David McDonnell but Paddy Neary converted a penalty kick for Dysart just before half time. The game went to extra time and with five minutes remaining in the second period an own goal cost Ballinasloe Town the game.
Congratulations to Hodson Bay Athletic who won promotion to Division 1 of the Roscommon and District Football League following a 3 – 1 extra time win over Glen Celtic at Lecarrow. Shane Smith gave the Kiltoom side a 1 – 0 lead after twenty four minutes and they held the lead until the ninety first minute when Kay Spangong replied for the Glenamaddy side. In extra time Mark and John Grehan scored for Hodson Bay Athletic.
The Roscommon and District Football League wish to extend their sympathies to the League Chairman Tom Cunningham and his extended family on the death of Mary White nee Cunningham. To the Higgins family on the death of Paul Higgins and the Shine Family on the death of Donal the league extends its condolences. May they rest in peace.
Editor’s Note: In other news local side Boyle Celtic bowed out of the FAI Cup following a 1-0 defeat to Killarney on Saturday evening.