Rathkeale reached the Desmond Cup semi-finals for the fourth season in a row when they came away from Carrig Celtic with a 4-2 victory on a day when the very strong diagonal wind made it extremely difficult to play decent football.
Carrig began to make the wind advantage count in the second half, having trailed two nil at the break. They had three chances before Rathkeale did score their third midway through the second-half.
Carrig made a game of it with their two goals in four minutes, with McCarthy and King leading the resurgence, and the management pair of Timmy King and Micky O’Grady will take pleasure from the fact that their team made life uncomfortable for the table-toppers. Rathkeale put the game to bed when Nash carved open the defence in the 85th minute.
Ahern’s two goals takes his tally for the season to 26 and he showed yet again what a huge addition he is to this side.
Looking ahead, manager Alan Doyle and his assistants, Johnny Markham and Johnny Mooney, will presumably try to address the fact that Rathkeale have conceded four goals in their last two games after keeping clean sheets in the previous five matches. Ominously for future opponents, Danny Neville, Thomas Quilligan, Steven Power, Mikey Lyons and Mark Doherty will all be returning to the side, having been unavailable for various reasons last week.
Carrig Celtic: Declan Greaney, Liam Upton, Anthony Mullins, John O’Connor, Ray Brouder, Ray Cahill, Daniel Barrett, Padge McCarthy, Killian Enright, Chris Moxey, Seanie King. Subs: Darragh Breen for Greaney, inj (31 mins), Eoin McEnery for Upton (69 mins), Liam King for Enright (88 mins), Anthony Molyneaux, Sean Kelly.
Rathkeale: Brendan Carmody, Alan O’Shea, Mikey Morrissey, Sean O’Shea, Mikey Hickey, Eoin O’Donnell, Keith Harnett, Gary Enright, Jack Hennessy, Mark O’Sullivan, Pa Ahern. Sub: Declan Nash for O’Sullivan (68 mins).
Referee: Ger O’Connor.
GLIN COMEBACK PREVENTS ASKEATON SHOCK
For the second week in a row, Glin Rovers came out on top in a tremendous high-scoring Cup game. Last Sunday week they came from 4-3 down to beat Broadford United 5-4 in the Premier Division League Cup and they followed that up by coming from 3-1 down with 10 minutes remaining to win 4-3 at home to Askeaton in the quarter-finals of the Desmond Cup.
The quarter-final between AK United and Broadford United was very one-sided, with the visitors winning 5-0. Jamie Keane netted a hat-trick and was joined on the scoresheet by Sean Brosnan and CJ Fitzpatrick.
Newcastle West Town moved into third place in the Premier Division with a 5-1 victory away to Killeaney/Bally Rovers.
Adare United went back to the top of the Division 1 table when they won 7-0 at home to possible challengers, Shountrade.
Division 1 League Cup
Newcastle West Town Reserves advanced to the Division 1 League Cup semi-finals with a 4-2 victory away to Feenagh, who led 2-1 at half-time with goals from Gavin Brouder and Darren Geary.
Pallaskenry secured fourth place in phase 1 of Division 2 when they won 3-2 away to Glin Rovers B with goals from Michael O’Neill, Damien Neville and Sean Doyle.
There are two sections in phase 2, the top seven meeting each other again to compete for the title and promotion, while the matches between the remaining five teams will decide the other placings.
Desmond Youths Cup
The Champions of Division 1 and Division 2 met in the first of the Desmond Youths Cup semi-finals and there was almost a shock result.
Breska, the Division 2 Champions, opened the scoring in the 44th minute through Dylan Kelly and went 2-0 up just past the hour with a goal from Barry O’Connor.
However, it’s not for nothing that Broadford came within a penalty kick of reaching the Munster Youths Cup Final a couple of weeks ago and they found a way back.
Jack Pierce pulled a goal back in the 65th minute and Jamie Keane equalised in the 80th minute. There were no further goals and Broadford completed the comeback when they won 3-2 on penalties.
Youths Division 2
St. Ita’s clinched runners-up spot in Youths Division 2 when they won 4-3 away to Granagh United, whose goals were scored by Ryan Fitzgibbon (2) and Denis Sheehy.
BRESKA AND BROADFORD TIPPED FOR YOUTHS LEAGUE CUP GLORY
There is a double-header in Mick Hanley Park on Saturday with the finals of the Youths Division 1 and Youths Division 2 League Cups. The Division 2 decider between Breska Rovers and Mountcollins is first up at 2.30, with the Division 1 showdown contested by Ballingarry and Broadford United kicking off at 7.0.
Breska Rovers v Mountcollins
For those who weren’t paying attention to the fact that Breska Rovers only lost one game in eleven in winning the Youths Division 2 title, the Champions vividly illustrated their credentials when they only lost on penalties to Youths Division 1 Champions, Broadford United, in the Desmond Youths Cup semi-final last Saturday.
The Youths Division 2 title brought Breska their first trophy at Youths level and Mountcollins will be hoping to win their first Youths silverware on Saturday.
Forecast: Breska Rovers
Ballingarry v Broadford United
Broadford United will be trying to emulate the Youths Division 1 League and League Cup double that they achieved last season.
They won the League in dramatic circumstances at the beginning of March when Jamie Keane scored four minutes into stoppage time to secure a 1-0 victory away to Ballingarry.
Keane will be a key player again on Saturday, as will centre-half James Molyneaux, who is expected to be fit to return after a shoulder injury. The management team of Patrick Stack, Micheal Brosnan and Ray Keane will also be able to select Jack Pierce who was ineligible for the provincial competition.
Ballingarry also did well in outside competition this season, reaching the fourth round of the FAI Youths Cup, in which they were beaten 2-1 in extra-time by Mervue United.
Other key players for manager Dean Clancy and his father, John, who is his assistant, include intelligent centre-half Adam Long and hard-working central midfielder Josh Quille.
I expect this game to have more in common with the closeness and excitement of the League decider than the earlier meeting at the start of January when both sides were below par in a 2-0 win for Broadford. Having been pipped by Broadford in the League, Ballingarry will be all out for revenge here but I feel the loss of Hayes will be a burden too great to bear and that Broadford will complete the double and stay on course for the treble that just eluded them last season.
Forecast: Broadford United.
WEEKLY AWARD FOR O’CONNELL
The award this week goes to Jordan O’Connell who scored a hat-trick for Division 2 side Askeaton in their unlucky 4-3 defeat away to Glin Rovers.