Longboats 5 Jason O’Neill Electrical 1
LONGBOATS sent out a clear message to their rivals that they are firmly entrenched in the title race after a superb 5-1 win over early front runners JONE in the Sports Gear Direct First Division league at Crosshaven last Sunday afternoon.
The hosts had dropped points in recent weeks but remain third after a win which opens up an eight-point gap over fourth in the table, Cork Hospitals.
Ray Murphy scored twice for the winners with Shane Keane, John McCarthy and Louis Kendellen also among the goals.
JONE’s Emmett Keoghan replied with an excellent finish from the edge of the area to deprive the hosts of a clean sheet finish. Best for Longboats were the scorers Murphy, Keane, McCarthy, and Kendellen along with Sean Nagle.
HBC Redemption Rovers 1 Andy Sull’s Hair 5
With both their nearest rivals, Arc Rovers and JONE, in action in only five fixtures which survived the inclement weather, ASH maintained their slender one-point lead at the top by overcoming HBC.
The visitors were dominant throughout, going five up through top scorer Scott McCarthy (2), Shaun Teegan, Josh McAuliffe, and Alan O’Regan before the 80th minute.
Shaun Ricken notched a consolation for the home side. Best for Rovers were Ricken, Stuart McSweeney and David O’Sullivan.
Cork Hospitals 1 Arc Rovers 2
Arc Rovers capitalized on a defence error to take an early lead through Conor Ryan at the Farm.
After Tadgh Whelan equalised from the penalty-spot, Dean Cummins rifled Arc ahead for a second time before half-time.
Rovers had only narrowly beaten the Hospitals 3-2 in early December in the corresponding first-round fixture and their second meeting was equally as gripping with some fine football being played by both teams.
Sean Kent, not for the first time in the campaign, had an outstanding ninety minutes for the home team.
Trend Micro 2 Suro Cars 1
Having met each other for the first time in the campaign, Trend recorded successive wins to stay in eighth place, just a point off Carrigaline Town and two adrift of JONE.
A long-range Iraildo Rodrigues opener for Trend was cancelled out by a tidy finish from Paul O’Hea to keep an under-strength Suro Cars in the contest. However, the host’s pressure finally told with five minutes remaining when Matheus Freire grabbed the winner.
Freire was the host’s man-of-the-match performer with Mark Morey, Ciarán O’Regan and Ian Manning the stand-out players for the visitors.
The Glue Pot Passage 2 Telus International 3
Telus made it back-to-back wins by accounting for The Glue Pot at Passage. After Alan O’Connell opened the scoring with possibly the quickest goal in the league’s 70-year history after barely four seconds, Callan Dempsey made it two-nil with his 24th strike of the season.
When it looked like The Glue Pot might reduce the deficit, CBL secretary Peter Travers made a tremendous goal-line clearance to preserve his team’s two-goal advantage.
However, Cian Brosnan did pull one back before the interval only for Denis Desmond to send Dempsey in from a quick throw to net his second of the match. Despite Roghan Harris scoring a second for the hosts, Telus hung on in no small part to the roles played by keeper Jack Milne, full-backs, Travers and Desmond, Alan O’Connell in midfield and the division’s top scorer on twenty-one goals, Callan Dempsey.
The Mooney Cup semi-finals take centre stage next Sunday afternoon with both ties taking place at 2.30pm at the GACA, Grounds, Glanmire.
It is a unique pairing with First Division opposition taking on a Premier side in both ties.
Mid-table Trend Micro have it all to do as they entertain holders and hot favourites to win the competition outright for the fourth time, Doolan’s Cow.
The cup’s surprise package so far will be looking for a repeat of the performances so far which eliminated premier opponents Inch Utd, (3-2), Martin Harvey Solicitors (2-1) and Brew Boys United 1-0 in the quarter-final.
Should Doolan’s progress to the final, Andy Sull’s Hair will be looking to repeat Bank of Ireland’s feat of forty years ago when they lock horns with UCC Utd.
Back then as a team on top of the second tier, Bank of Ireland stunned the much-fancied Postal Workers, one-nil, in the final at the Farm on Saturday, May 14th 1983.
ASH are currently riding high in the first division and have the opportunity of denying the Cow a clean sweep of all four domestic trophies, should they reach the final, just as BOL had done against Postal back in ’83.
Both teams are top of their respective divisions and have impressive goals for, Doolan’s on 45 and ASH on 50.
Both teams possess tremendous firepower up front with Jamie Murphy the talisman for the Cow and Scott McCarthy the scoring sensation for ASH.
However, ASH will have to first get past an experienced UCC eleven who are craving a crack at the holders in the most iconic of all venues, Turner’s Cross.