WITH the change of format in the Limerick District League Premier Division this season, it has resulted in a race for two trophies with the more prestigious league title being contested by Pike Rovers, Fairview Rangers and outsiders Ballynanty Rovers.
However, the shield is also up for grabs for teams competing in the bottom 6 of the division. Although it certainly won’t carry the same significance, the bottom half is proving to be equally entertaining with 5 of the 6 teams managing to defeat each other in recent weeks.
Last weekend, wins for Prospect Priory and Janesboro allowed both sides to join Mungret in the chase for the first ever shield. Prospect were 4-1 victors over a hapless Geraldines side with goals from Danny Colbert, Trevor and Charlie Hogan and Tyrique Leamy gave Wayne Colbert’s side all three points. George Daffy responded for the visitors.
With Mungret out of action, Janesboro also seized on the opportunity to move within a point of Richie Burke’s side when they beat Coonagh 4-1 at Pearse Stadium. The home side began brightly with dangerman Dermot Hughes having a couple of early sighters on goal but Josh Sheehan was equal to them. Coonagh were causing trouble for the home side with dangerous set-piece deliveries and both Ger Myles and Joey Sheehan and Ger Myles came within inches of opening the scoring.
Midway through the first half, the visitors took the lead as ‘Boro failed to deal with a long throw from Gordon McKevitt and Ian Considine swivelled and put a low drive past Dean Glasheen. Keith Doran’s men should have doubled their lead when Andrew Leydon played the ball to Myles on the right and his low fizzing cross was somehow missed by McKevitt on the line.
Janesboro would make them pay for the miss shortly after as Dermot Hughes played Kieran Long through and the attacking midfielder beat Sheehan to equalise. As half-time approached, Darren Martin and Ronan Ryan surrendered possession in their own half before Morgan Clancy gathered possession and his long range strike beat the Coonagh netminder.
The home side dominated the second half and former Geraldines midfielder Christy O’Neill rolled back the years with a brilliant curling effort from the edge of the area to put Daithi O’Donoghue’s men 3-1 up. ‘Boro tacked on another goal late on as Aaron Grant powered home a header from an O’Neill corner. Janesboro now have a game in hand on both Prospect and Mungret but there are 8 games left in the league in what will be a hectic few weeks.
In the top six of the premier, Pike Rovers ran out comfortable 1-3 winners over Regional United at Dooradoyle. Colm Walsh-O’Loughlen opened the scoring for the away side but David Cowpar responded to equalise for Regional. Further first half goals from Evan Patterson and Conor Layng restored the visitors lead and that’s how it remained until the final whistle. Pike are now joint top ahead of next week’s FAI Junior Cup quarter final against Hibernan FC in Waterford.
Ballynanty Rovers were also 3-1 victors following a hard fought encounter with Nenagh at Limerick Institute of Technology. Adrian Power, Dermot Fitzgerald and Eddie Radcliffe accounted for Dave Dunphy’s side’s goals as they keep pace with the top two.
Fairview Rangers were convincing 6-1 winners over Carrigaline in the Munster Junior Cup at the Fairgreen, AJ Moloney scored a hattrick during the one sided encounter which put an end to a bad period by Fairview’s high standards in recent weeks.
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