Clonmel Celtic and St. Michael’s draw in top-of-table clash

Clonmel Celtic 1

Clonmel Celtic 1

St Michael’s 1

In a game which was likely to be crucial to the final resting place of this year’s Premier League title, the league’s Big Two Clonmel Celtic and St Michael’s had to settle for a point apiece in a pulsating encounter in Clonmel on Sunday.

The 1-1 draw means it’s still all to play for with the likelihood that the fight for the title will all the way to the final day.

Considering the importance of the game both sides had a real go and served up an entertaining encounter for the decent size attendance.

The visitors probably made the brighter start with Thomas Cooper stinging Celtic keeper Ciaran Kenrick’s hands with a powerful strike on 12 minutes. Saints threatened again five minutes later when Richie Ryan was played in but the ever alert Kendrick was quick off his line to avert the danger.

The home side had their first effort on goal in the 24th minute when Ross Condon took advantage of two St Michael’s players colliding and his purposeful run ended with a shot that was just too high. The visitors countered however with a powerful strike from Richie Ryan that also flew over the crossbar. As the game approached the half hour mark the game tilted in Celtic’s favour when Aaron Wall made a fine save from a Craig Condon header, and four minutes later Wall was in action again this time getting down low to expertly push away a Graham Doyle free kick.

His next save from an Ian Fahey strike was more routine diving to his left to smother the Celtic defender’s effort. Celtic were enjoying a good spell before the break and Wall was again quick off his line to deny Seanie O’Hara after he was played in by Kevin Waters, and the first half ended scoreless.

Celtic had the winds at their backs as they kicked off the second half and two minutes in Wall had to stretch to turn away an in swinging corner, when the home side looked likely to break the deadlock. Despite playing into the breeze St Michaels finally got back into the game and almost scored in the 52nd minute when a Chris Higgins flick from a free kick landed on the top of the net.

Eventually though, it was Celtic who hit the front on 67 minutes when a marvellous free kick from Ian Barnes deceived the visitors keeper and the ball found the top corner. It was a vital breakthrough for Celtic and they nearly punished a rattled Michael’s side further a minute later when a sweet Kevin Waters touch freed Seanie O’Hara but he blazed over.

Celtic were then dealt a huge blow fifteen minutes from the end when David Joyce was sent off for a second yellow and the game immediately swung in the visitors favour as two minutes later they were level with an excellent Brian Buckley free kick nestling in the home side’s net.

With Celtic missing the energy of Joyce in midfield the visitors pushed for a winner but the teams were levelled up six minutes from time when Saints talisman James Walsh was red carded for a second caution.

Celtic sensed an opportunity and pushed for a later winner and came desperately close on two occasions. Three minutes from the end Wall pushed away a powerful drive from Kevin Waters and Aaron Moroney couldn’t direct the rebound on target.

A minute later the home supporters thought Celtic had clinched it when a powerful Ian Fahey strike came back off the crossbar and shortly afterwards the referee brought to an end a very entertaining clash.

Cashel Town 4

Glengoole United 2

Cashel Town dealt a huge blow to Glengoole’s chances of staying the Premier League when they came from behind at Palmershill on Sunday, to gain a valuable three points in their own push up the table with a hard fought victory.

The visitors created a few early chances before taking the lead after twenty two minutes with a tidy finish from Stuart Hanrahan. Glengoole continued to create chances but didn’t take them and paid for this when Cashel got back into the game with a good passing move and an excellent finish from Chilly Fitzelle three minutes before the break.

The visitors then took the lead for a second time shortly after the break when Kevin Slattery latched on to a through ball and lobbed the stranded keeper. The home side fought back gamely though, and were back on terms on the hour mark when Eoin Byrnes finished after a scramble in the box, and they finally got their heads in front 15 minutes from the end when Fitzelle grabbed his second with another excellent finish after a great pass from Sean Cormack.

The final goal was the goal of the game when Byrne showed tremendous pace to burn off the flagging Glengoole defence and finish brilliantly in to the bottom corner, with the keeper rooted to the spot.

Peake Villa 5

Wilderness Rovers 0

Peake Villa all but condemned Wilderness Rovers to an immediate return to the First Division with a rampant victory in Thurles on Sunday, that leaves the Clonmel side rooted to the bottom of the table, with games running quickly out.

It was nip and tuck in the early stages with both sides having half chances to open the scoring, but the home side finally hit the front ten minutes before half time when Ted O’Connor headed home. It only took two minutes to double their lead when this time Sean Wade again beat the visiting defence in the air to head home from a free kick.

Villa held this lead to the break, and got a decisive goal shortly afterward when a fine finish by Mick Ryan gave the Rovers keeper no chance. In complete control now, a wonderful solo effort by John Mc Loughlin made in four, before the icing on the cake was delivered by Pippy Carroll curling a fine strike in from the edge of the area a minute from time.