There were a number of dramatic encounters in the local soccer leagues today.
In Carlow, Crettyard United kept themselves in the hunt for Premier Division glory as a Lee Salter hat-trick along with an Aaron Morris strike helped them to a 4-0 win over neighbours Killeshin.
They are now six points behind leaders New Oak Boys but they three games in hand.
Meanwhile, Clonaslee United, Rosenallis and Towerhill were among the Laois clubs that enjoyed wins in the CCFL.
Clonaslee 0 Monksland 0 (Clonaslee win 4-2 on pens)
Paddy Cotter Cup Semi Final
Clonaslee United have a cup final against Derry Rovers to look forward to after they defeated Athlone outfit Monksland on penalties in the Paddy Cotter Cup.
This was a really impressive victory for Clonaslee against a team who sit second in the top division of the CCFL – one point behind Willow Park.
The game itself was a tight affair with both sides only really having one chance each.
Monksland’s best opportunity came just before the interval when a cross from the flank evaded everyone and just whistled wide of the post.
Clonaslee almost won it two minutes from the end but a Diarmuid Conroy header came back off the post.
The game remained deadlocked through extra time and penalties ensued.
John Rigney, Ger Reilly, Pj Fitzpatrick and Jack Owens all converted for Clonaslee while Monksland missed one and Clonaslee keeper Seamus Rosney saved another to claim a really impressive win.
CLONASLEE: Seamus Rosney, Jack Owens, John Rigney, Michael Hyland, PJ Fitzpatrick, Ger Reilly, Paddy Hyland, William Murray, Sean Dunne, James MacRedmond, Bob Downey Subs: Diarmuid conroy for Sean Dunne, Danny Larkin for William Murray, Paddy Whyte for MacRedmond
Walsh Island 0 Rosenallis 3
CCFL Division 1
It was very simple for Rosenallis this morning, only a win would do to stop Walsh Island from taking the league title.
And that’s exactly what they did. Winning a very competitive game by three goals in the end.
The game started with a frantic pace, and Rosenallis keeper Paul Friel had to be on his toes to make a great save inside the first 10 seconds when the Walsh Island number 10 raced onto a ball after a mixup in the defence and got his shot off.
Rosenallis then settled into the game and with Marcus Redmond and Adam MacDermot dominating the centre of the field, Rosenallis slowly took over.
After 20 minutes they were ahead. Donagh Calally latched on to a poor back pass and rounded the keeper to put Rosenallis one up.
Back came Walsh Island, and again Paul Friel in the Rosenallis goals had to make a save from a close range free kick, touching the ball onto the cross bar.
At half time, it was 1-0 to Rosenallis. Any hope of a Walsh Island fight back was shut down after five minutes of the second half when Jack Friel pinged a brilliant free kick into the Walsh Island box and Mark Dunne headed it into the back of the net.
Walsh Island threatened to make a game of it with a number of chances, but none of them found the net, and the Rosenallis defence coped well with anything that Walsh Island threw at them.
With 10 minutes remaining in the clock, Rosenallis wrapped up the points. Damien Gorman, on as a second half sub, chased down a poor ball out of the defence and squared it for James Jackson who was upended by the Walsh Island keeper. James Jackson stepped up and buried the resulting spot kick.
Rosenallis are now only three points behind Walsh Island with two games to play and a game in hand.
ROSENALLIS: Paul Friel, Paddy Dunne, Darren McEvoy, Mark Graham, Jack Friel, Adam MacDermot, Marcus Redmond, Mark Dunne, Donnagh Calally, Paul Dunne, Niall Doolan Subs used:
Damien Gorman, James Jackson, Glenn Shaw
Mullingar Town 0 Towerhill Rovers 6
CCFL Division 1
Three goals in each half did the trick for Towerhill as they comfortably saw off bottom side Mullingar Town this morning.
It is a win that sees them move up to fourth spot in the table and they were full value for this victory.
Paddy Downey, Emeka and a Darlington Ovenserh penalty gave Towerhill a 3-0 lead by the break.
Downey and Emeka took their goal tally to two each on the resumption of play before Liam McGovern put the icing on a fine team performance.
TOWERHILL ROVERS: Kevin Sheehan; Leon McDonald, Sean Egan, Aidan McGovern, David Hughes, Joey Delaney, Liam McGovern, Paddy Downey, Darlington Ovenserh, Paul Sutton, Emeka Subs: Richard Downey for Sutton, Jack Fennel for Delaney
Mountmellick Utd 0 Willow Park 2
CCFL Senior Division
League leaders Willow Park took another giant step towards the Senior Division title but they had to do it the hard way against an injury-ravaged Mountmellick side who were missing nine regulars.
United started brightly in Conor Davis Park and after defending stoutly they created plenty of notable chances.
Mark Grennan hit the post with a spectacular volley from 30 yards, with Robbie Condron also going close with a headed effort from Brandon Copper’s cross.
However, it was the Athlone title chasers who took the lead on the half hour, a floated free kick caused panic in the United defence and the ball trickled over the line after hitting off the unfortunate Daniel O’Riordan.
United continued to dig deep and it wasn’t until midway through the second half that Willow scored the crucial second.
A superb in-swinging corner was nodded home from close range to give Willow the breathing space they needed.
The game petered out after that, the only incident of note was a red card for foul language towards the end for the Willow Park goalscorer and the visitors claimed the spoils.
MOUNTMELLICK: Matsy Forde, Brandon Cooper, Daniel O’Riordan, Mark Goodwin, John Watchorne, Tom Moss, Mark Dowling, Eoghan O’Riordan, Curtis Lee, Mark Grennan, Robbie Condron. Subs: Rian Coss, Ethan Lawlor
Lambe Brothers Youths Cup Quarter Finals
Portlaoise 1 (4), Abbeyleix Ath 1 (2); Pens aet
Willow Park 17’s 2, St Francis 1
Kinnegad Juniors 1, Mullingar Ath 2
Clara Town 0, Willow Park 18’s 6
LFA Junior Shield Quarter Final
Abbeyleix Ath 1, Mid Sutton 2
Paddy Cotter Cup Semi Finals
Monksland Utd 0 (2), Clonaslee Utd 0 (4) pens aet
Birr Town 0, Derry Rovers 1
Division 2 Cup Quarter Final
Moate Celtic 1 (4), O’Moore FC 1 (1); pens aet
Division 3 Cup Quarter Final
BBC Utd 2, Banagher Utd 3
Mullingar Ath 1, Tullamore Town 3
Mountmellick Utd 0, Willow Park 3
Clara Town 1, Ballinahown 2
Mullingar Town 0, Towerhill Rovers 6
Walsh Island Shamrocks 0, Rosenallis 3
Ballinahown 1, Raharney Utd 1
Maryborough FC 0, Mountmellick Celtic 6
Nationalist Premier Division
Hannover Harps 3 St Fiacc’s 0
Killeshin 0 Crettyard United 4
Keating Memorial Cup Quarter Final
St Patrick’s Boys 2 New Oak Boys 3