IT WAS business as usual in the League this weekend when clubs returned to competitive football after the Christmas break.
The majority of clubs were back in local action with the exception of Super League side City Utd. who took the long haul to Co. Cork where they were host to Innishvilla F.C. in the F.A.I. Cup 6th round tie. Manager John Loftus and "Captain Marvel" Gary Rooney had their troops well prepared as usual. The journey South had little effect on the City squad who went one nil down but managed to pull the equaliser back through Keith Nibbs. The game ended 1-1 after extra time and after the dreaded penalty shoot-out City Utd came away the winners and progress to the next round winning 5-4. Martin Ward the hero in the between the City sticks saving the last penalty. Best Western Sligo Southern Hotel Super League
St. John's F.C. in third place on the super league table going into the weekend took on the might of League Leaders Aughanagh Celtic on the all-weather pitch at Cleveragh on Saturday evening. Alan Flynn opened the scoring after 4 minutes when the Carraroe outfit were caught off guard. They held the lead until five minutes before the break when Conor Brennan hit the equaliser and the sides were level going in at half time. Ten minutes into the second half and Gary Hargadon put the St Johns ahead. Then on the hour mark a superb free kick from David Rooney found the back of the net from twenty yards out. David Keaney claimed the fourth with powerful strike which took a wicked deflection 4-1 the final score which sees Ross Gaynor's side remain in third spot.
Bart Folan and Cartron Utd. faced the Super League power house of Boyle Celtic and ever efficient stalwart Gerry Emmet who are currently in second place one point behind neighbours and leaders Aughanagh Celtic but with one game in hand at the Astro Pitch In Clevragh. Kevin Buckley on target twice and one from Colin Jinks were not enough to overcome the in-form Celtic. Niall Brennan with a hat-trick, one goal from Lee Mc Killan and a brace from super sub Killian Conboy sees Emmet's men move to the top of the Super League table ahead of neighbours Aughanagh Celtic courtesy of St. Johns F.C. defeat over Aughanagh Celtic.
Ballisodare Utd were at home to Kilglass Inishscrone Utd. and it was the home side who were the victors in this nine goal epic. Ibrahim Savage bagged a brace and Ricky Mc Munn, Paul Mc Garrigle, Conor Davey and Darragh Healy all hit one each. Shane Hargadon, Brendan Byron and Kieran Tuffy on target for the sea-siders.
Ballymote Celtic under the astute management of Sean Irwin at home in Bro. Walfrid Park entertained recently appointed manager Maurice Monaghan and his Strand Celtic F.C. side and what a tie it turned out to be with no less than five players on target for the beach combers. Ferghal O Hara, Adam Hynes, Raymond Doyle,Ryan Lynch and Kieran Brick all getting one each. Conor Meehan Dessie Flynn and Robbie Flannery scoring for Ballymote Celtic.
North Sligo's mid tabled out-fit Yeats Utd. guided by David Gaule welcomed Eamonn Kelly and Calry Bohs to the bowl in Carney and the Yeats menclaimed the bragging rights here winning by the odd goal in three. Sean Pender & Gary Feeney scored for Yeats Utd and Owen Nicholson hit the consolation goal for Calry in the dying minutes of the game. Sligo Pallets Premier League
Cliffoney Celtic and Manager Dessie O Connor were hoping the benefit of the Xmas break might improve their recent run of poor form when they met Stephen McCoy and Gurteen Celtic. The North Sligo Side recorded their third win of the season winning one nil courtesy of a late Darragh Hoey strike. Second placed on the table Manor Rangers and Darren Hurd took on Seamie O Boyle's Sligo Town side Glenview Stars on the Sligo I.T. all weather facility and it was Seamie O Boyle who went home the happier manager winning by the odd goal in seven. Niall Brennan bagged a brace, Kenneth Barlow, and Enda Breslin providing one each, Alan Hickey, Diarmuid Ccalancy and Niall Clancy scored one each for the Manor Men.
John Scanlon's Chafpool Utd. at home to Boyle Celtic Reserves where a hat trick from Dermot Beggan and one each from Conor Mc Paddden ensured all three points went back down the N4 to Boyle. Fergus Leonard and Shane Doherty on target for United.
Premier League strugglers M.C.R. F.C. faced the challenge of third placed Carrick Town at Sean Fallon Park and a lone strike from Colm Mc Morrow was not enough to over-come the Leitrim men , Ray Mulvey, Stephen Sirle, Brian O Donnell and Aaron Mc Evoy all on target in this 4-0 defeat.
Premier League Leaders Real Tubber took on Colm Reddington's Strand Celtic Reserves and the south Sligo side sent the sea-siders packing having dealt them a crushing 8-1 defeat. Stephen Mathews leaps ahead as the League's Leading Goal scorer hitting five, a brace from Hughie Marren and one from John O Hara, Daniel Maye with the consolation for Strand Celtic Reserves. Cleary Landscapes and Pitch Maintenance Division One
The astro facility in Cleveragh was the venue when Paschal Duignan and Riverstown Club Arrow Harps took on Aclare Celtic who going into this weekend's fixture had only managed 2 draws and no victories. The Harps took no prisoners in this tie , Dylan Edwards hit a hat-trick Liam Touhy added the fourth Barry Durcan netted the consolation goal for Aclare Celtic.
The seaside town provided the setting for the Easkey Harps V St Johns B clash where Killian Harris, Dylan Healy, Sean Condron and Stephen Armstrong all scored one goal each without reply from The Harps.
The Maugheraboy Community Pitch was the venue for the much awaited clash of Peter Lynch's League Leaders Coolaney Utd. and Frank Mc Garry's Merville Utd. Aiden Coleman and James Ellis on target for the visitors without reply showing their dominance as Division One Leaders.