Newtown leapfrog leaders
WE HAVE new leaders in the top flight of the Wicklow League.
Wolfe Tone Celtic went into the weekend at the top of the pile but after Sunday’s events the Bray side find themselves in second place after losing to Newtown United who are one of the new joint leaders.
The Newtown Community Centre isn’t an easy place to go and Celtic found that out first hand on Sunday afternoon when they succumbed to a 3-1 defeat.
Dean Odlum, hat-trick hero for the B team the previous week, was twice on target for the hosts in this one with Jason Fitzsimon continuing his fine early season goalscoring form by adding the other one.
But United have to share top spot for the time being at least with Glenview FC.
The Bray side faced a massive test on Sunday afternoon when they hosted local rivals St. Peter’s Bhoys. Clashes between these two have always been tight and fiercely contested and the sight of several of their former players lining out for the Glens will have given the Saints an extra incentive.
The Little Bray side were unable to get one over Glenview though in what was reportedly a very heated affair with Ben McNulty scoring the only goal of the game for the Glens.
That win moves them level with Newtown on ten points but the Bray side have a game in hand.
Lagging three points behind the leaders at this early stage are Wicklow Town who picked up their second win of the campaign on Sunday with a 2-0 win over Arklow Town at Finlay Park.
Maurice Dunne was unsurprisingly on the scoresheet for Wicklow, as was Mark Johnson.
Two sides with other ambitions also met this weekend with Ash- ford Rovers visiting Shillelagh United.
Rovers went into this one sharing last place with Richmond Rovers but they have now moved a point away from the Bray side after a 1-1 draw with United.
Stephen Byrne had given Shillelagh the lead in the first half but a Jason Taylor strike early in the second period meant both sides were forced to settle with a share of the spoils.
There was one other proposed fixture for last week in the Premier Division with the meeting of Richmond Rovers and Rathnew AFC at Ballywaltrim Recreational Park on Wednesday night. Unfortunately with 75 minutes on the clock and the score tied at 0-0 the new floodlights went out and left referee Paul O’Brien no option but to call the match to a premature halt.
It is understood the match will now be replayed at a later date. THE TIGHTEST league in the Wicklow League remains as close as ever after six sides picked up wins at the weekend.
Avonmore FC, league leaders going into the weekend’s action, now have some unwanted company at the top of the pile.
They travelled to Drummin on Sunday morning for a clash with Celtic Stars and they suffered their first defeat of the season thanks to a goal from Stars William Butler. And this win for Stars means that it is they who keep Avonmore company at the top of the table on ten points each.
But incredibly there are five other sides that are within a single win of catching the leagues early frontrunners.
One of those sides is Seaview Wanderers and they picked up their second win of the season on Sunday with thanks to a late showing against BBK United.
The Arklow side hit the front in the 20th minute when Ian O’Byrne sidefooted past the BBK goalie.
BBK immediately looked to equalize but they had to wait until 11 minutes into the second half to do so.
And the Brittas sides joy was doubled when they took the lead four minutes later.
Wanderers were determined to make it three games unbeaten however and man of the match Mark O’Regan drew them level with a powerful header in the 80th minute. Then in the 89th minute O’Regan struck again to earn his side all three points.
Another club with ambitions to catch the early leaders are Roundwood FC and the villagers must be the happiest men in the county after beating local rivals Redbank United 5-0 on Sunday.
Their 5-0 win in the derby moves them to within two points of Avonmore with the same number of games played. Damian Johnson struck twice for his side on Sunday, with Thomas Fitzpatrick, Tony Conway and Mick Sinnott all contributing a goal each.
Ballywaltrim FC currently find themselves three points off the top but crucially the Bray side have played one game less than Avonmore.
They also enjoyed a big win at the weekend in Laragh against basement side St. Kevin’s.
Stephen Dunwoody, Barry Hanna, Glen Joyce, Keith Forde and Jordan Devlin all notched for the visitors in a 5-1 win.
Ross Doonan scored the home sides effort.
Up until two weeks ago Newtown United B sat bottom of the table without a point to their name and looked set for a long, hard season.
But the Magpies have enjoyed resurgence of late and have now won two on the trot following Sunday’s 5-0 demolition of Eastcoast Albion at the Charlesland Leisure Centre.
The win now moves United to eighth place in Division 2 and they look set to continue climbing the table. Youngster Conor Ecclestone netted twice for the visitors on Sunday with Eric Gammel, Terry Murphy and Neil O’Brien also scoring.
Arklow United also had a successful weekend, beating St. Anthony’s 21 at Ferndale Park.
Ross Hackett scored the Kilcoole sides effort, with Ger Earls and Joe Stafford both on target for the hosts.
Alan Pyke of Glencormac puts pressure on Rory Burke of Granada during their Under-17 League encounter.