|Passage (green) v Village Dec 2004|
Rockville lead the way in the Murphy’s Stout AUL Premier League campaign. But it is a campaign that has hardly started. Big guns Leeside, Maymount Celtic and Greenmount Rangers have played just a handful of games between them while Kinsale, champions for the past two seasons, haven’t played a league game yet.
One thing is pretty clear: Kinsale’s main opposition will come from the three already mentioned though Village will cause problems. Also clear is that Grattan, without a win in six, have a major battle on their hands to avoid relegation.
Cup runs are again the problem for the big teams and the schedules of Kinsale and Greenmount were further complicated by their run to the final of the Linnane League Cup where Greenmount emerged victorious on the night to claim the first junior silverware of the season.
Park United, from Premier A, made it to the semi-finals where they were pipped by Kinsale. Park are determined to get back into the Premier itself and are certainly going the right way about it.
The form of promoted team Glenthorn Celtic has been surprising. Troy Falvey’s Dublin Hill side are currently in second spot and showing every sign of being in the shake-up for the two promotion places. St John Bosco's’ have had a steady start to the season and are well placed in third.
The likes of Coachford, Macroom and Togher could well come into the reckoning if they make full use of their games in hand. If not, they could find themselves in a battle to avoid relegation.
Three teams go down from this division and already Springfield and Fairhill are on the slippery slope. Dripsey Celtic have unbalanced result, some very good wins and some poor defeats. It is a bit early yet but that leaky Dripsey defence (16 against in five games) in front of Raymond Moynihan could cost them dearly – unless running repairs are made.
|Lotty heads on for Village|
AUL 1: Mick McAuliffe’s Richmond continue to lead the way in Murphy’s stout AUL 1. McAuliffe’s forte over the years has been scoring goals but it is the improvement in the Richmond defence that has boosted their title hopes. The Waterfall side are conceding less than one a game.
Very impressive indeed when compared with Albert Rovers whose leaky backline let in over two each match. Alberts also have a reasonably high scoring rate and hold fourth position at present. Glenvale have the worst defence in the division and are bottom and look certain to take the drop.
Hibernians were the August tip to bounce straight back to Premier A but that will hardly materialise for Willie Ashman’s team. They are still reasonably well placed and can’t be ruled out. Pat Bowdren's Wilton Utd are perhaps the new favourites. They have won their four games to date but cup runs have seen them accumulate quite a backlog and that could handicap their title bid.
Indeed, the chase is quite open and any team putting a decent run together in the coming months could do damage. Wilton and Hibs certainly have the potential as do Lakewood, UCC and Ballincollig. Don’t rule out Richmond hanging on at that top, particularly if McAuliffe and his assistant Gerry Williams can keep that impressive defensive record going.
AUL 1A: Back in August, Blarney Street Athletic and Northvilla were tipped to have a big impact in the title race for AUL 1A and they are currently second and first. However, top tip Mallow are languishing in mid table, not out of it yet but showing precious few signs of getting back up to challenge the promoted pair.
Buttevant, Ballyvolane and Rathcoole are all playing steadily enough and all will have their say but, on past form, are unlikely title winners. Churchview Celtic though are the team that could get up to trouble the top two. Eddie Morey, Micky Geaney, Luke Mannix and company have had a great run to the open stages of the FAI and, with that now out of the way, can concentrate on making up points and catching up.
Churchview, who have the evergreen Finbarr Redmond in goal and the experienced Thomas Long scoring regularly, have played six in the league and have a one hundred per cent record. Seventeen for and just four against speaks volumes for the contributions of Redmond and Long and spells out quite a warning to the rest of the promotion seeking pack. Could be a very close finish yet but it could be Churchview’s turn this time.
AUL 1B: Mayfield United, managed by Declan Keane and Tony Carroll, were the August tip for AUL 1B and they are still very much in contention but, because of good cup runs, have built up quite a backlog and have five less games played than unbeaten leaders Leeside.
This is a ten team league and Gary Tobin’s Leeside, with 11 games played, are in a very strong position and will fight all the way to retain that top spot and much will depend on their head to head clashes with Mayfield and Leeds, about the only two sides with realistic hopes of catching the Little Island based outfit. It will be hard to dislodge Leeside.
|Passage v Village (red)|
AUL 2A: August tip Millstreet Celtic just haven't been able to get it together consistently in 2A and are out of the reckoning, maybe. They are in 7th place but just seven points behind leaders Donoughmore and have a game in hand.
This is shaping up to be a blanket finish as just about every team, aside from bottom two Coachford and Ard-na-Laoi, has a chance. Saxone Cup semi-finalists Glanworth will be the slightest of favourites at this point.
But promoted Inter City are determined to mount a title challenge and they have been gievn a major boost. Manager Ger O’Riordan: “Great news for Inter City for the new year as we welcome back our all time top goal scorer Eoin Sheehy who has been out injured for almost a year. His return is a boost to the lads and we are delighted to have him back in the team.”
Ger, whose assistant is Andrew Styles, has nothing but praise for current leading strikers Ciaran Speight and Damien Whelton but has a warning for the other teams: “Watch out. Eoin Sheehy is back”. And everyone in football, including his rivals, will wish Eoin all the best on his return from that long absence.
AUL 2: Dave O’Mahony’s Ballyphehane Celtic were the August tip for the top in AUL 2 and, while they are a long way off it at present, they are the clear and present danger to all title pretenders in the division.
O'Mahony’s boys are unbeaten but then so too are current leaders City Wanderers, determined to make up for last season’s near miss. Lee Rangers, not regarded too highly in that August preview, are also very much in the running as are Togher Rovers. It’s tough at the top here and will get tougher as Ballyphehane begin to draw closer.
AUL 2B: Promoted UCC have shown little of the drive that won them the 3B title last season and the August favourites won't feature in the title race this time in 2B.
Glen Celtic and Ballyvolane were also on that August shortlist and they have lived up to the billing and hold the top two positions. Promoted teams Hibernians, managed by Paddy O'Mahony, and Village Utd, managed by Denis Murray, are doing very well indeed.
Passage, Bohemians and Knockraha are all in mid-table but are not that far off the pace and a few wins could see them rekindle their title ambitions. Glen though are the slight favourites, even if they have some difficult local derbies to negotiate.
|Clifton Gaffney (Passage)|
AUL 3: Kilreen Celtic were the start of season tip to do the business in AUL 3 and Harry McGovern’s lads are setting the pace in pole position. Carrigaline Utd and Tower Street Athletic are pushing the leaders and indeed the top three now could well be the top three in April.
Kilreen remain favourites. After all, they have just eight games left and it is hard to see them relinquish what is quite a decent lead.
AUL 3A: Newcomers Doneraile were the August tip for the top in a volatile mix in 3A and they are in second place, sandwiched between relegated sides Mallow Celtic and third placed Strand Utd. Again it looks as if these three will retain their top three placings right to the end but in which order?
AUL 3B: Grattan Utd were touted as possible 3B champs in August but have disappointed in what is once again a very competitive division.
Dillon’s Cross secretary Damien Wiley was confident ahead of the season and was expecting his side to have a big impact and that confidence has been justified as the Cross sit proudly at the top.
While Dillon’s are well placed to win promotion, they will find it difficult to go up as champions as undefeated teams Central and Blackstone are better placed in terms of their points return from games played and it looks as if this duo will slog it out for the championship.
Richie Keating’s Mayfield United team are leading the way in AUL Youths One and the others are playing catch-up. Tramore Athletic, who defeated Mayfield in the League cup final, are one side capable of doing just that but must wade through quite a backlog. Youths 1A is developing into quite a battle. Wilton currently hold top spot but there are at least six other sides in with a title chance.
It is very early days yet in the U17 leagues as the teams here play just once every two weeks. Maymount Celtic hold the top spot in Division One and they, Cork City and Cobh Ramblers are definite contenders. Park United are setting a hot pace in One A with Mary’s and Kilreen also showing good form.
|Jinty on the ball for Village|
GREENMOUNT RANGERS 1984/85
Greenmount Rangers have had many great seasons but 1984/85 wasn't one of them. Indeed, Rangers were relegated at the end of it but that says as much about the high standard of the AUL Premier League at the time as it does about Greenmount’s weaknesses that particular year. Midleton and AOH joined Greenmount in the drop.
Temple United won the league, with their great rivals St Mary’s in second place. That rivalry had boiled over earlier in the season during the area final of the FAI Junior Cup at Flower Lodge where referee Joe O'Keeffe sent off three players. Ten man Mary’s scored twice in extra time against their nine man opponents to reach the last sixteen on a 3-1 scoreline.
Despite their poor league form, Greenmount came very close to making that FAI decider. They played a dreary scoreless draw with Mary's in the semi-final but surrendered an early goal to lose the hard fought Kilcully replay 1-0.
Plunket Carter was one of the three selectors of the Greenmount team and recalls: “The panel was large. There was regular chopping and changing and much transferring. The league was ultra competitive and Temple won it for the first time.”
“Bernie Browne and Pat Mulcahy were the other selectors. We had some handy players. Sean Cotter, for instance, scored a hat trick for Crofton Celtic in the FAI intermediate cup final of the following year. John Crowley was a tricky winger and Ger O’Brien had skill to burn.”
Greenmount skipper that year was Harry Speight, a top class defender. Pat Cahill is still involved with the club while Alan Ramsell was another who gave long service to Greenmount. John Lyne, now a referee, managed Greenmount in the mid nineties.
Keeper Ger McGreevey, who you'll find nowadays looking after Greenwood schoolboy teams, played with quite a few clubs while Neil Hannigan, Ber Tobin and Timmy Hewitt all became involved with neighbours Dunbar Celtic in the following years. Speight, Cahill, Ramsell and Mulcahy had all played for Rangers when they lost the 1980 AOH final to Bosco's.
end of story