Ballinasloe ease past Shiven as new season gets underway

Sunday saw the start of the new season for the Roscommon and District League with two of its four divisions in action.             Last season’s Ruby Oil-sponsored Premier Division champions Ballinasloe Town started where they left off last season with a 5-1 victory over newly-promoted Shiven Rovers at Newbridge. Niall Hynes, Kevin Kenny and Kevin Flanagan gave Ballinasloe a 3-0 advantage at the break. Peter Gilmore pulled one back for Shiven Rovers early in the second half before Darragh Concannon and Brian Cleary made sure of the three points for Ballinasloe Town.             Last season’s runners-up Castlerea Celtic were 4-1 winners over a young Skyvalley Rovers at Onagh Park Taughmaconnell. David Fitzpatrick got on the end of a cross from Giles McDonagh on the left wing to give Castlerea Celtic the lead after only two minutes. David Grehan got an equaliser shortly afterwards for the home side. Once again McDonagh provided the cross and Damien Webb made the score 2-1 in favour of Castlerea. Skyvalley Rovers had a great chance of leveling the game but Alan Oliver missed from the penalty spot after David Grehan was taken down. Within seconds Derek Mulhall extended the winner’s lead. Skyvalley Rovers looked the better side in the second half but Damien Webb added his second near the end.             Dysart returned to the Premier Division after a six-year absence and they beat Moore Utd. 4-0 at Moore. Jason Corbett and James Coyne gave Dysart a deserved 2-0 lead at half time and Jason Corbett and Niall Corbett added two more in the second half for Dysart.             Ballymoe FC returned to the Premier Division and after playing well for most of the game were eventually beaten 3-1 by Glen Celtic at Glenamaddy. Thomas Giblin opened the scoring for Glen Celtic and Keith Muldoon had Ballymoe FC level at the break. In the second half Paul Geraghty and Niall Gannon added two goals for Glen Celtic without reply.             Cloonfad Utd. had a good 3 – 1 win over Kilkerrin Utd. despite having a player sent off for two yellow card offences for the second half. Paddy Flatly opened the score for Cloonfad after twenty-seven minutes of play. The Polish player George levelled the game after sixty-seven minutes of play and in the last five minutes David Keavney struck twice to win all three points for Cloonfad Utd.             In the Athlone Nissan Division 1 old rivals Ballinasloe Town and Ahascragh Utd. drew 1-1 at Ballinasloe. Kevin Flanagan gave Ballinasloe town a 1-0 advantage after twenty minutes of play and David Leonard leveled the game five minutes before half time.             Strokestown Utd. beat Lough Harps 6 -5 in a thriller at Ballinlough. Strokestown were 6 – 2 up at one stage in the game and were happy to escape with all three points at the end. John Hagan got his hat trick and Connor Silke, David Parker and Daniel Rodgers added one each for the winners. Gerry Gallagher scored three and John Kelly and Joe Nielan one each for the Ballinlough side.             Newly promoted Manor Utd. got off to a winning start when they beat Cam Celtic 1-0 away at Cam. Brendan Burke scored the only goal of the game after twenty-four minutes of play.             Rahara Rvs. beat last season’s division 2 champions Ericsson FC 2-0 at Rahara. David Glennon scored direct from a corner kick in the first half and the repeated the act in the second half with a well struck free kick.             In the shield finals Dysart Beat Ballymoe 5-0 at Dysart. Ericsson FC beat Manor Utd 1-0 and Loughglynn beat Lisnamult Celtic 4-3 on penalties after their game finished at 3-3 after extra time. Gary Noone RIP The members of the Roscommon and District League were devastated to hear of the sudden death of Gary Noone. Gary represented the Roscommon and District league in the Oscar Traynor Cup Competition and played for Monksland Utd. before playing for many years for Clonown Utd. in the Roscommon and District league and later in the Leinster League.             He was one of the most skilful players ever to play in the league and was a shining example to everyone who played the game. He was never even booked while playing in the League and was really loved by everyone who knew him. When it came to indoor football or in later years football played on astro turf, Gary was a sight to behold. It was fitting that he should pass from this life while playing football but sadly at a very early age.             While working with An Post in Ballinasloe he was a most helpful and friendly face behind the counter and was always up for slagging his former opponents and team-mates and referees. The Roscommon and District league wish to extend its deepest sympathy to his devastated family, his wife Nuala, sons Conor and Bobby, his parents Joe and Eileen, brother Michael and the extended family on their huge loss. May Gary rest in peace.