Kilkerrin face tough opposition

CONNACHT SHIELD QUARTER FINALS The League has six sides scheduled to take part in the quarter final stages of provincial competitions. Many others have only recently been knocked out post Christmas and as a whole represents significant improvement. Best of luck to all in their respective ties.  Skyvalley Rovers U-12s host Moyne Villa (Headford). Mike Corbett and his players have a home tie after exploits in Sligo in the past two rounds.  Kilkerrin Utd U-14s travel to near neighbours Dunmore Town. Kilkerrin definitely produced the result of the season versus Mullingar Town to get this far. They won’t want to lose to a local team after all that and one can envisage a massive effort from all on and off the pitch next Saturday.  Strokestown Utd host Renmore in the U-16 Shield. Strokestown probably have the greatest chances of any of our sides going the whole way and taking a trophy. However they’ve also got the hardest tie, Renmore are probably the toughest side left. Patrick Brogan and the lads need to be ready for a hard match.  Ballinasloe Town travel to take on Straide & Foxford U-18s. Depending on players available Ballinasloe would be favourites. Not having home advantage makes a difference in these ties – hopefully they can overcome the travel, the referee and most importantly the opposition.   Dysart F.C. U-15 League Champions. The U-15 Division finished Saturday with the top two meeting in the final fixtures.  Shiven Rvs went into the tie requiring just a draw and took the lead in the first half. Dysart were the better side in general play. However they didn’t make it tell until late on, but eventually the class told and Paul Higgins scored a hat-trick to seal a return to League success for Dysart.  Philip Kelly has taken command of the group excellently and the level of interest has been returned by the players. In general the section rotated fortnightly with the U-13s. Despite the low numbers taking part, the sides involved have ticked over nicely and produced plenty of positives for the players, clubs and game in general.  The Cup semi-finals will be staged in a fortnight. Both will be over two legs and further notice and information will be available next week.  U-13 Division between Roscommon Town and Shiven Rovers. Roscommon Town won their game in hand versus Ballinagare F.C. to go level at the top of the U-13 Division. Brian Fannon, Mark Healy, Enda Lennon and Niall O’ Rourke with a brace sealed a comfortable victory.  All attention at this level turns to the final round of games next Saturday. Both go into their respective fixtures versus Moylough ’79 and Ballinagare F.C. as favourites. A play-off for the League title looks the most likely outcome. Ballymoe host Cloonfad Utd in what should be an interesting tie between two of the better sides all through the competition. Cloonfad Utd can mathematically claim the title but the recent defeat to Roscommon Town damaged those chances dramatically.  U-18 Divisions The League could have effectively been decided Saturday given a Dysart victory away to Lough Harps in a top of the table clash. However Lough Harps produced an excellent performance and the race for that title looks like going to the wire now. Johnny Moloney and Jack Swanick (2) replied to an early strike by Johnny Coyne for Dysart. Harps had many other chances, hit the cross bar on four occasions and deservedly took all three points.  Shiven Rovers drew one all with St Johns Athletic. Gerard Noone scored for the home side and the excellent Sean Tully replied for St Johns.  Castlerea Celtic produced a much-improved performance to get some rhythm into their play. Goals from Dominic Bligh, Mark Mulvihill and Eamon Green for Celtic and Eoghan Divilly for Kilkerrin Utd. Loughglynn Utd versus Glen Celtic fell victim to the weather. EMERGING TALENT PROGRAMMES The  UMBRO  U-13s play Mayo on March 11 th as they ramp up preparations for the Kennedy Cup. The draw for the Cup takes place on March 7 th at a function with the sponsors, UMBRO.  Based on previous results and improvements the league expects to be placed in the third pot in the slow but hopefully inexorable climb up the rankings.  EMERGING COACHES Well done to Larry Mullins who successfully completed his Youth Cert Coaching Badge over the weekend.   Five of the other ETP coaches are currently taking the same level course. It’s a real positive for the League that the coaches are rising up the ranks in parallel to the players development. The U-18 manager Philip Coffey brought UEFA B Licence coaching to the mix and there is a real sense of progression and rising level of professionalism in probably the most important area of football, creating the environment for the players to develop their potential.  Roscommon Town Family Evening Roscommon Town recently held a Family Evening to honour all players and management who participated in 2006 from U-9 through U-14. At least 100 players attended, accompanied by as many parents. Every player was recognised for their contribution with thoughtful awards of framed photos, medals, polo tops and something as simple as having their name called out in front of a large gathering of their peers and families. It’s difficult to describe the goodwill and togetherness these events reveal and generate. Well done all for a smashing contribution to furthering the game and more importantly enhancing the esteem and services for the youth of the area.