Soccer Shorts (March 28)

While seven of the last eight in the Counties Cup are Senior Division sides, Dynamo Town of Division 2 booked their quarter-final spot with an amazing win over St. Peters in Athlone on Sunday afternoon.

While seven of the last eight in the Counties Cup are Senior Division sides, Dynamo Town of Division 2 booked their quarter-final spot with an amazing win over St. Peters in Athlone on Sunday afternoon.

The win for the Portlaoise men represents a major giantkilling but Dynamo have some excellent footballers in their ranks and they proved here that they are more than capable of mixing it with the big boys of the higher divisions.

It looked ominous when Peters hit the front early on but a screamer from defender Leon McDonald on the half hour restored parity at the interval.

Peters bossed possession in front of their home support after the restart but the outstanding Town defence held firm and it got even better for Liamie Marum’s men when Kevin Fitzpatrick dusted himself off after being hacked down in the box and he duly converted to put the unfancied Dynamo in front.

A late Peters equaliser sent the game to extra time where again the Athlone giants threw everything they had at Town but they held firm. Liamie Marum went within inches of winning it at the death only to see his effort crash off the bar but they weren’t to be denied their day.

After St Peters cracked first under pressure, Philip Scully was the man with the responsibility of finishing the famous task. He finished with style and Dynamo were in dreamland.

If they are to progress even further they will have to top this win with another trip to Athlone to meet the all-conquering Willow Park. Whether they can cause an even bigger shock remains to be seen, but for now Dynamo can enjoy their place amongst the CCFL elite.

Gorman double ensures strad bounce straight back

Another Laois side to overturn St Peters this weekend were Stradbally Town who made sure of an instant return to the Premier Division with a 2-1 win over the Peters B team on Sunday morning.

Derek Gorman was the hero of the day with a brace that will banish the memory of last year’s years relegation and after seeing off Tullamore Town for the second promotion spot they now have their sights set on the outside chance of snatching the Division 1 title from the grasp of long-time pacesetters Abbeyleix Athletic.

Two off for United as Birr snatch win

Mountmellick United somehow slipped to a 1-0 defeat against fellow strugglers Birr Town on Sunday despite bossing the game and creating enough chances to easily dispose of the Offaly men.

United should have enough games in hand to secure safety but this setback won’t have helped. They had a number of golden chances but wasted them all and Town snatched an unlikely win late on. The dismissals of both centre backs, first Mark Parkinson and then a late red for Eddie Melia compounded a day to forget for United.

Brittas and Gracefield hit hard

Division 2 action saw heavy defeats for both Ballybrittas and surprisingly league leaders Gracefield.

Moate Celtic hit five past Ballybrittas to deepen the Rath men’s relegation woes and Sundas clash with bottom club Kilcormac should decide their fate. A win will relegate Kilcormac. A loss would make relegation almost a certainty.

Gracefield travelled to Birr hoping to tie up the Division 2 crown but went home in shock after a 5-0 defeat. It was simply one of those days for the Port men, but with a crucial game against second placed Moate on Sunday, they will have little time to dwell on it. If they can take the three points from this huge final game of the season, the title is theirs.

Moate have two games in hand and if they manage to beat Gracefield, they can snatch it by winning their final two fixtures.