CCFL Review - Christmas 2011

With the Christmas break upon us, the local sides in the CCFL can sit back and take a well-earned break. Here, Tom Moss runs the rule over all of the top local sides and looks at who’s been good and who’s been bad in 2011.

With the Christmas break upon us, the local sides in the CCFL can sit back and take a well-earned break. Here, Tom Moss runs the rule over all of the top local sides and looks at who’s been good and who’s been bad in 2011.

Senior Division

Mountmellick United

With high hopes of challenging to break the Athlone monopoly over the Senior Division back in August, things haven’t gone according to plan for Mountmellick this season and they will start the new year third from bottom. They have plenty of games in hand but there is no disguising the disappointment that the Mountmellick men will be feeling. A fine start with a 3-0 win over St Peters suggested great things but it’s gone downhill quickly from there and the loss of key players hasn’t helped.

Mid-term Grade: D

Huge room for improvement, a very disappointing campaign to date.

Star Student: Robbie Hibbitts


Their first season back in the top flight and it’s been a very steady showing from the Portarlington men so far. Despite a very slow start, they finally got going with a win over Edenderry Town four games in and from there they’ve added another four victories to their tally to see them sit nicely in mid-table safety. They probably lack a little strength in depth to make an impression further up the table this season but certainly they have looked very at home in the CCFL top flight so far.

Mid-Term Grade: B

Have dealt very well with the jump up to the next class after a shaky start.

Star Student: Brian O’Mahoney

Premier Division


Another promotion winning side from last season, Rosenallis have yet to really find their feet in the Premier Division. They’ve lost five of their nine games to date and are third bottom ahead of Derry Rovers and Clonaslee. However, with games in hand over some of the teams ahead of them, a couple of wins after the break would change the shape of their season significantly. Having already played both the runaway leaders Gallen Utd and second-placed CK Utd twice, they should have a handier run of fixtures in the new year and that should provide them with enough wins to secure their Premier status.

Mid-Term Grade: C

Can do better. Life in a higher division hasn’t been plain sailing but they’ve had some tough games and should improve after Christmas.

Star Student: Kenny Farrell

Clonaslee Utd

It’s been a nightmare season so far for Clonaslee. Hugely affected by the loss of a whole raft of key players, they have yet to register a league win from their eleven games. Three draws and eight defeats has them rooted to the foot of the table and they won’t survive the drop. Hopefully life in Division One will be kinder to Clonaslee, and if they can get some of those missing players back in the red jersey next season, there is no reason why they can’t come back from this.

Mid-Term Grade: E

A horrible term. Missing too many players to compete and despite the odd glimmer of hope it’s been a very poor showing.

Star Student: Glen McEvoy

Division 1

Abbeyleix Athletic

Things could hardly be any better for Athletic as they look back on an amazing 2011. Promotion to Division 1 in May was a great achievement, but the way they have taken their new division by storm since August has been even more impressive. They’ve won eleven of their opening thirteen games so far leaving them well ahead of the chasing pack. Tullamore Town and Stradbally Town will both have their work cut out if Abbeyleix are to be denied their second successive promotion.

Mid-Term Grade: A

An outstanding effort all year, clearly top of the class.

Star Student: Neil Cooney

Stradbally Town

Following the disappointment of Premier Division relegation last season, Town have responded well. An uninspired start to life in Division 1 has been much improved of late and they finish the year in second place. It looks like a three horse race for the top two spots. Abbeyleix are in control making the game against Tullamore a key fixture in Town’s promotion hopes.

Mid-Term Grade: B

Doing very well. Will need to keep working hard however.

Star Student: Matt Kelly

Noreside Celtic

Playing their home games outside Castletown due to redevelopments at their home pitch, Noreside have struggled to make any real inroads in Division 1. They sit just one point clear of the relegation zone, with winless Highfield and St Peters B the only two sides beneath them. Celtic have one win from nine, a worrying statistic, and if either one of the bottom two nick a win or two, Celtic could be in big trouble.

Mid-Term Grade: D

Not a great year for Celtic, could be in real danger of dropping down.

Star Student: Bernard Bredin

Division 2


In one of the most interesting promotion races, Gracefield currently sit top of the Division 2 pile after an excellent campaign to date. With an abundance of attacking flair, they are a great team to watch and if they can sustain their form after Christmas they should have plenty in reserve to gain promotion.

Mid-Term Grade: A

A great effort, should have enough to stay in the top two.

Star Student: Robbie Knight.

Dynamo Town

One of the best footballing sides in the league at their best, they can also look very ordinary in other games. They can’t seem to get a settled team in place week in week out and they’re inconsistency is the only consistent thing about them.

Mid-Term Grade: C

Capable of much better.

Star Student: Cathal Neville

Portlaoise A

Mid-table at the moment but with plenty of games in hand, Portlaoise could yet have a big say in the promotion race. Like Dynamo they can’t seem to string a couple of wins together on the trot, but if that problem is dealt with they could be the surprise package of the division.

Mid-Term Grade: C

Again, capable of more. Their games in hand are crucial.

Star Student: Wayne McFaul


A tough year for Ballybrittas and one that most in Rath won’t be sad to see the back of. Their promotion winning campaign was spoiled by the loss of practically their whole starting eleven for different reasons and it was back to Division 2 for them. Things haven’t improved however and although they have plenty of games in hand to reverse the trend, they are bottom of the pile at Christmas and will need to improve massively if they are to survive.

Mid-Term Grade: D

Very disappointing so far. They’ve lost a huge amount of talent recently but there is still hope and a few wins could kickstart their season.

Star Student: Darren Finlay