Portumna Town made it to the NT&DL Premier Division for the first time in their history after a fantastic title winning campaign, finishing just three points behind Borroway Rovers wo themselves make a return to the top flight after an absence of three years. Arra Rover’s and Ardcroney will have to settle for bottom tier football after poor season’s but both clubs will see this as a chance to rebuild.
In what was an eventful season there were five teams in contention throughout and Holycross just missed out on a play-off place in their last game of the season.
Portumna flew out of the traps winning four out of their first six games, losing only to Clodiagh Rangers on that period. Borroway however went fourteen games unbeaten at the start of their season bur draws with Moneygall (x2), Ardcroney, Clodiagh, and Holycross seen them stay with the rest of the pack and they failed to gather the points they probably deserved in that time.
Holycross likewise had a fantastic start winning six of their first eleven games and drawing four more in the process, these draws as it would turn out, would be detrimental to their title hopes.
Nenagh Celtic, Clodiagh Rangers and Rearcross would be found wanting at important times of the season as their form seemed to run dry when the opportunities to get into the title picture arose. Rearcross were in the shadows of that title picture for much of the season and but for a poor run of form at the half way mark they would certainly have been genuine contenders.
Roscrea’s consistency let them down throughout as they failed to find the form that got them to the Tipperary Cup final despite Joe Callaghan’s heroics in front of goal, the striker struck 24 times in the league, an outstanding effort. This was to be in vein though as losses to Portumna, Clodiagh, Rearcross, Holycross, Ardcroney, Nenagh and Borroway in their first ten games all but ended and real chances at the title, wins against Arra Rovers, Rearcross and Ardcroney in the latter part of the season ensured their safety but Joe Treacy’s side will know they must pick up for next season.
Moneygall, Ardcroney and Arra Rovers were locked in the relegation battle for the season and in truth Moneygall always looked likely to find that bit of form needed to secure their survival, this form would arrive in the last seven games as they won three, drew three and lost only one in that time but more importantly they beat Ardcroney and Arra in titanic relegation battles to confirm their status as a Division one team.
In the top half though Borroway continued to prove hard to beat until Clodiagh Rangers and Rearcross finally broke their resistance with four games remaining. This would prove heart-breaking as they would then go on to comfortably beat rivals Holycross and Portumna but the latter had the damage done as they had gone on a ten-game unbeaten streak, winning nine, more surprisingly this run came in the middle of two defeats to Borroway. Rovers would get some joy as they proved to be a thorn in Holycross’ side, beating them in a crunch tie to secure promotion and in the Barry Cup final in Thurles.
Special mention goes to Jamie Heffernan who managed a whopping 15 league goals in a season with little joy for his club and despite some injuries that kept him out throughout.
A fantastic season was had here and only time will see how the top two fare next season when the join the big boys.
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