04 January, 2012

Big names pushing for Munster promotion:

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Ex Cork City player; UCC manager Caulfield
            Cork City FC's all-time leading goalscorer;  John Caulfield looks well poised to lead University College Cork (UCC) back to the Premier Division of the Munster Senior League as play resumes this weekend after the Christmas break.
           The students; on 20 points, are one point clear at the top of the First Division at the half-way stage of the season.  Caulfield has helped change round the fortunes of the side who had been relegated just before his appointment, two seasons ago.
           College have had a good season so far, with only two clubs taking points off them this season.  Those were second placed Carrigaline (19 points) and third placed Fermoy (18), who held them to a 0-0 draw in a hard fought tussle just before Christmas.  Fermoy goalkeeper is fromer Cork City star (and Ireland underage player) Mick Devine, who has played his part in keeping his side near the promotion places with four clean sheets in nine starts. 
Fermoy 'keeper Michael Devine
           College have a big game this weekend when they travel to take on Castleview at 5:45p.m. on Saturday.  Another former Cork City star; Patsy Freyne is the man in charge there and his side will definitely be there or thereabouts at the end of the season having lost just once so far and standing on 17 points.  At the other end of the table; Ballinhassig look doomed having garnered a mere one point from eight games though Tramore and Ballincollig (both played seven) are just two points above them with Ringmahon on the same number of points having played nine.
Patsy Freyne; 'View boss
           UCC for my money look the real deal here and could end the season with two trophies. 
           Meanwhile in the Premier Division; a special ceremony and presentation was held for Rockmount manager (and fomer player) Billy Cronin who is stepping down after 13 years in charge and having won every trophy that amateur football in Ireland has to offer.
Rockmount's most successful manager, Billy Cronin (right)

           The battle for the title in the top flight is a three-horse race; with little separating the  "Big Four":  Avondale, Rockmount, Everton and Douglas Hall.  The top four at the start of 2012 is the same as the top four at the end of last season, though in a different order.  Last year's champions, Rockmount lie in third place alongside Everton, with Douglas Hall in second place trailing leaders Avondale by five at the mid point of the season.  With Avondale looking odds on to win the Premier Title;  one feels this season that the main excitement will come from the first division and the battle for promotion there.
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