Johnville 2; Carrick United 1
David Blaine and our very own Keith Barry would be proud of the way Johnville continue to get out of trouble when at times all seems lost. Even the late Harry Houdini (real name Ehrich Weiss), the great escapologist, if he were still alive would have to take his hat off to ‘The Johnnies’.
Time after time during the past three seasons many pundits have written them off when it looked almost impossible for them to evade relegation but once again they have managed to pull a rabbit from somewhere and now they can now start planning for another season in the Waterford Premier League.
Their last game victory over Carrick United’s second string at home in St Martin’s Park last week guaranteed them safety and that result sent last season’s runners-up Ferrybank through the trap door and into Division 1A.
There is no doubt that the club who are based at the magnificent Village Grounds at Abbeylands will bounce straight back if they stick together because they are a good side with some fine players.
Other clubs will try and sign many of their players, but if those players decide to remain with the club, Ferrybank will be raging-hot favourites to win promotion back to the Premier League at the first time of asking.
Their demotion proves that no club has a divine right to be members of the Premier League, but nevertheless there is a great deal of sadness in local soccer circles that, for one season at least, this magnificent club will not be playing in the top grade division next season.
Three clubs were fighting relegation during the closing weeks of a campaign that got underway back in August. Southend United, Ferrybank and Johnville were the clubs fighting like crazy to remain in the top flight.
Ferrybank finished their campaign first and in many ways that gave the other two clubs a distinct advantage. Southend reeled off six points from the last 3 games, beating St Saviour’s and Villa to give them a final total of 17 points, two more than Ferrybank’s final haul.
Johnville’s last game was against the 2006-07 champions Carrick United but the fixture was delayed for a number of reasons. Carrick were involved not only in the FAI Junior Cup but they also had to travel to Dublin to play St James’s Gate in the FAI Senior Cup.
Johnville had a total of 15 points from their 17 games played, so they knew that a victory or even a draw against Carrick would be good enough to keep them up.
The champions were forced to field their Division One side against Johnville last week, a situation which was not ideal, especially for Ferrybank, but in fairness to the Coolnamuck club they did inform Ferrybank of their dilemma four days before the Johnville game.
The bottom three placings were as follows: