The race for promotion from Division 3B of the Munster Junior League remains white-hot, with just five points separating league leaders Charleville from sixth placed Mallow.
Indeed, the only certainties that can be stated at this stage of the campaign are that Shandon and Dungarvan look set to occupy the bottom two positions.
Above them, Carrick-on-Suir got their promotion campaign back on track thanks to a 20-17 victory away to Douglas, never the easiest of venues to emerge from with a win.
But there was nothing remotely easy about Sunday’s tussle from a Carrick perspective, as the O’Sullivan Cup winners battled back from a 17-8 half-time deficit to conclude the afternoon as three-point victors.
First half tries by Alan Moyles and Graham Murray, along with two conversions and a penalty off the boot of Andy Larkin put Douglas in the half-time box seat.
Carrick’s Peter Steele crossed the whitewash during the opening period, with Michael Cronin, nursing a nasty chest infection, adding a penalty to the visitors’ total.
On a pitch with a notorious slope, Carrick dug deep to turn things around to go second in 3B by points differential from Waterford City.
Another try from the pacy Steele and a further touchdown by skipper Willie Stokes (with one conversion from Cronin) turned the game on its head to make the trip back to Suirside a boisterous one!
Meanwhile, Waterford City’s season now reads three wins and three defeats as they, like Carrick before them, came unstuck against Charleville, losing 9-3 in a tense encounter.
City’s margin for error for the remainder of the campaign is now minimal, and they can only hope that the ding-dong nature of the season shall see those around them pick each other off.
But they travel to Tybroughney next Sunday (2.30pm) knowing they must defeat Carrick to keep their season alive, with Carrick knowing another win could see them effectively eliminating one of their promotion rivals.
As it currently stands, no particular team has made a definitive stamp on the division, with the matches between now and Christmas surely set to establish who’ll be chasing honours into 2010.
Fermoy, just a point behind Carrick and City, drew 19 apiece with Mallow in the first drawn game of the season and in a season where things are so tight, every point looks set to count.
Indeed, bonus points could well prove pivotal, with City so far topping that particular pile with five ‘BPs’ to their name.
In the basement battle, Dungarvan picked up a long-awaited, morale-boosting win over Shandon, thus ensuring that this season won’t prove as bad statistically as the previous campaign.
Charleville ought to hold onto their 3B leadership when playing host to winless Shandon next Sunday, with Dungarvan hosting Fermoy while Douglas will make the trip to Mallow.