*Mark Pewter, Jim Lynch and Paul Tuohy.

AVENUE UTD progressed in the latest round of the FAI Junior Cup, Newmarket Celtic crashed out of the Munster Junior Cup and Kilkishen Celtic and Tulla Utd could not be separated in the East Clare derby.

A place in the last thirty two of the FAI Junior Cup has been achieved by Avenue Utd but Newmarket Celtic’s provincial run has ended.

In the CDSL Maloney Garden Machinery Premier Division, there was no separating the East Clare sides of Kilkishen Celtic and Tulla Utd while Lifford claimed the spoils in their visit West to play Kilrush Rangers.

Avenue advance in FAI Junior Cup

Avenue Utd 2
St Kevin’s Two Mile Borris 1
Venue: Newhill Park, Two Mile Borris

Avenue Utd prevailed in the fourth round of the FAI Junior Cup to book their passage to the last thirty two of the national competition.

Within the opening ten minutes, the visitors had raided for a goal. Mossy Hehir on the right wing delivered the ball to Ronan Kerin at the back post with the Avenue skipper making no mistake to stick it beyond Ciaran Maher and into the back of the net.

Maher denied Elias Kunz moments later after Kerin set him up.

Hehir combined with Kerin again later in the half, this time Mark Roche put Mossy on his way but this shot went narrowly above the crossbar.

A defensive blunder allowed the hosts to get on level terms early on in the second half. Urban Nolan was the one to capitalise on a mix-up in the Avenue backline and he was only glad to slot the ball beyond Luke Woodrow.

An outstanding effort from Nnabuike Nneji to the top right hand corner of the Two Mile Borris net restored the lead for Avenue and this time round David Russell’s side made sure not to relinquish it.

Avenue Utd: Luke Woodrow, Cullen McCabe, Conor Mullen, Dylan Casey, Conor Hehir; Eoghan Thynne, Nnabuike Nneji, Mossy Hehir, Mark Roche, Ronan Kerin, Elias Kunz.

Subs: Gavin Cooney for M Hehir (60), Steven McGann for Kerin (65), Jamie Roche for M Roche (78).

St Kevin’s Two Mile Borris: Ciaran Maher, Tony Galvin, Lewis Kearney, Lorcan O’Toole, Owen Sheridan, Dylan Lee, Stuart Hanrahan, Jack Cleary, Urban Nolan, Jamie Carey, Jamie Lee.

Subs: Alex Maher for Cleary (60), Daniel Rafter for D Lee (83).

Referee: Michael Chapman

Newmarket Celtic’s Munster run ends

Mungret Regional FC 2
Newmarket Celtic 1
Venue: Mungret

Having claimed the FAI Junior Cup and reaching the final of the Munster Junior Cup last season for Newmarket Celtic to be out of both competitions before Christmas is a disaster.

It wasn’t for a lack of trying but rather an inability to take their chances that cost Newmarket as Mungret Regional FC caused a massive shock in eliminating Paddy Purcell’s side.

Ballynanty and Fairview Rangers were among the heavy hitters to be taken down by Celtic last season so for the club who were promoted to the Limerick District League Premier Division in the past five years to knock them out has certainly taken Junior soccer followers by surprise.

First half chances from Eoin Hayes, Nathan Boaventura, Aaron Rudd, Tadhg Noonan and Jack Kelly went abegging by Celtic, though the dominant side at this juncture crucially it wasn’t reflected on the scoreboard.

Shane Cusack made a great save on fifty one minutes from Kieran Long but the striker reacted to tap the rebound to the back of the net. Less than five minutes later, the hosts doubled their advantage when Long again was the scorer.

An opportunity to make it 3-0 fell to Hamza Celik but he was denied by Cuscak.

Badly needing to catch a break, Newmarket Celtic instead found themselves reduced to ten men when centre-half Ethan Fitzgerald was shown a red card on seventy five minutes.

Aaron Rudd collected a late consolation goal but it was just merely that as the clinical Mungret made their way forward to the fifth round of the Munster Junior Cup.

Focus for Newmarket is now solely on domestic matters and they renew their tetchy rivalry with Avenue Utd in a vital league clash this Sunday in Roslevan.

Mungret Regional FC: James Roche, Mark Patterson, Gary Kelly, Jamie Enright, Conor Myers, Craig Prendergast, Aled Harkin, Darragh Killian, Patrick Ahern, Hamza Celik, Kieran Long.

Subs: Aaron Long for Kelly (51), Brian Cotter for Celik (70), Cian McNicholas for Prendergast (71), Eoghan Kelly for Harkin (80), Dean Shinners for Myers (95).

Newmarket Celtic: Shane Cusack, Conor McDaid, Ethan Fitzgerald, Harvey Cullinan, Eoin Kelly, Jack Kelly, Aaron Rudd, Nathan Boaventura, David McCarthy, Eoin Hayes, Tadhg Noonan.

Subs: Ronan McCormack for McCarthy (62), Colin Smyth for Cullinan (62), Gearoid O’Brien for J Kelly (62), David Lennon for E Kelly (65), Cian Foley for McDaid (71).

Referee: Andy Hall

All square but Kilkishen Celtic claim Snow Lynch Cup

Kilkishen Celtic 1
Tulla Utd 1
Venue: Kilkishen

Tulla Utd let an opportunity to collect their first win of the Premier Division through their fingers after being forced to settle for a share of the spoils against Kilkishen Celtic.

An approximate attendance of 90 people gathered in Kilkishen on Sunday morning as anticipation grew for the first-ever meeting of Kilkishen Celtic and Tulla Utd in the Premier Division.

Adding some extra excitement to proceedings was the donation by US based Patrick O’Halloran, a loyal reader of The Clare Echo, of the Snow Lynch Cup.

Sean Withycombe opened the scoring on thirteen minutes, he was fouled outside the box and tucked the resulting free under the wall and away from the snatching grasp of Paul Tuohy.

Tulla had plenty of chances to double and indeed treble their advantage in the opening half but the second goal never arrived.

Ayanb Aguterou had two headers that both went over the crossbar, Sean Withycombe came close twice in the space of two minutes by the half-hour mark while Éanna Culloo lost his footing when bearing down towards the Kilkishen goal.

Aaron Curtis’ role grew in the second half with the Tulla netminder proving to have a vital role in ensuring the side that dominated the opening half managed to rescue a point.

First, Curtis made a goal-line save to stop Mark Pewter from nabbing an equaliser on forty seven minutes, an action that also ended Pewter’s involvement in the tie. Aidan Fawl’s header was the next opportunity for the hosts.

It was a case of third time lucky for Kilkishen, a deflection from a Cian Mulqueen corner fell to Sean Murphy who hit the target to the delight of the home support.

Curtis who had picked up a yellow card amid the growing pressure was forced to get a fingertips save to stop Conor Henry’s effort on seventy one minutes. Sean Murphy came close to doubling his tally but his header went above the crossbar.

Tulla had the final opportunity of the morning but Adam Kilker’s shot was saved by Paul Tuohy to ensure a draw.

Having shown their ability to match Avenue Utd and Newmarket Celtic for large spells, Tulla Utd will feel disappointed not to have prevailed in a game they would have targeted a return of three points. They completely switched off in the second half and only for their goalkeeper, would have headed home defeated.

Kilkishen who were minus four regular starters including Conor Cooney were the opposite, they took too long to get into the groove but slowly let their dominance on proceedings grow and will feel annoyed not to have collected a win.

While no side was victorious, the agreement was that in the event of a draw Kilkishen Celtic would keep the Snow Lynch, a club named in memory of one of the club’s founding fathers and an ex Tulla Utd player.

Presenting the trophy, Snow’s brother Jim Lynch recalled, “Snow was there right from the beginning, from the first time a ball was kicked by a Kilkishen player to his passing last February. He was a lifelong member of the club, he held every position in the club that the club had to offer including long-serving linesman, we’d a new linesman today Killian (Nugent), he wouldn’t be as fast as Snow. He was also a lifelong supporter, he never missed a match, even in his last days of his illness, he still turned up and he is probably here today with us in spirit.

“He was in Gleeson’s Bar in Kilkishen, the year 1979 when Mike ‘Wedgey’ McInerney was elected the first-ever Chairman, Mike was playing in goals for Quin and at the time was topping the league for most goals scored, you wouldn’t think it by looking at him today. Snow up to that had played for Tulla so it is fitting that it was Tulla we played for the club”.

Tulla’s links were important, Jim noted, “Tulla had a lot of attractions in the early days for a neighbouring parish, there was the cinema every Thursday and Sunday night, the great Westerns and horror films, then you had Dr Daly Park where we would flock to of a Sunday, headquarters of Clare hurling and home of the best goalie to ever touch a ball and we all know who that was, a fortress for Clare hurling teams. Then you had all those great pubs in Tulla, the Tulla boys like their liquor, Flans, Torpeys, Minogues, Teddys, the Anchor and of course they had the biggest attraction of all in Tulla and indeed East Clare, the blondes. There was always a connection with Tulla but mostly through soccer so I would like to thank Tulla for their closeness during the years, for the players that went to and frow over the past forty four years”.

“I’d like to thank a very good friend of mine Pat O’Halloran who donated the Cup, him and his family. His wife Trish and two sons, Eamon and Bryce, now living in Georgia, he left here in 1985 but a lot of him stayed behind like a typical Irish immigrant, he was at that first meeting in Gleeson’s Bar in 1989 and still had a great love for the team today, incidentally he has also played for both teams”.

Kilkishen Celtic: Paul Tuohy; Niall Donovan, Denis Murphy, Enda Murphy, Cormac Murphy; Steve Donnellan, Sean Murphy, Cian Mulqueen, Mark Pewter; Conor Henry, Aidan Fawl.

Subs: Subs: Johnny Fern for Pewter (50), Sean Cotter for S Murphy (77), Declan O’Reilly for Donnellan (77),

Tulla Utd: Aaron Curtis; Neil Callaghan, Dara Ryan, Kevin McNamara, Fionn Ryan, Jack McSweeney, Ayanb Aguterou, Éanna Culloo, Dan Withycombe, Sean Withycombe, Ray Bane.

Subs: Jashar Aliu for McSweeney (67), Diarmuid Molly for Callaghan (67), Eoin Hassett for Culloo (73), Adam Kilker for S Witycombe (83).

Referee: Brian Punch

Vital away win in West Clare for Lifford

Lifford FC 3
Kilrush Rangers
Venue: Gallery Park, Kilrush

Lifford recorded an important away win on Sunday morning to hold second spot in the Premier Division and stay just two points off league leaders Avenue Utd.

Darren O’Neill’s addition to Adrian Walsh’s side has been a huge plus and has been evident since his first appearance against Shannon Town in October. The Clare footballer had a big input to proceedings again as they downed Kilrush.

Eddie Prunty opened the scoring for Lifford on ten minutes, he was brought down by goalkeeper Eamonn O’Dea and slotted home the resulting penalty.

Goal number two arrived when Prunty delivered the ball which was met by the head of O’Neill and suddenly Lifford were looking cosy.

Dean Neary got the hosts off the mark on thirty minutes, he rifled a rebounded effort from Jamie Griffin’s shot to the net and offered a big lift to Michael Clair’s side.

They came close to equalising before the sounding of the half-time whistle, first Peadar O’Keeffe denied Ciaran O’Donoghue and then Neary was denied by the crossbar.

O’Neill delivered a long throw on the restart was deflected into the back of the net to make it 3-1 to put Lifford back in the driving seat after surviving some turbulence.

With fifty six minutes on the clock, Kilrush struck for their second goal when Neary again beat O’Keeffe.

Lifford: Peadar O’Keeffe; Fiachra Roche, Emmanuel Ikiebey, Chiby Okoye, John Ikiebey,; Clinton Bempah, Darren O’Neill, Ikem Ugwueru, Chuks Obadeyi, Emmanuel Obadeyi; Eddie Prunty

Subs: Paul Martin for C Obadeyi (57), Josh Ryan for E Obadeyi (57), Finn Woods for Bempah (76).

Kilrush Rangers: Eamonn O’Dea; Tomasz Zajas, Kirill Antonov, Sean Madigan, Tommy Lillis; Patrick Clair, Karl Murphy, Ciaran O’Donoghue, Norbert Knucki; Dean Neary, Jamie Griffin.

Subs: Richie Gajdecki for T Lillis (20), Dylan Russell for Gajdecki (74), Davy Foran for Griffin (83).

Referee: Mark Rellis

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Subscribe for just €3 per month

If you’re here, you care about County Clare. So do we. Did you rely on us for Covid-19 updates, follow our election coverage, or visit The Clare Echo every week for breaking news and sport? The Clare Echo invests in local journalism and we want to safeguard its future in our county. By becoming a subscriber you are supporting what we do, will receive access to all our premium articles and a better experience, while helping us improve our offering to you. Subscribe to clareecho.ie and get the first six months for just €3 a month (less than 75c per week), and thereafter €8 per month. Cancel anytime, limited time offer. T&Cs Apply. www.clareecho.ie.

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