*Harvey Cullinan celebrates for Newmarket Celtic. Photograph: Natasha Barton

NEWMARKET CELTIC, Bridge Utd and Shannon Town all advanced to the fourth round of the Munster Junior Cup.

Celtic recorded an important psychological win over rivals Avenue Utd while Bridge Utd proved too strong for Shannon Olympic and Shannon Town prevailed against Shannon Hibs in a town derby.

Newmarket make their mark against Avenue

Newmarket Celtic 2
Avenue Utd 1
Venue: McDonagh Memorial Park, Newmarket-on-Fergus

There may have been no silverware on offer for this encounter but with it being the first meeting of the sides this season there was an awful lot at stake.

Newmarket needed to quell Avenue’s dominance having fell short to them in both the League and Cup last season along with bowing out of this competition at their hands.

It added to the atmosphere at a tense Newmarket-on-Fergus on Sunday morning with the rivalry between the two clubs now returning to its peak.

Wet conditions added to the physicality of the contest with plenty of hits and tackles through the early exchanges. Newmarket appeared to have the bulk of the possession but didn’t equate this to mounting any credible opportunity to test Paul Roche.

When Avenue began to settle, they caused problems and started to probe. This resulted in David Russell’s men taking the lead on twenty eight minutes when Elias Kunz got his head to a Stephen Jordan cross to put the ball past Shane Cusack. The ball fell towards Jordan after Cusack had saved an Eoghan Thynne effort, this chance arising after Aaron Rudd lost possession for the hosts.

For the final five minutes of the half, the pendulum swung behind Newmarket. Roche had to scramble to keep the ball off his line from a David McCarthy corner on forty one minutes while Gearoid O’Brien failed to get a touch to a McCarthy free in the last chance of the half to ensure it was Avenue leading 1-0 at the interval.

Although they trailed at this stage, Newmarket would have taken hope from how they finished the half and in their heads would have believed the dam was about to burst.

Darragh Leahy was on his way to equalising in the first chance of the second half only for an excellently timed tackle by Conor Mullen forced a corner which resulted in Paul Roche comfortably saving a Jack Kelly header on forty nine minutes.

Pressure continued to be applied by the Celtic attack with a double save from Roche and then Dylan Casey denying the hosts from getting back on level terms.

Perseverance paid off for the hosts when centre half Harvey Cullinan headed a David McCarthy corner to the back of the net on fifty three minutes.

Less than two minutes followed before Cullinan had Roche picking the ball out of the net again. Newmarket punished their opponents from a set piece for the second play in a row, McCarthy once more provided the assist, this time from a free after Nnabuike Nneji picked up a yellow card for a foul on Eoin Hayes.

Remarkably Newmarket wouldn’t put together another decent goal chance for the remainder of the game while substitute Ronan Kerin had two opportunities to put the 2021/22 double champions on level terms but he was denied by a Shane Cusack save on sixty eight minutes before blasting over from close range on seventy three minutes.

Of little surprise to any of the spectators was the fact that Michael Rock had to dish out a red card before the end of proceedings. It was Avenue centre half Conor Mullen given his marching orders following an altercation with Darragh Leahy, his teammate Nneji Nnabuike was fortunate to not have joined him. That said Avenue will be annoyed that Aaron Rudd stayed on the field for his first half tackle on Mark Roche and that they didn’t get a penalty for this incident.

Paddy Purcell will be very pleased with how his new additions stood up in this derby. Not alone did Harvey Cullinan win the game with his two goals but he was rock solid in the heart of their defence, such is his ability that the former Sheffield Utd player is destined to climb the ranks once again. Darragh Leahy proved to be a thorn in Avenue’s side while Kevin Harnett and Eoin Hayes were excellent for the winners.

When they defeated Newmarket in both the Cup final and League showdown last season, Avenue brought more physicality and hunger than their opponents, it wasn’t the case on this occasion and this was particularly notable in the centre of the field. It’s a game that they won’t forget in a hurry and one that will fuel their motivation for the months ahead, they reached the last sixteen of the Munster Junior last season and will be disappointed to bow out so early. Conor Mullen, Elias Kunz and Nneji Nnabuike were prominent for the Ennis side.

For the neutrals, the rebirth of this rivalry will be a joy to watch and makes their upcoming clashes in the Maloney Garden Machinery Premier Division must-see encounters. This battle was won by the men in red and white, who will win the war of 2022/23 is still all to play for.

Newmarket Celtic: Shane Cusack, James Fahy, Harvey Cullinan, David O’Grady, Aaron Rudd, Kevin Harnett, Jack Kelly, Gearoid O’Brien, Eoin Hayes, David McCarthy, Darragh Leahy.

Subs: Dean Hegarty for O’Brien (54), Ronan McCormack for McCarthy (69), Cathal Hayes for Harnett (82), Tadhg Noonan for Leahy (87)

Avenue Utd: Paul Roche; Cullen McCabe, Conor Mullen, Dylan Casey, Conor Hehir, Nneji Nnabuike, Stephen Jordan, Eoghan Thynne, Callum Barrett, Mark Roche, Elias Kunz.

Subs: Ronan Kerin for Barrett (55), Mossy Hehir for Jordan (55), Kaylan O’Loughlin for C Hehir (90), Cian McDonough for Thynne (90).

Referee: Michael Rock

Corry brothers send Bridge on their way

Bridge Utd 3
Shannon Olympic 1
Venue: Sixmilebridge

Bridge Utd may have trailed at half time but they crucially led at the sounding of the final whistle to advance to the fourth round of the Munster Junior Cup.

A poor first half display would have irritated Bridge Utd but they kept their composure and hit Shannon Olympic for three goals in the second half.

It was the Corry brothers who stood up on the scoring stakes. Paul Corry dispatched two penalties to the net while his older brother Brian converted a free kick to decide the outcome in the second half.

Bridge Utd: Luke Woodrow, Jason Whyte, Michael Carr, Brandon O Halloran, Storm Devanney, Kieran Quinlan, Adam Fitzpatrick, Conor Deasy, Brian Corry, Paul Corry, Leon Daly

Subs: Steve Stewart for Deasy, Ronan Tuohy for Whyte, Eoin Keenan for O Halloran, Leon Kelly for Quinlan, Christy Carey for Fitzpatrick

Shannon Olympic:

Town too strong for Hibs in Shannon derby

Shannon Town Utd 5
Shannon Hibs 2
Venue: Lynch Park, Shannon

Charlie Morrison scored twice as Shannon Town sealed their place in the fourth round of the Munster Junior Cup.

It was 2-0 to the hosts before Gary Leahy pulled a goal back but Steo Dolan’s Town side responded well to build up a 5-1 advantage only for Billy Connors to net a late consolation goal for the First Division side.

Along with Morrisson, Ben O’Neill, Rory Hayes and Aaron Kelly hit the target for the winners.

Shannon Town Utd: Shane Russell, Cody Waller, Fionn McInerney, Steve Carroll; Liam Boland, Colin Curran, TJ O’Dwyer, Aaron Kelly, Ben O’Neill; Charlie Morrison, Kieran Hackett.

Subs: Eoghan Gough, Rory Hayes, Eoghan Casey.

Shannon Hibs: Damien Casey; Josh Lindsay, Pa Devanney, Alex Cole, Stephen Tuohy; Rob Wall, Jamie O’Shea, Jamie Egan; Chris Dunning, Billy Connors, Gary Leahy.

Subs: Bobby O’Connell for Cole, Liam Delaney for Wall, Darren Lindsay for O’Shea, Jack Hannah for Egan.

Vital three points for Kilrush Rangers

Kilrush Rangers 5
Mountshannon Celtic 1
Venue: Gallery Park, Kilrush

Kilrush Rangers moved to seventh position in the Maloney Garden Machinery Premier Division with a storming 5-1 victory at home to Mountshannon Celtic on Sunday morning.

Goals from Jack Cleary, Luke Talty, Dean Neary, Godwin Chiokoye and Danny Clancy saw them collect their first three points of the season and leave Mountshannon rooted to the bottom of the table with no wins from their six league outings.

It’s a valuable three points for the West Clare side who have now overtaken Tulla Utd, Michael Clair’s men will hope to get a bounce from the win.

Kilrush Rangers: Joseph Quirke, Tomasz Zajas, Thomas Clair, Kirill Antonov, Alan Behan, Luke Talty, Patrick Clair, Dean Neary, Norbert Kunicki, Danny Clancy, Godwin Chiokoye.

Subs: Trevor Clancy, Jack Cleary, Patryk Potemski, Gearoid Sheedy, Josh Neary.

Mountshannon Celtic: Martin Cunningham, Niall Minogue, Oran Scanlan, Brian Rodgers, Sean Brown, Dylan Bebbington, Ronan Dooley, Niall Dear, Cathal Doyle, Michael Barrett, Paddy Fitzgerald.

Subs: Rhys McNamara, Ben Harrington.

Banner Fire First Division:
Connolly Celtic 1-2 Shannon Town B
Kilkishen 1-2 Newmarket Celtic B

Brian Pyne Tiles Second Division:
Bunratty Cratloe 3-4 Avenue United B
Inch Crusaders 2-0 Fern Celtic

Brownie’s Barbershop Third Division:
Tulla United B 1-8 Fairgreen Celtic
Shannon Town C 0-5 Bridge Celtic

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