Eoin Hayes topped off a memorable weekend with two goals from the bench for his country.
On Friday, Newmarket Celtic collected the Maloney Garden Machinery Premier Division title with a 6-1 win over Shannon Olympic. Hayes is integral to their side and has been a central force in their crowning as League and Cup champions in Clare.
Managed by Liam Murphy, Celtic went the entire league campaign unbeaten, racking up seventeen wins and one draw. They finished with fifty two points, sixteen ahead of their nearest challengers and last year’s league champions, Shannon Town. An extra time Clare Cup final win over Avenue Utd saw Newmarket complete a remarkable seven in a row. Outside of the county, they were knocked out at the semi-final stage in both the FAI and Munster Junior Cup.
Hayes was representing his country on Sunday, lining out with the Republic of Ireland Amateurs who played England C in a friendly at Home Farm. The twenty eight year old was the match winner, netting twice when brought on by Gerry Davies as they recorded a 4-2 victory, earlier strikes from Shane Stritch and Paul Murphy were cancelled out by Luke Pennell and Tom Walker.
Speaking after the game, Eoin who also picked up his fourteenth cap was very happy to get on the scoresheet. “It doesn’t get any better than that. I knew coming on that the game would open up and both goals were put on a plate for me”.
“They were a top side, technically very good. Gerry had us drilled from the start not to give them any respect on the ball, to get in amongst them, I thought we did that fantastically well”, he added.
Normally, Eoin is joined in the Irish ranks by his clubmate Stephen Kelly but the Oscar Traynor captain is still struggling with an ankle injury. The striker says it will be another few weeks before Kelly can return to action but is hopeful he will be in contention for the UEFA Regions Cup. “He’s two or three weeks out, if you’re not right you can’t play, these games are so fast and high tempo and he’ll be back in the mix in the next few weeks”.
Video highlights from The Herald Striker.