*Paddy Purcell & Shane Cusack are expected to line out for Newmarket Celtic at the weekend. Photograph: Mark Hayes

One of the shortest games in the history of Irish junior soccer is to take place in Co Clare this weekend.

Mark Rellis will take charge of Saturday’s Maloney Garden Machinery Premier Division tie between Avenue Utd and Newmarket Celtic which will last for six minutes.

Last September, the first league encounter between the sides of the season had to be abandoned following an injury sustained by a member of the Ennis side in the final few moments of the contest. Newmarket had been leading 2-1 prior to the decision of match official Shane Hayes to call a halt to proceedings.

Not alone does the six minute contest add intrigue in itself but the match is of huge importance to the intentions of both clubs in being crowned league champions. David Russell’s Avenue currently sit at top of the table with 29 points however the Mark O’Malley managed Celtic have one game in hand and can take top spot should they secure the win at McDonough Park in the 6:30pm fixture.

The clubs also meet at 7pm in a key tie in the T Sheils & Company First Division League. Avenue are two points clear and also have a game in hand. It is seen as a pivotal clash in deciding who will win the First Division.

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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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