*Ronan Tuohy struck the decisive goal to see Bridge Utd beat Kilkishen Celtic. Photograph: Natasha Barton

BRIDGE UTD, Avenue Utd A and Newmarket Celtic are all waiting in the last four of the Ennis Carpets Clare Cup.

They sealed their passage to the semi-finals with wins last weekend and on Sunday the last club to join them will be confirmed after Avenue Utd B and Fern Celtic to battle in Roslevan.

Bridge book semi-final place

Bridge Utd 1
Kilkishen Celtic 0
Venue: Kilkishen

Bridge Utd secured their place in the last four after battling past neighbours Kilkishen Celtic in a hard-fought contest on Sunday morning in Kilkishen.

A brilliant start from the hosts failed to yield a goal and this was ultimately the difference as had they backed up their early momentum with a goal, their belief would only have sky rocketed.

Mark Pewter was denied on four minutes and Aidan Fawl was stopped by the post with eight minutes played as they went in search of the opener. Bridge Utd would settle from here and they successfully weathered the storm.

Paul Tuohy who formerly lined out between the posts for Bridge was called into action on eleven minutes when stopping Alan Mulready’s attempt.

Just after the half hour mark, Bridge Utd took the lead when Ronan Tuohy fired to the left corner of Paul Tuohy’s net, Lee Mulready gave him the pass and this strike proved to be sufficient in sending them through to the semi-finals.

When the second half commenced, it was Kilkishen who threatened an equaliser with Pewter’s shot saved by John Mulready while they should have done better to make a corner count with sixty one minutes played.

Both Derek Fahy and Brian Corry strengthened the Bridge attack when introduced with Corry having three goal chances in the space of five minutes as they gradually quietened the challenge of their neighbours.

It ends aspirations of silverware this season for Fergus Donovan’s Kilkishen who have certainly had a progressive season in the top flight of the league and reaching the last eight of the Clare Cup. They still have important games to see out their campaign but when looking back on this match, they’ll be aware they failed to capitalise on their glorious start where it mattered most.

Mark Culbert’s Bridge have now eliminated three Premier Division to deservedly claim their place in the semi-finals, the conquest of Kilkishen follows previous victories against Lifford FC and Shannon Town. They are improving as the campaign continues and are well capable of finishing out the year on a high.

Bridge Utd: John Mulready; Luc Fitzpatrick, Alan Mulready, Liam Flynn, Ciaran Monaghan; Christy Griffin, Leon Kelly; Lee Mulready, Ryan Perez, Jack O’Halloran; Ronan Tuohy.

Subs: Brian Corry for Perez (58), Derek Fahy for O’Halloran (58), Aidan Moloney for Flynn (64)

Subs: Brian Corry for 10; Derek Fahy for 7 (both 58), Aido for 5 (64),

Kilkishen Celtic: Paul Tuohy; John Cooney, Conor Cooney, Denis Murphy, Cormac Murphy; Enda Murphy; Christy Philpott, Cian Mulqueen, Paddy Fitzgerald; Aidan Fawl; Mark Pewter.

Subs: Cathal MacNamara for Mulqueen (59), Sean Murphy for E Murphy (76), Denis Fahy for Fitzgerald (79), Oisin Kavanagh for J Cooney (86), Fionn Hickey for Pewter (90),

Referee: Julian Sandford

Avenue Utd survive stern Sporting test

Avenue Utd 2
Sporting Ennistymon 1
Venue: Lahinch

Windy conditions impacted on proceedings in Lahinch on Sunday and reigning champions Avenue certainly didn’t sail into the penultimate stage.

Indeed they received a major fright when falling a goal behind on twenty one minutes. Sean McConigley played an excellent delivery to Ciaran McMahon who finished to the bottom left corner of the Avenue goal which was manned by Paul Roche.

Ronan Kerin. Photograph: Joe Buckley

At the other end, the wind helped to cause a mishap from a Sean Conneally kickout as it hit the head of Avenue skipper Ronan Kerin who then ran onto the ball and equalised before the half-time whistle.

Conneally made saves from the Roche brothers Jamie and Mark plus he managed to stop former Sporting Ennistymon player Nnabuike Nneji from putting Avenue Utd ahead.

Kerin netted the winner on sixty five minutes after Steven McGann provided the assist. McGann was surprisingly substituted by Avenue’s management not long after this with the decision to play Nneji in a more offensive role was another to raise eyebrows.

Regardless if eyebrows are up or down, Avenue Utd are still on course to win the double as they also sit pretty at the top of the Premier Division table.

Avenue Utd: Paul Roche; Cullen McCabe, Conor Mullen, Dylan Casey, Jamie Roche; Eoghan Thynne, Mossy Hehir, Mark Roche, Nnabuike Nneji, Ronan Kerin.

Subs: Dylan Barry for McGann (61), Gary Roche for M Roche (90)

Sporting Ennistymon: James Conneely; Thierry Bouton, Evan McNamara, Peter Collins, Joe Gallagher, Johnny Millar, Ciaran McMahon, Darren McNamara, Cathal McConigley, Sean McConigley, John Forson

Subs: Egnaldo Pires, Matthew Crowe, James Monaghan, Darragh Flynn.

Referee: Michael Rock

O’Brien hat-trick does the job for Newmarket Celtic

Newmarket Celtic 4
Shannon Olympic B 1
Venue: McDonough Memorial Park, Newmarket-on-Fergus

As expected, Newmarket Celtic advanced beyond the challenge of Shannon Olympic’s second string on Sunday morning.

Gearoid O’Brien scored a hat-trick for Paddy Purcell’s side with captain Eoin Hayes also getting in on the scoring.

Josh Lindsay who earlier this season was sprung from the bench for Newmarket Celtic when Avenue Utd eliminated them from the FAI Junior Cup back in November and has since joined Olympic, pulled a goal back for the Shannon side at the beginning of the second half.

Gearoid O’Brien controls the ball. Photograph: Joe Buckley

Gary Leahy who is another player to have departed Newmarket Celtic for Olympic B, came close to lowering the deficit but missed from five yards, he had been involved with Celtic’s B team prior to Christmas.

After the minor hiccups, Celtic regrouped and struck their fourth goal via Eoin Hayes to send them through to the semi-finals.

Recent performances and team selection will need to be improved if Newmarket wish to finish the season with further silverware.

Newmarket Celtic: Shane Cusack; Cian Foley, Colin Smyth, Harvey Cullinan, Ethan Fitzgerald, Jack Kelly, Nathan Boaventura, Kevin Harnett, Tadhg Noonan, Eoin Hayes, Gearoid O’Brien.

Subs: Cael Gaffney for Foley (70), Eoin Kelly for Harnett (74), Davy Lennon for Boaventura (76).

Shannon Olympic B: Damien Casey; BJ Cantillon, Ciaran McKee, Julian Woods, Patrick Devanney, Rob Wall, Mark McPhillips, Ciaran Keane, Darren Lindsay, Gary Leahy, Josh Lindsay.

Subs: Michael Hasty for Cantillon (HT), Sean McDonald for Wall (65) (inj)

Referee: Brian Punch

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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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