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Stephen Kelly's absence was a huge blow to clare

Kelly’s goal seal’s FAI quarter final spot for Newmarket

Clonmel Town 0 Newmarket Celtic 1

Newmarket Celtic are through to the last eight in the prestigious FAI junior cup thanks to a hard earned victory over a fancied Clonmel Town side at Clonmel this afternoon.

The all important goal came eighteen minutes into the second half when, in a well rehearsed move, Stephen Kelly headed home from an Eoin Hayes corner. In an similar move Kelly scored against St.Michaels Tipperary in the previous round.

Kelly and his central defence partner Pat Purcell were outstanding for the Clare side as well full backs David O’Grady and Darren Cullinan.

The win sees the Clare champions continue their winning run this season and their attention now switches to the Munster junior cup and a quarter final tie in Cork next week

Today’s game was played in difficult conditions and there was little between the sides throughout the ninety minutes.

The home side made the better start and looked the more dangerous in the opening quarter. Newmarket goalie Niall Quinn saved well fromAidan McGrath after eighteen minutes. From here on the visitors came more into the game and Eoin Hayes, Colin Smyth, Michel Crosby and Dave McCarthy all came close with efforts on goal before Purcell saved Newmarket’s blushes when he cleared off the line three minutes before the half time whistle sounded.

Clonmel created the first chance of the second half but Niall Quinn produced an impressive save. Kelly’s goal delighted the big Newmarket following and also resulted in the home side piling on the pressure as they went in search of an equaliser,

However, they just could not break down a superb Newmarket defence and the Clare champions deservingly booked their place in the last eight.

Newmarket Celtic; Niall Quinn; David O’Grady, Darren Cullinan, Stephen Kelly, Pat Purcell; Ronan McCormack, Michael Crosby, Colin Smythe, Alan Kelly, Eoin Hayes, Dave McCarthy;

Subs; Brian Monahan for McCormack; Alan Brigdale for McCarthy; Daithi O’Connell for Crosby

By Seamus Hayes

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