Derek Dormer reports as Avenue United sweep Cork side St Mary’s aside on an 8-0 scoreline
Travelling away in Ireland’s most prestigious cup competition is never easy especially to Cork opposition but Avenue made little of this as they swept aside the challenge of St. Mary’s to book their place in round six of the FAI Junior Cup.
Only five minutes in and David Russell’s charges had the dream start when centre-forward Ronan Kerin rose highest to head home a well-taken Jamie Roche corner.
This early goal rattled the home side and Avenue, dominating possession, were unfortunate not to increase their lead when hitting the crossbar on 17 minutes from a super Roche effort.
On 30 minutes a magnificent 30-yard rocket from Dylan Casey rattled the post and one began to wonder was it going to be one of those days.
This fear was put to bed two minutes later when a lovely team move which included superb link play between Kerin and Tomas Hehir resulted in Hehir finishing neatly into the bottom corner from the edge of the area.
The Clare champions began to play with the freedom a two-goal lead allows and confidence was now sweeping through the team epitoimised by a wonder Elias Kunz strike into the top corner in the 36th minute.
The floodgates had opened and moments later an incisive Nnabuike Nneji pass freed up star forward Kerin who coolly slotted home.
The quality of Avenue’s passing led to a terrific team goal just before half-time as Mark Roche tapped home after a series of high quality passes involving almost all the players.
At half time this tie was effectively over with Russell’s men heading to the dressing rooms 5-0 up.
On the restart Avenue refused to rest on their laurels and kept up the pressure. This relentless attacking philosophy was rewarded again in the 58th minute with Callum Barrett getting in on the act.
The scoring wasn’t finished though as the highly impressive Tomas Hehir rifled home a rocket from 30 yards midway through the second period.
Avenue emptied their bench giving important game time to all substitutes but this didn’t halt their momentum as Nneji tapped home from close range from a quality Cullen McCabe cross.
Overall an outstanding performance away from home for last season’s league and cup champions but they will surely face a sterner test in the shape of Colga FC in the next round as they look to continue their tremendous run in Europe’s biggest cup competition.
Avenue United: Tom O’Brien, Jamie Roche, Conor Hehir, Conor Mullen, Dylan Casey, Eoghan Thynne, Mark Roche, Nnabuike Nneji, Ronan Kerin, Tomas Hehir, Eliaz Kunz. Subs: Callum Barrett for Kunz, Dylan Barry for Thynne, Cullen McCabe for Jamie Roche, Kaylan O’Loughlin for Mullen, Michael Dinan for Kerin