Eoin Hayes’ early quickfire brace sent Newmarket Celtic on their way to a 6-1 thrashing of Lifford, and helped his side maintain their unbeaten start to the season.
Fresh from that double the Newmarket man justified his call-up to the Republic of Ireland amateur team for their double header against Northern Ireland with the winner in the first leg this Wednesday.
Hayes, who captained Ireland on the night in Dungannon, was on hand as strike partner Eoin Murphy knocked on a long clearance from keeper Gary Cunningham to bury the ball in the Northern net.
@Fai Amateurs V Northern Ireland Amateurs @DgnSwifts @NewmarketCeltic striker Eoin Hayes gave Gerry Davis's team the away win.@FAIGrassroots @FAIreland @LSLLeague @RockmountAFC @NewmarketCeltic @Striker1Online @olivercelticfc @TerryHealy2 @EamonScott1 pic.twitter.com/bcIxrciml4
— Terry Healy (@TerryHealy2) September 22, 2022
The return leg will be played in Whitehall, Dublin next Wednesday, September 28.
RESULT | Northern Ireland 0-1 Rep. of Ireland
Fantastic result in Dungannon as the Amateur International side make it three wins on the bounce as Eoin Hayes strike seals victory 🇮🇪
MOTM Stephen Chambers and goal scorer pictured at the final whistle ⤵️
— FAIreland ⚽️🇮🇪 (@FAIreland) September 21, 2022
Meanwhile, back in Clare, the Lifford match was viewed as a tricky assignment for 19-time Premier Division champions Newmarket, but they passed with flying colours.
Lifford AFC entered the game hurting from their Munster Junior Cup exit to Tulla United while they arrived at Steele Rock Park having won all three of their league games to date, including an opening round win over reigning champions Avenue United.
However, there was a mixture of youth and experience that shone through for Newmarket. Hayes, netted inside five minutes to give the winners the perfect start.
Davy McCarthy played an inch perfect defence splitting pass for Hayes to run on to as the Irish international made no mistake. Newmarket were rampant in the early stages as Lifford struggled to get their foot on the ball.
Dean Hegarty could have made it 3-0 with his effort travelling just the wrong side of the crossbar. However, the striker soon made amends as he tucked away a neat finish after a pinpoint Aaron Rudd cross.
Another perfect pass from Davy McCarthy found Harvey Cullinane who slotted home to give Newmarket Celtic a 4-0 half time lead. Lifford enjoyed their best period of the game after the break as Eoin Monaghan pulled a goal back to take away Newmarket’s clean sheet.
However, Paddy Purcell’s side were in little mood to show their opponents any mercy as Davy McCarthy rounded out an impressive display with a goal.
Cullinane returned the favour to McCarthy as he produced a sublime first touch and cross for the experienced McCarthy to score. Sean Perill rounded out the scoring as Newmarket sent out a statement of intent.
Newmarket Celtic: Shane Cusack, David O’Grady, Harvey Cullinane, Eoin Kelly, James Fahy, Jack Kelly, David McCarthy, Conor McDaid, Dean Hegarty, Eoin Hayes, Aaron Rudd.
Subs: Cathal Hayes, Tadgh Noonan, Billy McNamara, Sean Perrill, Ian Collins, Lee Creagan.
Lifford AFC: Rhys Phillips, Fiachra Roche, John Maher, Hamed Kuku, Chuby Okore, Sean Olanrewju, Keith Shea, Ethan Cronin, Levi Nlemoha, Nathan Rezende, Chuks Obadeyi.
Subs: Eddie Killeen, for Obadeyi, Gary McNaboe for Nlemoha, Dan Daly, for Maher, Eoin Monaghan for Okore.