Clare Soccer Round Up
Banner Carpets and Flooring Clare Cup Round 1
Bridge Utd A 1-0 Kilkishen Celtic
As expected, this was a game that saw Premier Division Bridge United pushed all the way by their near neighbours, with the East Clare side plying their trade in the second division of the league.
Cup ties rarely pay any heed to league standings, and while Bridge United came out on the right side of the result, they were certainly not handed anything easy.
The all important goal was courtesy of Jordan Downes with his first half header as the Bridge squeezed through and into the second round.
Lifford A 3-4 Tulla Utd
Both these sides might be struggling for league form, but they served up a high scoring encounter in this opening round cup tie.
It was the visitors to Cassidy Park who started well with the wind at their backs, and raced into a 2-0 lead by the half-time whistle. The first came when Craig McNamara made the most of a defensive lapse to open the scoring, and the lead was doubled soon after. Enda Murphy was the hero of the hour for Tulla, and he kickstarted his hat-trick with a fine finish after Joe O’Sullivan’s free-kick.
The Tulla men were dealt a blow just before the break after they were forced to continue with 10 men after an injury, but Murphy made light of it to grab his second and move them 3-0 clear. Lifford cut the gap from the penalty spot, but Murphy’s trio was completed in response to give Tulla some breathing space.
Another Lifford goal in the dying moments was not enough to change the result, as Tulla left Cassidy Park with their name in the second round pot.
Banner Carpets and Flooring Clare Cup Round 2
Cloughleigh Celtic 0-11 Newmarket Celtic A
It was always going to be a mammoth task for Cloughleigh as they went into this David v Goliath showdown.
The cup holders were in no mood for fairytales though, with their dominance asserted early on as they powered to a 6-0 half-time lead. There was no mercy shown, with another five goals added in the second period.
Kieran Mahony helped himself to a hat-trick over the course of the contest, with a brace each for Daithi O’Connell and Aaron Rudd. Stephen Kelly, Cathal Hayes, Ronan McCormack and David McCarthy also got on the board as the champions marched on.
Shannon Hibs A 5-0 Ennis Dons
Shannon Hibs ensured there would be no upset in this cup tie with a controlled performance to move into the next round.
They led 2-0 at the break, with the first half goals coming from Evan Barry and Jamie O’Shea.
There was no fuss about the second period either, as one from Jack Kelly and a brace from Dion Khetin saw Hibs run out deserving winners.
Lifford B 0-4 Mountshannon Celtic
There might be only a point between these two in the First Division standings, but there was only one clear winner of this tie.
The East Clare men were always in control, but only led 1-0 at the break after a tight opening period. Paddy Fitzgerald was the man that broke the deadlock and he added a second after the restart.
Niall Minogue and Kevin Drost were also on target for the winners as they eased into the next round.
Avenue Utd B 6-0 Moher Celtic A
Avenue United B were comfortable winners of this all First Division showdown to continue their strong form this season.
Thomas Hehir and Eoghan Thynne have been in fine goalscoring form this season, and both men notched two in this routine win.
Pas McDaid and Conor McDaid completed the scoring for the Ennis side to ensure their spot in the next round.
Maloney Garden Machinery Premier Division
Avenue Utd A 2-0 Shannon Town A
Avenue United moved to the top of the league standings with a confident over Shannon Town.
The Ennis side had Ronan Kerin to thank for this latest win, as he notched both goals to see them leapfrog Newmarket Celtic.
The top two will clash this weekend as they play out the remaining five minutes of their league clash which was abandoned last September in McDonough Park.
T Sheils & Company First Division League
Ennis Town 4-0 Corofin Harps
Ennis Town maintained their promotion push with a routine win over their mid-table rivals.
The tempo was set early on as Elias Kunz rattled the crossbar, but he atoned for it just before the half-hour mark with a fine strike from 15 yards out.
Kevin Keane was doing his utmost to minimize the damage in the Corofin goal but he could do nothing about Eoin Keenan’s tidy finish to make it 2-0. Kunz was on hand again as Town made it 3-0 before the break as they completed a blistering opening period.
There was no let up after the break and while the goals might have dried up, another one arrived in the closing stages as Donal O’Halloran slotted home the rebound after seeing his initial penalty saved.
Campion Insurance Second Division League Results: Coole FC 4-1 Bunratty Cratloe; Rhine Rovers 3-3 Bridge Utd B.
Suttons Lighting Third Division League
Connolly Celtic 2-0 Inch Crusaders
Kilmaley National School was the venue for this all parish derby, and it was Connolly who proved the masters as they taught Crusaders a lesson.
This one saw hurling colleagues square off with plenty in the way of bragging rights and local pride at stake, but it was two outsiders who would prove to be the difference on the scoreboard.
As expected, it was a tight and tense affair which looked set to be locked at 0-0 for the half-time whistle. That all changed just before it sounded, as Noel Casey sent Kilmurry Ibrickane native Kevin Tubridy on his way to fire a cracker to the top corner.
Fellow Kilmurry Ibrickane man Steven Moloney made sure of the points as he finished from close range after a teasing cross by Eoin Fitz with 20 minutes to play.
Both sides would finish with 10 men but it was Connolly who took the points to move six points clear at the top of the table.