BOTH Clare Junior Cup semi-finals have been rescheduled for this weekend, which will also see the playing of the Youths Cup semi-finals, which are scheduled for Monday.
The junior games were cancelled last weekend as a mark of respect to the late Hugh Kelly.
The Junior Cup semi-finals will dominate proceedings this weekend and two exciting and lively contests are expected.
The County Grounds in Doora will host both ties with Bridge United B and Rock Rovers clashing on Saturday evening at 6pm.
Bridge, the surprise packets in this season’s competition, are chasing a league and cup double and they will be confident of emulating what Lifford B did last year when they got to the cup final.
Rock Rovers won this title in 2008 and many of the players who helped bring about that success, are still very much part of their team.
Their experience should swing this tie in their direction and come Saturday night, they should be making plans for another final appearance.
Sunday’s semi-final between Avenue United A and Bridge Celtic A is expected to be a very attractive affair. Avenue will enter the game with the league title safely secure since last week.
Adding interest to Sunday’s cup tie is what happened when the sides met in the league at Lees Road when the game was abandoned, a fact that has been well documented. Avenue lost all home games for the season as a result and when the sides met in the league at O’Briensbridge, the Ennis side came from behind to snatch a 4-4 draw.
This is the only Clare soccer title that the South East Clare club has never won. They have contested and lost four finals, two in the ’70s and two in the ’80s.
On paper, Avenue look the more settled side and will enter Sunday’s contest as favourites. At the end of what should be a close affair, they should just about be ahead.
Both games must conclude on the day so extra time and penalties will apply, if the need arises.
THE semi-finals in the race for the Michael O’Gorman Youths Cup will take place on Monday. Tulla United travel to Cassidy Park to play Lifford at 11am while Lees Road will be the venue for the meeting of Avenue Untied and Bridge United at 2.30pm.
The Ennis sides, Lifford and Avenue, could win through to the final but, no doubt, Tulla and Bridge United will be doing all they can to prove otherwise.
In the Clare area semi-final of the FAI Youths Cup, Newmarket Celtic will play Tulla United at McDonough Park next Thursday evening.
In event of a draw, there will be 10 minutes of extra time and penalties if necessary.