MUNSTER JUNIOR CUP ROUND 3
ST. MICHAEL’S 4-1 CLONMEL TOWN
Games between two of the TSDL’s biggest sides always have an edge to them but the home side have been in the ascendency for the past few years and Sunday’s latest instalment in the rivalry was no different as the Saints cruised into the last 32 of this year’s Munster Junior Cup at the expense of their Clonmel Town counterparts.
The home side were on top for much of the game and a scoring blitz either side of the interval was decisive in the end. There were a couple of chances from both sides in the first ten minutes of the game as the teams were still shaking off the excesses of the Christmas dinner, the supporters had to wait until almost midway through the half before they saw the net shake, when following good work from Richie Ryan and Jimmy Carr saw the ball crossed into the Town area where David Slattery rose well to head to the net.
Like busses however, after waiting a while for one, two come along within a minute and the visitors hit back immediately when a long ball was knocked down by Craig Guiry and though he looked to have a bit to do Evan Maguire got to the ball first to flash a shot past Derek Breen.
The game was nip and tuck for the next quarter of an hour without any real chances being made, and it looked like it was going to go to the break level under a minute from time a foul on Jimmy Carr brought a free kick for the hosts that Joey Mulcahy dropped over the Town keeper and into the net. Fortunate it may have been but it was enough to give the home side the lead when they broke for the tea.
Any hopes Town had of staging a comeback were quashed quickly as Saints hit two goals at the start of the half to seal the tie.
Firstly they won a free on the right after Richie Crowe fouled Chris Higgins and Joey Mulcahy turned Shane Ryan’s low free past O’Callaghan to make it 3-1, and the cheers had barely died down when a silly foul on Jimmy Carr in the area a minute later saw a penalty awarded and Mulcahy tucked away the spot kick to give himself a hat trick and his side a 4-1 lead, before five minutes of the second period had barely elapsed.
Town battled away but couldn't prise open the Saints defence as the game went on, but the home side were more than content to sit back and try to hit again on the break. In the end no more goals were added and the hosts moved smoothly into the open draw section of a competition that they will have their eyes on in terms of honours by season end.
CLONMEL CELTIC 2 V 0 ST. MICHAEL’S B
St Michael’s second were also in action on Sunday last as they attempted to make it a historic double by seeing both sides make the open draw of this prestigious competition, but Clonmel Celtic have been in fine form of late and set up a Munster Junior Cup trip to Cork in the New Year after successfully overcoming the visitors on Sunday.
With no game in three weeks and facing a team on a good run, Celtic couldn’t afford to be below par and they delivered a solid performance being good value for the two goal win.
The hosts started the game well but it was the visitors who came closest to breaking the deadlock in the early stages. Danny O’Brien flashed an effort that was just off target on ten minutes and three minutes later Saints B came even closer when Donal Leahy's snapshot struck the upright. Celtic heeded the warning and went in front on 23 minutes when Seanie O’Hara slipped in behind a Saints defender and lifted the ball over the advancing keeper for a smart finish.
The goal rocked the visitors who were giving as good as they got at this stage and Celtic got on top for the remainder of the half without however creating many clear cut chances. The Saints keeper did do well to push away a Seanie O’Hara effort before comfortably saving a long range effort from Cian O’Sullivan.
One behind at the break the visitors were still very much in this tie but they were never really able to exert enough pressure on Celtic in the second period. In fact Celtic grew stronger in the second half with Michael McNulty dictating play in the centre as the Clonmel side took control.
They couldn’t quite finish off the tie as a contest though with the Saints keeper denying both Kyle Ryan and Jack Purcell midway through the half. With just one goal in it there was always a chance for the visitors and they nearly drew level with Ben Cooney doing well to stop a Danny O’Brien header.
The Saints keeper produced an excellent save from Kyle Ryan with eight minutes remaining getting a hand to a powerful effort from the Celtic striker.
With just three minutes left Celtic finally put the game to bed with a well worked goal. Paul Kennedy began the move with an excellent cross field pass to Seanie O’Hara and Kennedy was on the end of O’Hara’s cross to set up Jack Purcell who swept the ball to home to seal a two nil win and passage into Round 4 of the Munster Junior Cup.