This Sunday at 2pm, we welcome Clonmel Celtic F.C. to Derryleigh Park for the Munster Junior Cup 4th round tie. This is our second time in three seasons to reach the 4th round, out of town stage (last 32) of the Munster Junior Cup. In 2013, we beat Avondale of Cork in the 4th round before losing out to Douglas Hall in Cork in the last 16. This year we are hoping to go a bit further but to get there we will have to defeat Clonmel Celtic, which will be a major challenge.
To even get to this stage of the competition is in itself a significant achievement. In fact, Newport is one of only 7 teams from the Limerick District League to make it this far and one of only two who currently do not play in the L.D.L. Premier League. The other L.D.L. teams are Moyross, Geraldines, Regional, Aisling Annacotty, Janesboro & Mungret Regional.
Both ourselves & Clonmel Celtic have each played four games in the Munster Junior Cup this season. In the four games, Newport have scored 19 goals and conceded 3, while Clonmel have scored 12 but have only conceded 1 goal. Dean Lenihan is our top marksman in the competition with 5 goals, while club captain, Brian ‘Clemy’ O’Sullivan has scored 4 having scored in each round of the competition. The top scorers for Clonmel in the Cup are Ian Barnes with 3, while Seanie O’Hara has scored 2 but was the scorer of the vital goal in Celtic’s 1-0 victory over Clonmel Town in the last round.
Clonmel Celtic, a club only founded in 2003, are the current leaders of the Tipperary Southern District League Premier Division and have also made it to the last 16 of the FAI Junior Cup after their 3-0 victory in Dublin last weekend over FC Sportslink Ailesbury. In fact they are currently undefeated in 17 games.
Newport may be slight under dogs ahead of Sunday’s game but are going into the game full of confidence after last weekend’s 7-0 win over Caherdavin Celtic, which moved us up to second place in Div 1A. Newport’s main focus this season is to try and gain promotion to the Premier Division of the Limerick District League but the league campaign will firmly be put to one side at 2pm on Sunday afternoon when Referee, Mike Monahan, blows his whistle to start this cup game. The players and management team of Dobs, Ger & Ailbe are really looking forward to the game and with no injury concerns, there is a full squad to pick from. We will have to bring our A game with us on Sunday but if we do, we will give it a right old rattle and will give 100% effort to win the game.
With a place in the last 16 up for grabs, there will be no quarter asked for or given. We are hoping for a large Newport crowd on Sunday to give plenty of vocal support to the lads and to give Clonmel a real Newport welcome. We are looking forward to a good sporting contest on Sunday afternoon and win, lose or draw; we also look forward to the après-match with the Clonmel Celtic players, management & supporters in O’Sullivan’s.
Best of luck lads, the whole of Newport is behind ye.