The Munster Football Association new competition called the MFA League Champions Trophy kicks off this weekend. The competition is for the winners of the 12 affiliated Junior Leagues. Eight of these will be in action with four having byes to the quarter-finals.
The 12 Leagues in question are the Tipperary Southern & District League TSDL), North Tipperary & Dist (NTDL), Cork AUL, Cork Business & Shipping League, Clare League, Kerry League, Limerick & Dist., Limerick Desmond, Munster Senior League (Junior Section), Waterford & Dist., West Cork League and West Waterford & East Cork (WWEC). Instead of these winners participating in the Munster Senior Cup they will now have the opportunity to become the League Champions of Munster.
There are three Premier County teams participating with Clonmel Town representing the TSDL, Nenagh FC the North Tipp champions and Carrick United the Waterford champions. Should Clonmel Town and Nenagh FC progress they will meet each other in Clonmel in the last eight.
Clonmel Town versus Newmarket Celtic Preview
There should be a big turnout at the Dr. Pat O’Callaghan Complex for the visit of Clare champions Newmarket Celtic.
It is fitting that the Tipperary Southern & District League’s most successful side Clonmel Town should be representing the league. Town who lifted their 16th TSDL title in May have broken record after record since the formation of the league in 1977. Town, who broke their own record by winning six titles on the trot between 2004 and 2010, will be all out to become inaugural winners of this new trophy.
This season having misfired in their opening clash against neighbours Clonmel Celtic they have since found their rhythm. Town’s latest signing from Nenagh Celtic, Jimmy Hynes and Waterford Crystal FAI Junior Cup winner Martin Tynan are combining well in attack and between them are getting the majority of the goals. It’s beginning to look like Town have a settled side and on paper should overcome the challenge of Newmarket Celtic.
Newmarket Celtic from Newmarket-on-Fergus won only their second championship last season having a ten points to spare over Avenue United. So, little is known about them. Of course in a knock-out competition that can go to extra-time and penalties anything can happen. The big incentive is that if Town can overcome this hurdle they will have a ‘home’ quarter-final clash against either Nenagh FC who must travel to Kerry to face Killarney Celtic.
The full opening two rounds are:
Clonmel Town (TSDL) v Newmarket Celtic (Clare)
Killarney Celtic (Kerry) v Nenagh AFC (NTDL)
Kinsale (Cork AUL) v Douglas Hall (MSL)
Abbeyfeale Utd (Lk Desmond) v Bunratty Utd (West Cork)
Tile King (Cork B&S) v Kinsale or Douglas Hall
Inch Utd (West W’ford/East Cork) v Carrick Utd (Waterford)
Pike Rvs (Limerick District) v Abbeyfeale Utd or Bunratty Utd
Clonmel Town or Newmarket Celtic v Killarney Celtic or Nenagh AFC
FAI Umbro Junior Cup 1st Round Draw
The ‘blue riband’ trophy, the Umbro sponsored FAI Junior Cup kicks-off on Sunday, September 18 with teams from the Tipperary Southern & District League (TSDL), facing sides from North Tipperary & District League (NTDL) and the West Waterford/East Cork League (WWEC) in the opening four rounds. The six winners from the 4th Round will advance to the last 64 for the ‘open’ draw that will see them battle it out against the remaining sides from the rest of Ireland.
The draw which was made last Saturday in Cooke Park, Tipperary town home of the past two seasons’ finalists St. Michael’s FC has thrown up some interesting 1st Round ties. Of the eight 1st Round games the NTDL have six home draws with the TSDL having two. The remainder have byes into the second round.
The only Premier League side in action is Cashel Town who welcomes Railway Athletic from the WWEC to Cashel whilst 1st Division Galbally United welcomes NTDL side Templetuohy FC to the Co. Limerick village.
All the other TSDL sides are on the road with 3rd Division sides Burncourt Celtic visiting Drombane to face Clodiagh Rangers; Vee Rovers visiting Portroe to face Arra Rovers and Killusty visiting Loughtagalla Park, Thurles to face Borroway Rovers. 2nd Division Rosegreen Rangers visits the Greyhound Stadium to face Thurles Town and 1st Division Bansha Celtic travel up to North Tipp to face Ardcroney FC.
All teams playing outside the jurisdiction of the Tipperary Southern & District League must treat their game as a ‘home’ tie by contacting John Butler on the usual numbers after your game.