Munster Junior Cup, 3rd round
Cahir Park 4 Burncourt Celtic 0
Times have changed at Cahir Park AFC and with 12 changes to the squad that was involved this time last year, most would say it is for the better.
With the current Park squad under Michael Grace and Brian Ward playing a brand of football not too often seen at the Park in recent times, what promised to be a hotly contested game at Ardfinnan Road on Sunday saw bragging rights go completely the home team’s way as Celtic offered little in breaking down a stubborn rearguard.
Burncourt, now with former Park players Alan Ward and Chris English on board, had some early chances, one of note fizzing by Aaron Wall’s post on thirteen mins immediately followed by a wayward Ward free-kick.
With cahirparkafc.com Man of the Match Eamonn Wootton playing a leading role upfront, along with the speedy Paddy O’Donnell, the Burncourt defence were at times under severe pressure with Kevin McGuire and Martin Burke particularly impressive.
A very promising move on the left between a stand-out Dean Lonergan and O’Donnell saw Celtic keeper Jack English called into action. English would be busy also foiling a James Darcy shot across goal on 35, O’Donnell also causing havoc to produce a great attempt straight afterward.
All early plaudits however went English’s way on 43 mins when he confidently saved an O’Donnell penalty after Lonergan had been upended in the box.
Disappointed the Park redoubled efforts and were ahead within a minute with Wootton’s shot across the goal from the left squirming under English’s body.
The final attack of the half saw Cahir totally in control with McGuire doing well to clear a promising Pa Fitzgerald attack down the right, away for a corner which produced nothing to add to the host’s first-half goal-tally.
Within five mins of the restart, Lonergan and O’Donnell again combined well, the latter pushing the ball right for Darcy to provide a pinpoint pass for Eamonn Gleeson to sweep home from the edge of the area.
Wall would play a key role in the first Burncourt attack of note in the second half when he was quick to react to a Celtic free-kick. Immediately, with 57 mins gone, the home side were three clear with Wootton completing his brace when first to react in a crowded box to sidefoot home past English.
On the hour, the story got worse for the visitors, a Lonergan shot was cleared away. With the rebound heading for an open goal, the ball was handled on the goal-line. James Darcy was first up to provide a clinical finish past the Celtic netminder’s left after John Lyon’s whistle gave Cahir their second penalty of the day.
With the Park now in freeflow, a flying header from John O’Connor saw the centre-back almost make the best of O’Donnell’s corner kick.
Desperate to break their duck, Burncourt did apply the pressure in the closing stages but a back-four in impressive form saw to it that little would get past them on the day. Wall was however forced into making two fingertip saves to foil chances for the visitors, the second from another Ward free-kick.
With time petering out, the management saw fit to give a run to two more youths in a Park side that gets ever younger, Kevin Griffin and Pa Kenneally introduced on both flanks.
A clinical performance from a Cahir side who head to Waterford in the next open round with a tie against either Waterford Bohemains or Tramore Athletic the reward for today’s effort.
Cahir Park AFC: Aaron Wall, Pa Fitzgerald, Seanie Kiernan, John O’Connor, Dennis Peters, James Darcy, Eamonn Gleeson, Dean Lonergan, Daryl Peters, Eamonn Wootton, Paddy O’Donnell. Subs: Kevin Griffin for James Darcy, Pa Kenneally for Daryl Peters
The Park Ladies lost the Shield final 3-0 in Limerick on Sunday last. Thanks to everyone for such a great effort this year. We finished 2nd in the top division in Tipp this year which was a great achievement! Thanks to Eamonn, John, Taylor and Linda for all their effort all year.