South Tipperary soccer resumed at the weekend with the John Delaney Cup quarter finals.
TSDL champions, Clonmel Celtic overcame North Tipp side Cloughjordan to book their ticket in the semi-finals of the John Delaney trophy. Paddy O’Donnell opened the scoring for the home side but Cloughjordan were level at the break thanks to a goal from Michael Costello. Celtic got the upper hand in the second-half and goals from Paddy O’Donnell, David Joyce and Paul Kennedy saw them easy winners.
St. Michaels were full value for a 3-0 win over Nenagh AFC having the greater goal threat throughout in a competitive game at Cooke Park on Friday night.
The Tipp Town side took the lead on 16 minutes when John O’Brien robbed John Mitchell and his left wing cross saw Pa Quinn score at the second attempt. Thomas Shepherd was the mainstay at centre forward for Nenagh and nearly got in on 21 minutes from a neat Roy Creagh pass. Aaron Wall did well to gather a cross from John Mitchell on 29 mins. Pa Quinn hit the bar from a John O’Brien corner on 34 minutes. Darren Lynch’s header went straight at Robbie Ryan on 42 mins. Pa Quinn largely finished the game as a contest when he made it 2-0 on 43 just before the break from a Darren Lynch pass. The second half saw Saints search for a third goal and James Walsh headed over from a John O’Brien corner on 50 minutes. Both sides used their benches with Saints getting the vital third goal midway through the second-half when John O’Brien did well to find the net with a right foot shot. Paul Breen and James Walsh went close with Walshes chip hitting the post. Darren Lynch, always a threat, went close late on as Saints cruised into the semi final
Clonmel Town began the 2013/14 season with a victory in the Complex on Friday night last. Town started brightly and missed several chances in the opening quarter. After 23 minutes, Shane Murphy opened the scoring for the hosts when he finished after a good passing move. The same player added a second in the 29th minute when he tapped in from close range following a defensive mix-up. In the 43rd minute, Murphy completed his hat-trick, heading home a great Shane Flynn cross. The second half began with the Thurles scoring in the 50th minute. However any hope of a comeback was short lived as an Emmet Johnson brace in the 60th & 65th minutes put Town in control of the tie. Keith Cashman netted a fine solo effort in the 85th minute to cap a good performance for the host’s. Thurles capitalised on some sloppy Town defending to score two late consolation goals.
Nenagh Celtic are the sole North Tipperary representatives to make it to the last four as they beat Old Bridge by 6-1. Goals from Craig Connolly (2), Jimmy Hynes (2) and Mark Walsh (2) were the winners marksmen.
So the way is clear for the two semi-finals this week-end. St. Michaels and Clonmel Celtic have an early opportunity to size each other up. While the game will probably lack that real competitive edge and key players will be missing we should see an open game as both sides will continue team building and make full use of their panels as five substitutions are allowed in this competition.
The other semi-final sees Nenagh Celtic host Clonmel Town. A team from North Tipperary has never won this trophy and all hopes for this season rest with Nenagh Celtic. Both teams hit half dozen goals last week and one can expect another free-flowing attacking game here. Remember these games go straight to penalties If level after ninety minutes, no extra time.
Teams are now in the process of submitting affiliation fees and applications regarding entry to league and cup competitions. The TSDL management have the task this week of assigning clubs to the various divisions, not an easy task this season. While three teams have gone out of football three new clubs have come in which theoretically balances it up. However, one wonders are other teams in trouble and latest news is Glen Villa are gone out of football. Clubs are reminded all fees must be paid by 10th August.. Also another reminder for all clubs to familiarize themselves regarding the new registration rule.