Sunday 25 February 2018

Munster Junior Cup wins for Coachford and Park United

Kanturk's Martin O'Riodan in attack against Gary Keane Killarney Celtic in the Munster Junior Cup at Celtic Park, Killarney on Saturday. Photo by Michelle Cooper Galvin.
Kanturk's Martin O'Riodan in attack against Gary Keane Killarney Celtic in the Munster Junior Cup at Celtic Park, Killarney on Saturday. Photo by Michelle Cooper Galvin.

COACHFORD'S wonderful season goes from strength to strength as they swept past Limerick side Caherconlish to get into the last 16 of the Munster Junior Cup.

While the game was tougher than the scoreline suggests, Coachford have been in excellent form all season and, once they overcame a difficult first half hour, they scored relentlessly and finished comfortable winners.

Both sides settled quickly and worked hard for possession. Alan Jeffers broke the deadlock after 30 minutes when he finished off a goalmouth scramble following a free kick. Five minutes later midfielder John Corcoran twisted and turned his way past three defenders and fishished his mazey run with a first-time shot past the visiting keeper.

While Coachford led two-nil at the half-time break, their second goal marked the beginning of sustained Caherconlish pressure over the following 25 minutes of play. The visitors went closest with a well-hit shot off the post and they battled hard for further chances.

On the hour, however, the games swung Coachford's way when Alan Jeffers got his second goal. Coachford created the score well when a free was swung across the goalmouth, then headed back across the square to Alan Jeffers who also headed to score. That third goal was vital. Thereafter, the Limerick visitors created a few half-chances and made one shot on goal that Coachford keeper Peter O'Riordan saved.

Mark Long scored Coachford's fourth goal when he reacted quickly to a goalkeeping error. Then, much to the delight of the good home crowd, Alan Jeffers completed his hattrick to make it five-nil. The striker showed good goalpoaching skills as he collected a through ball from midfield, steadied himself and played his shot past the keeper and into the net.

Coachford play another Limerick side in the fifth round of this Munster Junior Cup competition: Pike Rovers, one of the favourites to finally lift the cup. A win will put Coachford into the quarter final and they also got to that stage last year. Tramore then ended their cup run with a two-one home win.

This coming weekend, Coachford have more cup action as they take on Douglas Hall in the fourth round of the AOH Cup. THIS home win put Park United into the fifth round and last 16 of the Munster Junior Cup, much to the delight of a good home crowd. Four different players scored for Park in a convincing, enjoyable performance that reinvigorated the club as they face into important league fixtures.

The visitors from Tipperary made an immediate impact when they went ahead after only six minutes. This goal made Park settle to their task and they gradually took command. On 35 minutes, Paul Masterson put a pass down the left wing for Shane Beston who ran onto the ball, shook off his marker and unleashed a powerful shot to equalise for Park.

Five minutes later Kenneth Barry put the home side ahead with a deceptive, in-swinging free kick that finished in the net. While Park took their 2-1 lead to halftime, a third goal shortly after the restart ended the contest. A sweeping, four player move finished with winger Paul Masterson finding the net for the best goal of the game. Shane Cahill made it 4-1 when he netted through a crowded area following a corner kick on 65 minutes.

Cloughjordan made a number of opportunities during the game but, overall, Park dealt with these competently. Keeper Kevin Deenahan made important stops when faced one-toone with an opponent and he dominated his area under high crosses when necessary.

The home side's wingers, Paul Masterson and Gary O'Connor, were also decisive with excellent play on the flanks and good supply to the forwards throughout the afternoon.

Park have made it to the last 16 in the Munster Junior Cup before. They now aim to reach the quarter finals for the first time and their next game in the competition will be away to Waterford Hibernians, some time in February.

Before that, however, Park have another important fixture at home to Springfield this weekend in their third Premier League game of the season. With three points on the board, this game has become a mustwin as the side aims to settle into a defence of their league title over the next few weeks. KANTURK AFC crashed out of the Munster Junior Cup after being on the receiving end of an 8-0 thumping from Killarney Celtic.

The game was switched to Celtic Park because the Kanturk pitch was not playable, but the Cork side just could not live with the firepower of a Celtic side that played with a great degree of flair, cohesion and spirit. Celtic led 2-0 at half time and although Kanturk did have chances throughout, the floodgates opened in the second half as the Kerry side put another six goals past the north Cork club.

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