Avenue United picked up the Michael O’Gorman Youths Cup at the weekend when defeating Newmarket Celtic following a dramatic penalty shootout.
Avenue Utd 3-3 Newmarket Celtic (Avenue win 5-4 on penalties)
Venue: County Grounds, Doora.
Despite taking the lead on three different occasions during normal and extra time, Newmarket Celtic failed to shake off the Avenue challenge and they suffered an extremely painful consequence as a result.
Shane Mullaney gave Celtic the lead twelve minutes into the contest heading past James Tierney in the Avenue goal.
Managed by Brian Arthur, Newmarket Celtic were punished for their indiscipline as the dismissal of former Clare Kennedy Cup player, Adam Gilbert on the thirtieth minute proved to be a game-changing moment. Indeed they were without central defender Conor McCarthy who was serving a suspension having picked up a red card in the side’s last outing.
Ten minutes in the wake of Gilbert’s sending off, Avenue got their first goal of the game via the boot of Dean Malone who was on the receiving end of a Kieran Thynne through ball which had the sides level pegging at half-time.
Newmarket raced in front with sixty seven minutes on the clock as John Gregario leathered the ball to the back of the Avenue net.
With stoppage time almost up, a cross from Kieran Thynne and he found dangerman Ronan Kerin perfectly who made no mistake in slotting past Cathal Finucane to send the tie to extra time.
To their credit, Celtic after another suckerpunch got back to business and with less than five minutes played in the first half of extra time they put their noses in front once more courtesy of a goal from Clare minor, Liam O’Connor.
Again it looked like Avenue would have to settle for second best. Captain, Ronan Kerin had other ideas as he beat the Newmarket defence and keeper to pick up his second goal of the evening with over one hundred and five minutes of football played to ensure penalties would be needed to separate the sides.
Both captains were first up in the shootout with Newmarket’s Cathal Hayes being denied while the ever-reliable Ronan Kerin put Avenue in the lead. Clare Oscar Traynor panellist, Ian Collins got Celtic back on track and this was followed by a brilliant Cathal Finucane save to deny Michael Whelan.
As the score stood 1-1 in the shootout, strikes from Damien Halpin, Cian Ward and Liam O’Connor hit the net for Newmarket while Kieran Thynne, Sean Kennedy and Michael Gunaid ensured there was no gap between the sides. James Tierney proved to be the hero as he denied Aaron Rudd to crown Avenue Cup champions.
Avenue Utd: James Tierney, Michael Gunaid, Tadhg Murphy, Tadhg Connellan, Mikey Whelan, Kieran Thynne, Pat McDaid, Aidan Kennedy, Nzube Okoye, Ronan Kerin, Sean Kennedy. Subs: Dean Malone for Okoye, Keith Shea for Malone, Sam Ogundare for Murphy.
Newmarket Celtic: Cathal Finucane, Simba Makoni, Dylan McLoughlin, Liam O’Connor, Shane Mullaney, Adam Gilbert, Ian Collins, Cathal Hayes, Andrew Russell, John Gregorio, Aaron Rudd. Subs: Damien Halpin for Russell, Cian Ward for Gregario.
Referee: James Ferns.