FAI Junior Cup: Last 16
Crettyard United v Killarney Celtic
Sunday at 2pm
Killarney Celtic will be hoping to move one step closer to their ultimate goal when they travel to Laois on Sunday to take on Crettyard United in the last 16 of the FAI Junior Cup.
Claiming the biggest trophy in Irish junior soccer has been very high on Celtic’s agenda in recent years and they have frequently reached the latter stages, perhaps most notably in 2017 when they suffered an agonising semi-final defeat at the hands of Sheriff YC of Dublin.
Domestic trophies have been plentiful in the past two seasons and Brian Spillane’s side are fancied by many to defend their Kerry league and cup titles again in 2020. The FAI is the one the Hoops really want, however, and their minds will be fully focused ahead of Sunday’s trip to the midlands.
There’s no such thing as an easy route to the last 16 of the FAI Junior Cup and Crettyard United have already overcome some tough opposition in this season’s competition. They needed penalties to see off Freebooters of Kilkenny in Round 4 and in Round 5 they defeated Mullingar Town after extra time.
United were handed a potentially difficult draw against Glenthorn Celtic in the last 32 but second-half goals from Bobby Dowling, Lee Salter and Colin Osborne propelled them to an impressive 3-0 win.
Crettyard also reached the last 16 in 2019 but they were defeated 3-1 at home by Glengad from Donegal.
They are currently third in the Carlow and District Football League Premier Division, a point behind joint leaders Hanover Harps and Slaney Rovers with two games in hand.
Celtic have been in terrific form all season, particularly in attack with the pacey Danny Roche and in-form striker Stephen McCarthy scoring goals for fun.
Led by experienced players like John McDonagh, Stephen O’Mahony, Podge O’Connor and Gary Keane, and with Matt Keane pulling the strings in midfield, the Killarney side will head to Laois full of confidence.
Paths to the Last 16
Round 2: Killarney Celtic 11-0 Shannonside (Desmond)
Round 3: Killarney Celtic 5-0 Coole (Clare)
Round 4: Grannagh Utd (Desmond) 1-3 Killarney Celtic
Round 5: Killarney Celtic 4-1 St Kevin’s Boys (LSL)
Round 6: Buncranna Hearts (Inishowen) 1-4 Killarney Celtic
Round 3: Crettyard United 2-1 Corach Ramblers (Wexford)
Round 4: Freebooters (Kilkenny) 1-1 Crettyard United (Crettyard won on pens)
Round 5: Mullingar Town (Westmeath) 3-4 Crettyard United (AET)
Round 6: Crettyard United 3-0 Glenthorn Celtic (Cork AUL)