Celtic are last men standing in Junior Cup

Soccer: FAI Junior Cup

Castlebar Celtic are the only Mayo side left standing in the FAI Junior Cup after round four of the competition last weekend.

The Hoops booked their place in the fifth round following a 2-0 win over St Canice's in Celtic Park last Sunday, with Manulla crashing out at home, going down 2-0 to Fairview Rangers in Carramore.

Celtic, who are on a roll at the moment and recently claimed the Mayo Super Cup title, hit the front early doors when Luke Kelly chased down a long clearance from Stefan Hester, before firing the ball past Stephen O'Brien in the Canice's goal. All inside the opening 30 seconds to get his side off to the perfect start in a game that was play in tough wintery conditions.

Celtic had chances to double their lead in the first half with both Joe Levin and Johnny Cocozza going close during the half and Jason Hunt also came very close to making it 2-0 but saw his effort well saved by O'Brien in the Kilkenny side's goal.

The Hoops did have to wait long to go two to the good after the resumption of the action and it was Jordan Loftus who did the damage three minutes in, driving the ball to the back of the net from a free kick on the edge of the St Canice's box. Celtic kept the pressure up with Mark Cunningham and Paul Walsh going close to making it 3-0 but their efforts failed to cross the line. But Celtic were able to keep their visitors at bay and now look forward to a spot in the last 32 of the competition.

It was not to be for Manulla who came up short against the 2020 FAI Junior Cup winners Fairview Rangers at home, but it wasn't for the lack of trying with the Carramore side putting in a battling display. Fairview took the lead from the penalty spot after Conor Ellis was upended by Jack Livingstone in the Manulla goal; and Stephen Bradley found the net from the spot to give his side a 1-0 lead they took into the half time break with them.

Manulla survived an early second half onslaught from their visitors from Limerick and kept themselves right in the game and when they went chasing the equalising goal near the end, they left themselves open at the back and Jack Arra made no mistake finishing off a late counter attack from Fairview to seal the win and send Manulla packing.


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