Nearly 600 teams throughout Ireland set out on the ‘Road to the Aviva’ in September 2012 with the dream of appearing in this season’s historic final of the FAI Junior Cup at the Aviva Stadium, Dublin Now it is down to the last 32.
Of that 32 just three from Co. Tipperary have survived. There are two representatives from the Tipperary Southern & District League and one that ply their wares in the Waterford & District League. All three are on the road. By the way Carrick United awaits the winners of Regional United (Limerick) or Tullamore AFC 5th Round tie that takes place this Sunday.
Carew Park versus Clonmel Town
Clonmel Town winners of this ‘Holy Grail’ of Junior Football in 1994 travel to Limerick city where they will face fellow Munster side Carew Park AFC on Sunday afternoon 13 January at 2 pm.
Carew Park are the surprise packet in Limerick soccer this season. They are undefeated at top of the League ahead of the likes of champions Pike Rovers. In the last round Carew Park defeated seven time winners and neighbours Fairview Rangers and will be highly fancied to repeat that success especially on ‘home turf’. The Shannonsiders are odds on favourites with the bookies to reach the last 16..
Clonmel Town have not contested a final since 1994 success, but have been semi-finalists on numerous occasions, the last in 2010. Clonmel Town who defeated Wexford side Moyne Rangers in the last round will be the underdog in this tie, as Town are currently going through a transition phase. However, Town might be outsiders, but never underestimate them when it comes to cup football.
Terenure AFC versus Clonmel Celtic
It is the rocky road to Dublin for Clonmel Celtic where they will face United Churches Football League Premier Division leaders Terenure AFC at the VEC Sports Grounds, Templeogue Road, Terenure, Dublin 6 this coming Saturday 12 January at 1 pm.
Terenure AFC has this season become the top dogs in the UCFL Premier League and are unbeaten and table toppers. It is the first time that Terenure AFC have reached this stage and will be all out to prove that with ‘home’ advantage they can defy the odds and reach the last 16.
Clonmel Celtic will go into this tie as odds on favourites after reaching the semi-finals of this national competition for the first time last season. Likewise, Celtic are undefeated table-toppers in the TSDL Premier League and are looking to become the next major force for soccer in Clonmel.
This outing could become the proverbial ‘banana skin’ for Celtic, having been let off the hook in the previous round. On that occasion Celtic was 2-0 down away to another unknown outfit, Cork AUL’s Killumney United, only to recover and snatch a 3-2 victory in extra-time.
Whatever the outcome, the Tipperary Southern & District League would like to wish it representatives Clonmel Town and Clonmel Celtic the best of luck.