Celtic and Manulla book places in next round of Junior Cup

Soccer: FAI Junior Cup

The two Mayo League sides in action of the last 64 of the FAI Junior Cup, booked their place in the last 32 of the competition with impressive wins over Munster opposition at home last Sunday.

Super League champions, Castlebar Celtic, hit the Tipperary outfit for five goals in a 5-2 come-from-behind win in Celtic Park, while Manulla were 2-0 winners over Springfield Rovers from Cork in Carramore.

Celtic's main man, Jordan Loftus, kept up his amazing scoring run this season, bagging two more goals to bring his tally to over 50 for the season in all competitions. The Hoops fell behind early on to a Chris Kelly goal from a corner just before the 20-minute mark; that lead lasted less than ten minutes with Loftus slotting home a low cross from Mark Howley to level it up.

On the half-hour mark, Vee Rovers hit the front again for the final time when Alan Condon slipped home his side's second goal from close range, Celtic struck back before the break with Ioseph O'Reilly heading home to level the game up at 2-2 before the break.

In the second half, the Hoops took control of the game and went into the lead for the first time, thanks to Ben Murphy's goal just before the 55-minute mark. Murphy added his second of the day with less than 20 minutes left to put Celtic 4-2 and the icing on the cake was added by Loftus, with his second goal three minutes from the break with an effort from outside the box that took a deflection on the way to goal.

Manulla continued their good showings in external competitions this season with a 2-0 win over Cork outfit, Springfield Rovers, at home last Sunday lunchtime. Gerry Canavan and Jesse Devers struck the goals for Shane Durkan's men in the first half, with Canavan's goal coming from the penalty spot ten minutes in and Devers strike six minutes before the break to set up the win and leave Manulla able to comfortably see out the second half and look forward to a last 32 tie in the New Year.

There is still one Mayo side left to play in the last 64 of the competition, when Westport United take on Balscadden or Liffey Wanderers at home on Sunday, December 15. In the TP Brennan Connacht Cup, Crossmolina exited the competition at the second round stage, going down 4-2 at home to Oughterard last Sunday.


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