KILLARNEY Celtic’s dreams of ultimate FAI Junior Cup glory were put on ice for another season, and in a cruel manner, when they lost out to Limerick side Fairview Rangers in a tense penalty shootout.
Celtic suffered heartbreak in a 4-2 spot-kick drama as Celtic Park in Killarney hosted the glamour quarter-final clash on Saturday.
It was an incredibly tight game all through with both defences well on top although Celtic looked the better side for much of the first half when they dominated possession.
The Killarney side’s first big chance came in the 33rd minute when Wayne Sparling won a free and Stephen McCarthy forced an alert save from the Fairview keeper.
McCarthy had another good chance a few minutes later but was denied by good defending.
Two minutes before the break Wayne Sparling again set up Stephen McCarthy who was unable to get his shot off fast enough. A minute later Lee Downing flicked on to put Wayne Sparling clear but his shot was saved.
Fairview upped the tempo considerably on the restart and Celtic keeper, Roy Kelliher, had to be alert on more than one occasion and Killarney had to defend stoutly as Fairview were beginning to look dangerous, particularly from placed balls.
It was scoreless at the end of normal time but substitute Jamie O’Sullivan had a glorious chance in extra time but the Fairview keeper produced a great save to deny Celtic the lead.
Fairview were reduced to 10 men before they created a great chance on the break but Celtic ‘s defence snuffed out the danger.
The tie went to penalties and although Daragh Lowth and Wayne Sparling converted their efforts, unfortunately, it was not to be Celtic’s day with Fairview won 4-2 to advance to a home semi-final against Athenry.
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