Date: 12th Feb 2022
Location: Newmarket Celtic, Co. Clare
Letterkenny Rovers sojourn in the FAI Centenary u17s Cup ended on Saturday afternoon as the Donegal side lost out 2-1 after extra time at Newmarket Celtic in the round of the last 16.
Having overcome Cockhill Celtic, Carndonagh and Colga to be the counties sole representatives remaining in the competition Rovers--aided by a strong wind and a significant slope-started the better of the two sides with centre half Bart Wozniack heading just over when well placed after just 5 minutes before Sam Harvey did well down the left hand side but failed to convert after doing well to carve out the opportunity.
Wozniack once again with a header, DJ McCauley with an effort just wide and a rasping effort from Matthew Flanagan which just skimmed the post had Rovers well on top before they were hit with a sucker punch on 25 minutes when Che Burke scored from a free kick on the edge of the area low past Kian McGrath in the visitors goal.
That spurred the home side on as they began to enjoy more possession but it was Rovers who levelled on 35 minutes when the lively Harvey slotted home from birthday boy Luke Parkes free kick,
Parke was unquestionably the man of the Match in difficult energy sapping conditions and he was central to everything good from Letterkenny but Rovers were thankful to McGrath for pulling off a fine save from Adam Cusack on 38 minutes before being alert to deny Michael Power on 42,
Newmarket had the prevailing conditions in their favour in the 2nd half and should have gone ahead just after the restart but Cusack blazed wide while Rovers claims for a penalty shout for a foul on Parke went unheeded by match referee Pa Gleeson on 70 minutes.
Wozniack then came close on 72 minutes before Newmarket finished the regular 90 minutes far stronger and had chances from Cusack(twice) and Ciaran Fussell but Kian McGrath produced a number of super stops to thwart their efforts.
Newmarket though did get their noses in front straight at the start of the added period when Cusack was given too much space to run at the Rovers defence and his effort gave McGrath no chance.
Rovers though led by the highly industrious Parke did carry the game to their hosts in the tough underfoot conditions to try and find an equalising goal and did create a number of openings but they couldnt find a way past home custodian Connor Mulqueen who stood tall as Newmarket saw it out to advance into the quarter finals.
Newmarket Celtic; Connor Mulqueen, Ronan O'Rourke, Cathal Cullinan, Conan O'Neill, Eoin McTullick, David Gilbert, Michael Power, Che Burke, Adam Cusack, Darragh Prazer, Ciaran Fussell.
Subs used; Killian Mulqueen, Aaron Cusack.
Letterkenny Rovers; Kian McGrath, Max Gallagher, Rudi Minnock, Bart Wozniack, Adam Campbell, Luke Parke, Matthew Flanagan, Faolan Gibson, Sam Harvey, Aaron Temple, DJ McCauley
Subs used; Ultan McMonagle, Ryan McGee, Enda O'Donnell